Technology

DoorDash makes bundled orders mandatory for restaurants

U.S. restaurants are being automatically added to DoubleDash, which allows customers to order from two businesses at once. DoorDash said it helps restaurants reach new guests. But it also lengthens delivery times.
DoubleDash screenshots
DoorDash launched DoubleDash in 2021. / Photo courtesy of DoorDash

Restaurants that use DoorDash are being automatically added to its DoubleDash program, which allows customers to order from two businesses in one delivery.

The company unveiled the service in August 2021 with the aim of giving customers more options while also driving more business to the restaurants it works with, which it calls "partners." It works like this: After a customer completes a delivery order from a participating restaurant, a pop-up appears asking if they want to add items from another nearby business, like a convenience store. These get added to the same order for no additional fee. 

DoorDash said this can help surface restaurants to new customers. And for DoorDash, bundling can create bigger orders and better margins because it generates two commissions for the cost of one. 

DoubleDash gif

DoubleDash in action. / GIF courtesy of DoorDash

Until now, the program has been optional for restaurants to join. But DoorDash confirmed Wednesday that it’s now mandatory for all U.S. small business restaurant partners.

“DoubleDash enables restaurants across the United States to connect with new customers who may not traditionally interact with their business,” a DoorDash spokesperson said in a statement. “Restaurants utilizing DoubleDash can experience increased in-app visibility, more sales, access to new customers, and more—all for no additional fee.”

Specifically, DoorDash said more than 40% of DoubleDash orders are from customers who are new to the second business, and that 14% of those customers order again within four weeks.

Restaurants pay their regular commission on DoubleDash orders. 

And yet there are reasons some operators might not want to enroll. For one thing, bundling their food with other items lengthens delivery times and could affect food quality.

According to DoorDash’s website, DoubleDash adds six minutes to delivery times on average. But surveys have shown that customers “perceive no significant difference in food quality between bundled orders and non-bundled orders,” the site reads.

As of now, restaurants won't be able to distinguish DoubleDash orders from regular ones. “We do not have any flags or filtering in the portal to show DoubleDash orders only, DoorDash's website says. But we are always looking into new features and may add these in the future.

The change comes at a time of rising sales and widening losses for DoorDash. The company delivered a record 467 million orders in the fourth quarter, generating nearly $14.5 billion in gross order volume, but losses increased more than 300% year over year to $642 million.

Generating more bundled orders could help increase both sales and profits. DoubleDash also addresses a few other areas of focus at the company, like improving customers’ experience and growing new channels such as convenience and grocery stores as well as DashMart mini-warehouses.

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