Should You Use DoorDash for Your Restaurant?

Sometimes customers want food other than pizza delivered to their home. Whether it’s because they aren’t ready to be out in restaurants yet, or they just like the convenience of the food coming to them, millions of restaurants have had to jump into the food delivery game whether they wanted to or not.

Today you have many options for restaurant delivery service including DoorDash. While many of the third-party delivery services are good, we are going to focus on DoorDash to help you decide if it’s a good fit for you.

Here’s what to consider.

Are you Located in an Area DoorDash Delivers?

DoorDash is big, but they aren’t everywhere yet. You might not operate in an area that they deliver, so your first order of business is to make sure they offer their services in your area

DoorDash is always growing, so you might find that they become available in your area if they aren’t already but starting there can help you rule it out if they aren’t in your area yet. 

Do you Need to Increase Brand Awareness?

Every business could use to increase their brand awareness, but if you feel like your business isn’t operating at full potential, DoorDash could help. You get extra marketing services without paying for them or even putting in any work.

When you’re a DoorDash partner, they list your restaurant on their website and whenever a customer searches for a restaurant in your area, your restaurant will come up. You might get more customers that didn’t know you existed before using the service.

The nice thing is you don’t have to use their delivery services. DoorDash is just as much a marketing service as it is a delivery service, but many restaurant owners aren’t aware of this. You can list your business on their service and utilize online ordering without taking a chance on the delivery service if you don’t want to.

Do you Offer Delivery Services Now?

Many restaurants don’t offer delivery services because of the labor and costs involved. Not only must you hire delivery drivers, but your insurance costs will likely skyrocket to make up for the risk of having your employees out on the road.

When you sign up with DoorDash, you get the delivery service your business might need without the added expense and risk of adding on-staff delivery drivers. Since you’re not responsible for the DoorDash drivers, the risk is off you.

If you already offer delivery services but you need the marketing help, you can use DoorDash Self-Service. The commission fees are lower, but you get the same exposure you’d get if you used DoorDash to deliver your food.

In other words, your restaurant appears in searches in the app but just for you to get the order. You fulfill and deliver the order rather than using DoorDash drivers to do it for you.

Do You just Need the Marketing Help?

Maybe you want nothing to do with delivering food or even having another service do it for you, but the marketing help could help your business grow.

DoorDash has an option for restaurants to offer online ordering without delivery services. This gives your brand more exposure without the high cost of delivery commissions. It’s like getting the best of both worlds – your customers can order through DoorDash and still come pick up the order themselves, which many customers prefer to do.

Are your Profit Margins High Enough?

DoorDash has lower fees than other third-party food delivery services, but there are still commissions involved. Making sure your profit margins are high enough is important.

The fees for each service differ including:

  • Basic – Your restaurant is listed on the DoorDash app, and you have the option to use their delivery services at 15% commission or customer pick-up at 6% commission.
  • Plus – You get access to DashPass customers, which are customers that pay a monthly fee for the service. You can choose delivery or pick-up at 25% commission for delivery or 6% for pick-up.
  • Premier – You get access to the largest delivery area and DashPass, but you’ll also pay the highest commissions at 30% for delivery and 6% for pick-ups.

Unlike Uber Eats, DoorDash allows you to change your food pricing to cover the cost of the commissions if you decide to use it for delivery services.

How to Make the Most of DoorDash

If you own a restaurant, using DoorDash can be a great way to make more money or at least get your name out there. So how do you make the most of it? Here are some top suggestions.

  • Take advantage of DoorDash online ordering

At the very least, use DoorDash’s online ordering service to market your business. It will cost you 6% commission for pick-up but consider it a marketing expense and utilize Door Dash’s large market to get your name out there.

  • Consider delivery if you’re profit margins are high enough

Using DoorDash’s delivery service takes a larger cut of your profits, but it can increase your sales too. By not limiting yourself to dine-in or pick-up customers, you may increase your sales and be able to cover the higher commissions.

  • Watch your pricing

If you use DoorDash, watch your profit margins. If you find that you don’t have enough profits after paying DoorDash commissions, change your pricing slightly to account for the higher delivery charges. 

Final Thoughts

Is DoorDash worth it? 

It depends on your business model and profit margins. At the very least, though, DoorDash can help you market your business in a way that doesn’t affect your time or labor costs. While you’ll pay a commission, it’s likely less than you would pay in overall costs to handle the marketing yourself plus you get the benefit of leveraging DoorDash’s large audience.

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