Are you thinking of using DoorDash for your restaurant, or just browsing to see how you can get more orders? In this guide, we will breakdown some important information about DoorDash, how it works, and some tips and tricks.
What is Doordash?
Let's start from scratch -- DoorDash is a platform that allows customers to place orders for delivery or pick-up. The service works with restaurants, grocery stores, liquor stores, flower shops, and more. The company was started in 2013 and has grown exponentially since then. It is based in San Francisco, California and holds more than half the market share in convenience delivery services.
In December of 2020, DoorDash became a publicly traded company that's on the New York Stock Exchange. The DoorDash brand also includes Caviar, which is a delivery service that offers service from upscale restaurants that typically have ignored the food delivery market.
Where is DoorDash Available?
DoorDash is available throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Japan. The company is rapidly expanding to new markets. Because the business model depends on independent contractors to deliver the food, the number of Dashers in the area has an impact on what's available.
One thing that restaurants often wonder is how far from their location DoorDash will deliver. There's no easy answer to this, and it can change. The DoorDash app has a built-in algorithm that takes the number of Dashers in the area that are actively working, the distance to a delivery app, and the time it will take to get the food to the customer into account.
It's possible that the delivery area will be very large one day and then much smaller the next. Getting customers their orders quickly, while they're hot and fresh, is a priority for DoorDash. Dashers are given time limits for how long they have to get the order to a customer.
How Does DoorDash Work?
Once a restaurant registers for DoorDash, the menu is placed on the DoorDash app for customers to order. A customer can search for the restaurant by name. The app also enables them to search for items based on the type of cuisine, such as fast food, Mexican, Asian, pizza, chicken, or similar categories. They can also by specific dish.
The customer places an order on the DoorDash app for the menu items they want to eat. The restaurant receives the order on their Doordash tablet, and can confirm or cancel the order. If the order is confirmed, the kitchen makes the order. The restaurant packages everything up for delivery.
The DoorDash app assigns a Dasher to the order. This is the person who will deliver the food to the customer. The Dasher goes to the restaurant and picks up the order. The orders have the customer name on them so the Dasher and the restaurant can ensure customers get the correct order.
Dashers have a specific deadline for each order. This is based on the distance between the delivery address and the restaurant. It's also dependent upon whether the app is double or triple stacking deliveries. Some Dashers have to pick up more than one order from more than one restaurant to deliver on a run.
All Dashers have insulated bags to place orders in so the food can remain hot or cold, depending on what it is. There are special bags available for pizzas, which are the same as what national pizza chains use when they have their own delivery services.
Some Dashers have very large bags, called catering bags, that are meant for larger orders. DoorDash has a special program for large orders. The program is only available to Dashers who meet specific requirements, including their history of punctuality, order acceptance, and customer satisfaction.
How Much Does DoorDash Cost?
There isn't one single cost for DoorDash delivery. The company has several different options available to restaurants so they can find the one that meets their specific needs. Some of the pricing models are based on a commission fee that the restaurant pays to DoorDash.
Commission fees start at 6% for pickup orders. They range from 15% to 30% on delivery orders, depending on what package the restaurant chooses. The higher commission products have more benefits, including the ability to target customers who pay for the DashPass service. These are customers who use DoorDash often.
DoorDash also has a service that's available for a flat rate per order. This ranges from $6.99 to $10.99, as of March of 2022. There's also a package for restaurants who want to use DoorDash as their storefront ordering option, as well as one that allows restaurants to use their own delivery drivers.
Like we mentioned earlier, we strongly recommend you choose the most premium tier, and upcharge your items. DoorDash is a convenience play, so their customers are used to paying more for food. 90% of restaurants using Cuboh charge more on the delivery apps to even out their margins. This will allow you to have the most visibility early on. Nobody wants to be the first to order from a restaurant without a rating, so you will want to get as much spotlight as possible at the beginning.
Registering for a DoorDash Account
DoorDash has made it easy for new restaurants to sign up to their service. You can register your restaurant by clicking here.
You will be asked to asked to enter basic information like:
- Restaurant name
- Business type (liquor, grocery, restaurant, etc...)
When you register your restaurant with DoorDash, you'll have to decide which service plan you want to use. We recommend signing up for the most premium tier in order to increase order volume early on. You will pay more per order, but you can make that up by charging more for your items on the platform. We will touchbase on how to do this later. You will also have to decide how you'll receive orders. There is a free option for you to get orders via email, but there are also options for tablets or printers.
From there, you enter the menu that you offer. This can be done by providing a link to your restaurant's menu or by uploading a PDF or a picture of the menu. DoorDash allows pictures for the menu so that customers can see what they're ordering. You can also use a service like Cuboh to import your menu from your POS or another delivery apps. We strongly encourage you to use a 3rd party integrator if you are using other delivery apps. Otherwise managing all of your menus will be cumbersome and it will be easy to let them go out of date.
DoorDash will collect legal information, including the tax identification number for the business, as well as the owner's name. Banking details are required so the restaurant can receive payment for the orders that are placed through DoorDash. The banking information you enter is protected, and DoorDash won't withdraw from the account. It's only used to deposit money into the account.
How to Optimize your Restaurant for DoorDash
In perspective, DoorDash is like Google for restaurants, and your restaurant listing needs to be optimized to outrank the competition. The better your visibility in search results, the more likely you will be found and clicked on. Now, how often do you find and click on a website with a ranking on the second page of Google? Probably not often. In Google, 75% of clicks come from the top 3 listings.
While interacting with delivery apps, people think alike. You attract more sales when you rank better. For this, DoorDash rewards restaurants based on rating, order accuracy, speed of order acceptance, and distance.
Naturally, DoorDash wants to send orders to restaurants that will accept the order right away to deter the customer from canceling, and prepare the order accurately. This provides a good customer experience, which ultimately leads to better reviews and more customers for the DoorDash app. You may be unable to manage your location, but the other DoorDash ranking factors can be controlled.
We know that in the restaurant business order accuracy is very critical. But often, restaurants make mistakes when moving orders from their DashDoor tablet to their POS. This results in a longer time to accept orders and makes it more likely that an order will be prepared inaccurately, resulting in a poor customer experience and being bumped down in the DoorDash rankings.
A robust online ordering manager like Cuboh allows you to automate the whole online ordering workflow with their order auto-accept and POS integrations. DoorDash expects an order to be accepted in under 7 seconds, Cuboh does it in less than 0.2 seconds!
If you’re also considering other popular delivery apps for your restaurant, you can check out our Uber Eats Guide for Restaurants – 2023.