Technology

DoorDash partners with Jimmy John's on new self-delivery service

The sandwich chain, once critical of third-party delivery, will bring the service to 2,400 locations.
Jimmy Johns
Photograph courtesy of Jimmy John's

DoorDash is introducing a new service that will allow restaurants to be listed on the DoorDash marketplace while using their own drivers for delivery.

It’s launching Self-Delivery with Jimmy John’s, marking the first time the sandwich chain has worked with a third-party delivery provider after saying it would never use one. The chain has been testing the service for six months and will now expand it to 2,400 of its restaurants.

The idea is to allow restaurants with their own delivery fleets, like Jimmy John’s, to leverage DoorDash’s marketplace to reach new customers. DoorDash has a significant audience, with about half of the U.S. delivery market and 18 million users worldwide. 

“As a brand, we are relentlessly focused on reaching our guests on their terms,” said Jimmy John’s CMO Darin Dugan in a statement. “In DoorDash, we found a third-party partner that shares this commitment and offers us the ability to further reach our consumers where they increasingly are—digitally.”

Restaurants will pay DoorDash a commission on each order, but can set their own delivery fee, a company spokesperson said. They can sign up via a form on DoorDash’s website and start accepting orders in a few weeks, setting their own delivery radius and fees. The service also supports pickup orders.

Restaurants will receive a DoorDash tablet to capture orders, and the service also integrates with some POS systems. Jimmy John’s, for instance, will see DoorDash orders flow directly to its POS, helping to smooth operations and ensuring store hours and menus are synced across platforms.

The Champaign, Ill.-based sandwich chain has been critical of third-party delivery in the past, believing that customer experience suffered and the economics didn’t make sense. 

“In our exploration, we came to the conclusion that we do it better,” former CMO John Shea told Restaurant Business last February. 

Its DoorDash partnership represents something of a compromise on that position: Jimmy John’s can use its own drivers and tight radius to control the customer experience, and they’ll be paying a lower commission than they would if DoorDash was handling the delivery. It comes at a time when more business is shifting to off-premise, meaning the sandwich delivery space Jimmy John’s once owned is becoming crowded.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria in Chicago and Healthy Garden & Gourmet Pizza in New Jersey are also using Self-Delivery, DoorDash said.

For DoorDash, the service continues its rapid development of new products for restaurants. These include Storefront, which allows restaurants to create custom websites, and Drive, its last-mile delivery service. On Monday, the company filed for an IPO, with plans to raise as much as $2.8 billion. 

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