DoorDash to Broaden Its Horizons

The service aims to deliver “anything within a city.” Meanwhile, restaurants expand ghost kitchens.

November 18, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO—Delivery is making noticeable turn, both on the foodservice front and beyond. Notably, DoorDash has plans to “build products that transform the way local merchants do business and enrich the communities in which they operate,” Marketing Daily reports. In its SEC filing, the company announced it wants to deliver “anything within a city.”

DoorDash is working on an on-demand logistical platform to “facilitate the delivery of any item.” Its DashPass membership allows members unlimited deliveries from eligible businesses, and as of Sept. 30, has more than five million consumers.

“To date, these deliveries come primarily from restaurants,” the company said in its prospectus. “In the future, we envision this membership program becoming a wallet for the physical world, where a consumer can access not only restaurants, but all the local businesses in their community, and receive benefits while shopping in-store, at home, or anywhere in between.”

Meanwhile ghost kitchens continue to gain traction, with Red Lobster opening its first “ghost” location on Nov. 10 in Chicago, with food for delivery by Postmates, Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash. “Opening a ghost kitchen is a natural next step in expanding our off-premise business,” said Red Lobster CEO Kim Lopdrup.

Ghost or virtual kitchens allow restaurants to reach more customers without the investment of a traditional indoor seating location. “I think the approach right now is one of necessity,” said Tim Powell, managing principal at the Foodservice IP consultancy. “With winter approaching and the entire restaurant industry on its heels, operators must be as innovative and creative as possible.”

Also in Chicago, the Aloha Poke restaurant chain partnered with Reef Kitchens on a ghost kitchen. “I see this as a low-risk, potentially high-reward opportunity to get into a market with an operator that really knows and understands those markets well,” said Chris Birkinshaw, Aloha Poke CEO. “Our marketing efforts are digitally focused already, and that pairs well with the digital strategy of a ghost kitchen.”

Today, during NACS Crack the Code Experience, the “Competing for Food Sales” education session will talk about using technology to reach consumers. The Crack the Code Experience is a five-week digital experience and curated marketplace connecting convenience retail buyers and sellers from around the globe. Running through December 4, it features 24/7 access to forward-looking ideas and insights, plus innovative new-to-channel products and strategic connections. There’s still time to register for your own Crack the Code Experience! Don’t delay—register today!

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