As 2020 comes to a close, we reflect on what an extraordinary challenge it has been for so many, especially the restaurants and local businesses across the country who are among the hardest hit by the pandemic. With indoor dining limited, colder weather upon us, and social distancing rules in effect, restaurants have struggled to survive - with many closing their doors for good.  

DoorDash was founded with a mission to grow and empower local economies, so we’ve seen it as our responsibility to take action from the beginning of this crisis to help our restaurant partners and support the communities we serve through programs like our Main Street Strong initiative and the Main Street Strong Accelerator.

As we look to 2021, we are more energized than ever by our core mission and to redouble our commitment to empowering local economies and supporting the businesses that are vital to our communities. We’re grateful to have partnered with the National Restaurant Association in developing a set of principles to guide how we help restaurants reach new customers and grow their revenue, and we remain committed to continually improving our offerings to best serve our restaurant partners. 

We’ve heard the feedback and know we have to make improvements to earn and maintain partner trust. One of our internal values is to be 1% better each day, and by staying true to the principles below, we will end 2021 as a better partner and industry champion. We will continue to build upon these principles and remain focused on learning, growing, and serving our community as best we can.

1. We are committed to empowering restaurants to select the products and services that work for them because we know that no two restaurants are the same. We also know that some restaurants would prefer not to work with DoorDash. While we will always work hard to earn your business, we respect a restaurant’s decision not to partner with us: 

    1. We’ve created multiple paths to partner with DoorDash. Some restaurants already have their own delivery drivers, but are looking to reach a larger customer base to increase sales (Self-Delivery). Others may want to accept orders directly from customers online (Storefront), or simply leverage our fulfillment platform to get orders delivered (Drive). And some want help with the end to end customer acquisition and delivery (Marketplace). Restaurants can choose options that have a flat fee per delivery, or a percentage of the order subtotal. Restaurants can interact directly with the customer, or leave that to us. Our goal is to ensure merchants can choose what works best for them, logistically and financially.
    2. As of November 1, 2020, we will not be adding any new restaurants in the United States to the app for the facilitation of delivery via our Marketplace product without consent. Many restaurants appreciate the option to be listed on DoorDash without having a contract. We will clearly communicate to customers when we do not have a contractual relationship with a restaurant listed on DoorDash. Restaurants may claim their store page on DoorDash.com and through the store page may effortlessly request updates to their store menu and hours, as well as request removal. We will promptly take down any restaurant that does not wish to be on our platform within 48 hours of receiving the request.

2. We are committed to helping ensure that the food restaurants prepare arrives hot (or cold) and, most importantly, safely:

    1. We believe there are low-cost, easy-to-implement solutions like tamper-evident packaging to help provide confidence that food delivered through the DoorDash platform is safe. We look forward to partnering with the restaurant industry and restaurant associations to implement these types of common-sense solutions that work for restaurants and Dashers.
    2. DoorDash’s policies require Dashers to use insulated bags and prohibit opening or tampering with food containers. We oppose policies that would create new barriers for Dashers to find work opportunities on platforms like DoorDash and that could make third-party food delivery less accessible and more expensive for restaurants.
    3. As for safety needs for our restaurants, consumers and Dashers have evolved during this pandemic, so have we. Since the start of COVID, we quickly pivoted our operations to allow for contactless delivery, made PPE equipment including masks, sanitizer, and gloves available to our Dasher community, and implemented a policy requiring face masks to be worn by all throughout the life cycle of delivery. 

3. Restaurants should be able to offer alcohol to help boost sales, so long as clear rules are in place to help ensure safe and legal delivery:

    1. DoorDash stands with restaurants to actively support legislation to help restaurants that choose to offer alcoholic beverages to expand their sales through delivery. We have built product features to verify that a recipient of alcohol is of legal age, to prompt Dashers to check ID, and to notify Dashers about local laws requiring ID checks and prohibiting delivery to intoxicated individuals.

4. We are committed to transparency and clarity when it comes to the fees that our restaurant partners agree to:

    1. We believe there should be no surprises for restaurants when it comes to fees paid to DoorDash. That is why we aim to make our contracts with restaurants simple and clear when it comes to the products and services restaurants select and the associated fees. We also provide information about fees to restaurants through the restaurant portal, and offer a profit calculator to empower restaurants to understand how working with us can help their business succeed.
    2. We offer a suite of products and services at costs incremental to a restaurant’s contracted rate. Restaurants must consent to these optional marketing programs to participate and are able to cancel at any time. 

5. We are committed to fair and clear contract terms:

    1. We provide restaurants with fair and transparent contract terms that align with how we approach our partnership, such as mutual indemnities (described in further detail below), a mutual cap on direct damages, and mutual responsibilities regarding operations and compliance with applicable law. We have also agreed to carve-out certain categories of damages from the liability cap, including indemnification, and any damages resulting from bodily injury, damage to property, or violation of applicable law, so that restaurants can make claims without any limit for these categories of losses.
    2. We know that many restaurants are concerned about who is responsible in the event that something goes wrong with a delivery and someone falls ill or is hurt. Our Terms of Service provides fair and mutual indemnification coverage for both the restaurant partner and DoorDash. DoorDash indemnifies our restaurant partners against any third party claims related to damage or harm caused by Dashers and the restaurant partner indemnifies DoorDash against third party claims related to harm caused by the restaurant’s products or by the restaurant’s violation of any applicable health and safety code, except to the extent that such losses are caused by DoorDash or Dashers. 

6. We know that our restaurant partners have their hands full preparing great food. Taxes should be the least of their worries. We are committed to providing clarity to our restaurant partners on which party is responsible for collecting and remitting taxes:

    1. Our current agreements provide guidance that DoorDash will remit taxes in states where we are the marketplace facilitator. This list is provided in our FAQs.
    2. We will commit to working with our partners to accurately calculate, collect, and as appropriate remit taxes in all states.

7. We are committed to giving restaurants tools to access delivery while maintaining access to customers:

    1. We understand one of the biggest asks from restaurants is access to customer information. We have listened to that feedback and have built solutions such as Storefront and Drive, which enable restaurants to leverage our logistics platform while maintaining the direct relationship with the customer.  
    2. We are also committed to building new tools to improve the delivery experience and help restaurants improve their operations. We commit to transparency and trackability of orders throughout the delivery process, including access to communicate with Dashers, updated ETAs on Dasher arrival both at the restaurant and customer level, as well as the ability for a restaurant to respond directly to customer feedback.
Tony Xu
Author

CEO, and Co-Founder