DoorDash Unveils Major Upgrades for Restaurants and Drivers

    Among them is a rewards program for operators to entice customers and a new way for Dashers to receive payment. 

    Technology | June 29, 2023 | Sam Danley
    DoorDash food being delivered.
    One key upgrade is post-checkout tipping, which allows customers to add a tip or increase a tip for up to 30 days after the delivery.

    DoorDash is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a series of major updates and service additions, including a slew of new features for restaurant partners. New tools for merchants were unveiled alongside updates to the Dasher platform and consumer app as part of the company’s inaugural Dash Forward product showcase on Wednesday.

    Upgrades for restaurants include bespoke growth recommendations driven by machine learning, new ways to reward loyal customers, and more tools for optimizing the performance of their first-party channels. 

    Restaurants in the U.S. now have access to personalized business recommendations via the Merchant Portal. Developed by analyzing the hundreds of thousands of stores on DoorDash, the recommendations will be geared toward driving additional volume. As an example, the company said the suggestions could encompass insights for improving order accuracy, best practices on optimizing menus for conversion, and recommendations for adopting new products like DashPass or Sponsored Listings. 

    A new customer rewards feature enables restaurants to dish out perks for repeat patronage. Operators in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand can choose the reward amount, how much customers have to spend to earn the reward, and which stores their program will be activated across. The rewards are created using the Merchant Portal’s Solutions Center, with no additional marketing fees or commissions, except for the cost of the reward itself. 

    DoorDash also announced a series of updates to Storefront, its commission-free online ordering software, which was designed to help restaurants operate and grow their first-party ordering channels. New customization features are being introduced alongside the option to add a Smart Button that directs customers from a restaurant’s website to its online ordering page. Customers browsing a menu powered by Storefront can now see item-level ratings carried over from store pages on DoorDash marketplace. They also can leverage their existing credentials when placing an online order, which the company said will help reduce login friction and prevent cart abandonment. 

    More than 13 million Dashers have earned over $35 billion on the platform over the past decade. Now, DoorDash is providing them with two different ways to earn: Earn by Time or Earn by Offer. Earn by Time is a new earning mode where Dashers earn a guaranteed hourly minimum rate for time spent on a delivery, from the moment it’s accepted to the moment it’s dropped off, plus 100 percent of tips. Earn per Offer is the same earning mode that Dashers already are familiar with, but with a handful of updates, including more efficient and streamlined suggested routes. 

    Other updates to the Dasher platform include post-checkout tipping, which allows customers to add a tip or increase a tip directly on the app for up to 30 days after a delivery. Dash Along the Way is a new feature that lets Dashers select where they want to start dashing and receive offers that will take them directly there. DoorDash said that feature was added to reduce downtime and help Dashers maximize their earning potential. The company also bolstered its safety features with in-app location sharing, enabling Dashers to share their location with up to five trusted contacts. 

    On the consumer front, DoorDash is doubling down on its goal to evolve beyond restaurant delivery and become what it calls “the global marketplace for local commerce.” To that end, the company unveiled the biggest series of updates to the consumer app in its history, all geared toward making it easier for customers to order a wider variety of products. 

    The updated app includes a universal search bar and a new grocery tab, plus a browse tab showcasing non-restaurant businesses and a retail tab that serves as a “virtual shopping mall” for household goods, office supplies, pet products, beauty staples, gifts, and more. With more categories to choose from, customers also have the ability to manage multiple shopping carts simultaneously. 

    “Customer feedback has been central to how we approach innovation since our founding 10 years ago, and we continue to embrace that commitment as we build products and services that meet the real-time needs of all the audiences we serve,” said Rajat Shroff, head of product and design at DoorDash, in a statement. “By helping merchants digitize every part of their business to drive incremental sales, by making every store in the neighborhood more accessible to consumers, and by pioneering the future of work with new and flexible ways to earn, DoorDash is building the future of local commerce on a global scale.”