This blog post is based on a recent webinar from DoorDash, in partnership with Restaurant Business, providing actionable tips for restaurants to optimize their delivery and pickup solutions. To watch the full webinar recording, click here

Over the last few months, offering delivery and pickup has proven essential to many businesses. But navigating off-premise operations can feel intimidating—which is why we wanted to share tips for getting started with pickup and delivery in today’s landscape. 

How to sign up for food delivery for your business

Getting started is pretty straightforward. Restaurants and stores can sign up for a DoorDash account on our website. If you prefer to speak to a representative, you can reach out via our contact us page and the team will help answer your questions.

From there, you'll need to provide us with your menu—either as a PDF, an existing online menu, or a photo of a physical menu. Next, select your order protocol. This step outlines how you wish to receive your orders. 

One of the primary ways to receive pickup and delivery orders is via a tablet; DoorDash can either send you one, or you use one of your own. You can also receive orders by email, fax, or by integrating your POS system. After that, you enter your business information, such as hours and address. In general, the sign-up process takes about 5-10 minutes! 

Once you have provided all the necessary information, our team will begin building your menu and uploading it to the DoorDash platform to get your restaurant live as soon as possible. 

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How to market new pickup and delivery services 

You can use your own channels to announce that you are now a DoorDash partner. If you have an email subscriber base or social media accounts, this should be your first step in getting the word out. Additionally, Facebook and Instagram recently launched “stickers” that help restaurants promote gift cards and food delivery in their posts. 

Off-premise solutions to fit your needs

DoorDash is a merchant-first company, and that’s why we developed DoorDash Drive. Our white-label fulfillment product can help you with logistics while you own the relationship with the customer. One of the benefits of our food technology platform is that it allows you to scale up or down depending on demand. 

And if you already offer delivery, DoorDash can help you reach new customers. You'll have your patrons who call you directly plus new business from DoorDash.

Restaurants with food delivery during COVID-19: health precautions

The safety of our community is our top priority, which is why we're remaining in close contact with health experts and helping restaurants follow CDC and WHO guidelines. We encourage you to visit our COVID-19 page for the full list of resources available.

DoorDash’s new safety guidelines & initiatives include: 

  • To ensure that drivers who are sick can focus on recovering, we are providing financial assistance to eligible Dashers and Captains diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined. 
  • We quickly organized the shipping of more than 5 million sets of hand sanitizer and gloves to Dashers and Captains. 
  • We rolled out contactless delivery as the standard delivery method. Dashers leave food at the doorstep or a safe place near the customer's location, then call or text the customer upon delivery to ensure it has arrived.

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Opening a restaurant during a pandemic: Trends in menus & best practices 

Here are a few trends and best practices happening across the restaurant industry in recent months: 

  • When it comes to menus, photography is super important. Make sure you have lots of high-quality photos added to your menu that make potential customers hungry. 
  • Dinner and meal kits are becoming increasingly popular. One of the benefits of meal kits is that they allow customers to recreate their dine-in experience at home.
  • Restaurants have been adding essential grocery and pantry items to their menus, such as toilet paper, flour, yeast, and other high-demand items.
  • Many restaurants are supporting the community and healthcare workers with fundraising initiatives and free meals. Some restaurants are adding specific initiatives on DoorDash, where customers can buy a meal to donate to healthcare workers or charitable organizations. 
  • We've been seeing new restaurant concepts, such as a Detroit-style pizza place that recently launched a new fried chicken sandwich delivery-only virtual restaurant. The new business operates out of the same kitchen, but serves as a new store available on DoorDash and Caviar, providing additional sales and revenue. 
  • Promotions and discounts are also popular among restaurants. At DoorDash, we have optional marketing promotions such as Try Me Free to provide free delivery to first-time customers. We also have Order Again and Save to help encourage repeat business. DashPass monthly subscribers also receive free delivery on eligible restaurants—having your restaurant on the participating list is a great way to promote your business to frequent delivery customers.
  • While there are several ways to choose the best packaging for transporting food, such as looking to other successful chains, we recommend doing your own research. The best way to assess whether your food travels well is to package it, wait 20 minutes to simulate delivery, and then eat the food yourself. As a chef or restaurant owner, you'll be able to decide whether the dish is suitable for delivery.

At DoorDash, we remain committed to supporting restaurants, both new and existing, as we all work through these uncertain times together. Ready to grow your business with a food delivery solution? Learn more about how DoorDash can help restaurants like yours

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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.