Some D.C. residents now have another way to take advantage of the city’s growing food options without leaving their couches and cubicles.
DoorDash — an app-based restaurant delivery service — made its official D.C. debut last week with about 100 partnered restaurants and 50 drivers, who are independent contractors. For a $7 flat fee, DoorDash delivers food from D.C. restaurants in the Northwest area to locations that are no more than four miles away (and 3.5 miles away if you are ordering to or from downtown). DoorDash hopes to include restaurants beyond Northwest, although it will still deliver to customers outside of the quadrant and in the nearby suburbs if it’s in the delivery radius.
Bethesda Bagels, Chipotle, Ben’s Chili Bowl, Pho 14, Pop’s SeaBar, 2 Amy’s Neapolitan Pizzeria, Bub & Pop’s, and Busboys & Poets are among the restaurants already partnered with DoorDash.
This latest Palo Alto, Calif., export wants to build a more expansive network of D.C. restaurants than the current go-to restaurant delivery services like GrubHub and Seamless. Unlike Seamless and GrubHub — in which the site connects customers with dining establishments, and the restaurant makes the delivery — DoorDash will have drivers picking up food and making the delivery. (GrubHub is working to offer its own delivery service.)
DoorDash CEO Tony Xu wouldn’t say what cut of the delivery fee the drivers pocket, but said it’s a “majority” of the fee, plus tips. Much like Uber, DoorDash drivers — or bikers, or people on scooters — can clock in whenever they want.
DoorDash’s technology accounts for moving factors like how long it takes to prepare the food, how to time the orders so hot food stays hot, and where its deliverers — known as “dashers” — are located.
“You don’t start a restaurant because you love delivery,” said Xu, explaining why DoorDash is providing a needed service for these restaurants and its customers. “You don’t start any small business because you care about delivery. It’s just not their core business.”
The new service functions more like Postmates, an app service that promises to deliver anything in less than an hour. Postmates has deliverers that go on call as they please and, while it doesn’t specialize in restaurants, delivers from hundreds of establishments. Postmates cost $5 to $14 depending on the quantity of the order.
The District is DoorDash’s ninth market and the company is in the process of hiring a full-time team based out of the city. The company announced it received a whopping $40 million in additional funding and the not-yet-2-year-old company hopes to expand throughout the country.
Xu would not say how well the company has been doing in its first few days of business in D.C., but says it’s been “exceeding expectations.”