Partnering with a third-party delivery service is a great way for restaurants to create a new revenue stream for their business. In this article, we’ll share the benefits of third-party delivery, as well as the simple four-step process for becoming a DoorDash partner.

If your restaurant does not offer delivery, now is the time to start. A recent report found that a whopping 1.2 billion people worldwide leveraged online food delivery in 2020. In the U.S., the online food delivery industry generated over $136 billion in revenue in the same year, and is projected to reach more than $182 billion by 2024.

Benefits of partnering with a third-party food delivery service

Restaurants can choose to build their own delivery service in-house, or team up with a third party to facilitate delivery operations. With this in mind, here are five benefits of partnering with a third-party delivery platform.

1. Third-party delivery helps you reach new customers

By becoming a DoorDash partner, your menu will get in front of the thousands of customers in your area already using our platform. Partnering with a technology platform like DoorDash can help restaurants reach entirely new demographics, from millennials to baby boomers. In fact, 75% of restaurants agree that DoorDash has allowed them to reach new customers.

2. Delivery partners help you grow restaurant sales

Delivery and pickup is a new revenue stream for your business, helping to drive incremental sales that complement your dine-in orders. Delivery was already a growing trend before this year, and the pandemic has only accelerated it. In fact, 74% of operators said their revenue has increased because of DoorDash since COVID-19.

3. Being a DoorDash partner can help boost your profit margin

Third-party delivery doesn’t require significant overhead expenses, since you already have the ingredients, staff, and takeout containers. Partnering with a third-party delivery service means you don’t have to hire and train drivers, since DoorDash connects you with Dashers to facilitate deliveries. Increasing sales without increasing expenses helps to improve your restaurant profit margin. In fact, 65% of restaurants say they were able to increase their profits during COVID-19 because of DoorDash.

Want to see what your profit margin could look like as a DoorDash partner? Estimate your net profit margin on delivery versus dine-in sales with our free restaurant profit margin calculator.

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4. Third-party delivery can increase brand awareness

When you partner with DoorDash, your menu and website will be featured on our platform, which reaches 80% of U.S. consumers and has a growing presence across Canada and Australia. As a DoorDash partner, your restaurant also gets access to game-changing marketing tools that help boost your SEO and drive more traffic to your listing. This gives your restaurant instant brand exposure and jumpstarts your online presence.

5. Delivery partners help you focus on the food, not the logistics

Our platform provides built-in ordering and payments technology, a seamless online ordering experience, and Dashers to deliver orders. That means restaurants can focus on what they do best — making delicious food — while DoorDash provides powerful logistics technology that connects you to the drivers you need to build your off-premise operations.

How to sign up as a DoorDash partner for delivery

Now that you understand the benefits of third-party delivery, here’s how you can get started with DoorDash.

Becoming a DoorDash partner is easier than you think. In this step-by-step guide, we've outlined everything you need to know about how to partner with DoorDash and leverage third-party delivery to maximize revenue with minimal effort.

Step 1: Create a DoorDash account

Becoming a DoorDash partner is easy and just takes a few minutes. First, sign up for DoorDash by creating an account and telling us basic information about your business, including address, cuisine, and operating hours.

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Step 2: Upload and optimize your menu 

Next, upload your delivery menu. Be sure to include mouthwatering photos of your dishes to help drive sales. If you don’t have high-quality photos, don’t worry! New DoorDash partners receive a free food photoshoot with a professional photographer after they sign up.

When uploading your menu to DoorDash, think about how to optimize your menu for food delivery. Focus on higher-margin items, best-sellers, food that travels well, and dishes that can be prepped in advance to ensure an efficient and profitable off-premise operation.

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Step 3: Choose your order protocol

Next, you’ll set up your order protocol to choose how you’d like to receive DoorDash orders. This will likely have the biggest impact on your day-to-day delivery operations, so be sure to choose the method that works best for your business. DoorDash partners have the option to receive orders via tablet (which is the recommended method), POS integration, or by email or fax.

Step 4: You cook, Dashers deliver

Once you complete those steps and your account is activated, customers can start browsing your menu and placing orders through the DoorDash app or website. Your restaurant then prepares orders for Dashers to deliver directly to customers, or for customers to pick up at your location.

How to make the most of third-party delivery

Now that your restaurant is officially a DoorDash partner, you get access to a number of helpful tools and resources to grow your off-premise sales, including the DoorDash Merchant Portal, valuable business analytics, innovative marketing solutions, and world-class customer support.

Easily manage your account with the DoorDash Merchant Portal

After activating your DoorDash account, you'll be able to easily manage your third-party delivery with the Merchant Portal. The Merchant Portal is an online tool to help restaurants analyze business performance and track payments, as well as update essential business details like your bank account, tax ID, and operating hours. You can also make real-time adjustments to your menu, including adding or removing items, updating prices, and replacing photos and descriptions.

Track your performance with DoorDash sales analytics

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A key benefit of being a DoorDash partner is getting access to the sales dashboard in the Merchant Portal. Restaurant managers can track their business by week, month, or quarter and get actionable insights on key data points such as total sales, average order size, new and repeat customers, and most popular items. This helps restaurants identify trends and track their business performance in aggregate or across locations. You can also view customer ratings and reviews, and mitigate any issues by quickly responding to customers directly.

For a detailed sales report, click on the Export Data tab and select a specific week to export detailed sales transactions. With this information, you'll be able to analyze the profit and loss of your delivery business and make adjustments to stay on budget.

You can also use these reports to better understand your customer preferences and behaviors. Armed with this valuable data, you can then adjust your hours of operation, staffing, and menu items to create a better customer experience, encourage repeat customers, and drive a steady stream of revenue.

Drive sales with DoorDash Marketing Solutions 

DoorDash partners can also leverage our marketing tools and promotions that improve your in-app placement, attract first-time customers, and create loyal regulars. You’ll be able to dive into the sales data to understand which promotions drive the most ROI for your business. Examples of our marketing promotions include “First Order, $0 Delivery Fee,” which entices new customers, and “Order Again and Save,” which helps you win back past customers. On average, participating in Marketing Solutions increases DoorDash partners’ sales by 30%.

Get 24/7 customer support

If any issues arise, DoorDash partners can rely on our 24/7 support. Restaurants have access to a library of online resources in the Merchant Help center, and can reach our support team by chat, email, or phone. Larger DoorDash restaurant partners also receive a dedicated account manager to provide customized advice and consultations on growing your business. 

Factor third-party delivery into your restaurant P&L

Be sure to track how third-party delivery impacts your profit and loss statement (P&L). Based on this information, you’ll be able to create an actionable plan that will help you achieve financial stability and grow your business. For more information on analyzing your restaurant’s P&L statement, check out Understanding Your Restaurant’s Profit and Loss Statements.

Get Started with Third-Party Delivery

For more information on restaurant industry trends and tips to grow your business, subscribe to the DoorDash for Merchants blog and read up on how to build a successful food delivery business.

Ready to boost your revenue with a third-party delivery? Take advantage of DoorDash’s massive online reach and become a DoorDash partner today.

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andrewmccarthy
Andrew McCarthy
Content Lead

Andrew McCarthy is the Senior Content Lead for B2B Marketing at DoorDash (both Merchant and Work divisions) where his mission is to help merchants grow and to make work delicious! Originally from Melbourne, Australia, he has 5 years of experience working in the on-demand delivery space across the United States, Canada, and Australia. When he’s not managing the incredibly talented content team at DoorDash, you’ll find him dining at the hippest local restaurants or ordering ramen from the comfort of his couch.