If your business doesn’t offer delivery, the time to start is now. Recent data shows that third-party food delivery services will generate global revenues of more than $312 billion in 2022, and third-party delivery apps are expected to have nearly 2.9 billion users by 2025. But what does third-party delivery mean in practice — and how can you start using it?
Benefits of partnering with a third-party delivery service
Of course, businesses can choose to build their own delivery service in-house. However, teaming up with a third party to facilitate delivery operations has perks as well. But what is a delivery service partner, and what are the benefits of partnering with one? Let’s take a look. Follow along with the Product Guide for Merchants.
1. Reach new customers
When you become a DoorDash partner, customers in your neighborhood using DoorDash will see your products when using the app. Partnering with a technology platform like DoorDash can help businesses reach entirely new demographics, from millennials to baby boomers. In fact, 75% of restaurants agree that DoorDash has enabled them to reach new customers.
2. Grow sales
Delivery and pickup is a powerful new revenue stream for your business, helping to drive incremental sales that complement your in-person orders or purchases. Delivery was already a growing trend before 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated it. 74% of operators said their revenue has increased because of DoorDash since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, including Savemore Market & Liquors’ Omar Korin. In fact, in Q4 of 2020, Omar’s DoorDash sales skyrocketed, totaling an average of $20,000 each week.
3. Improve your profit margin
Third-party delivery doesn't require significant overhead expenses, since you already have the staff and products needed to make it happen. Partnering with a third-party delivery service means you don't have to hire and train drivers, as DoorDash connects you with Dashers to facilitate deliveries. Increasing sales without increasing expenses helps to improve your profit margin, which is why 65% of restaurants — in addition to businesses like pet stores, liquor stores, and flower shops — say they were able to increase their profits during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to DoorDash. One business, The Flower Shop in Decatur, Georgia, has seen an overall 10% profit margin increase since partnering with DoorDash.
4. Increase brand awareness
When you partner with DoorDash, your business will be featured on our platform, which reaches 94% of the US population, 80% of the Australian population, and more than 75% of the Canadian population, and has a growing presence worldwide. As a DoorDash partner, your business also receives access to game-changing marketing tools that help boost your awareness and drive more traffic to your listings. This gives you instant brand exposure and jumpstarts your online presence, no matter where in the world you’re located.
5. Focus on the products, not the logistics
Our platform includes built-in ordering and payment technology and an easy online ordering experience, conveniently connecting you with Dashers to deliver orders. That means businesses can focus on what they do best — making high-quality offerings — while DoorDash's powerful logistics technology connects you to the drivers you need to build your off-premise operations.
6. Improve efficiency
Partnering with a third-party delivery service means streamlined order processes that foster optimal workflow in the kitchen. Instead of having staff inundated with phone calls and writing down orders, you can let customers instantly order through smart devices. The delivery app does everything from notify your business of orders to contact Dashers for pickup — controlling the process from end to end, integrating into existing workflows, and improving overall business efficiency.
How to become a DoorDash partner
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 become a DoorDash delivery partner and leverage a third-party partner to maximize off-premise revenue.
Step 1: Choose a partnership plan
Becoming a DoorDash partner takes just a few minutes. First, sign up for DoorDash by creating an account and telling us basic information about your business, including your address, business type, operating and delivery hours, and more.
Step 2: Choose order protocol
Once you fill in your basic information, 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 pick the method that works best for your business. You can integrate DoorDash with your point of sale system or aggregator, or opt to use a DoorDash tablet to manage orders.
Step 3: Share your menu and store hours
After confirming your contact information and setting a password for the DoorDash Merchant Portal, we’ll send you a link to your offerings menu so you can make changes. You can even schedule a free photoshoot to make your business stand out, or upload existing photos.
When uploading your menu to DoorDash, think about how to optimize your menu for delivery. Focus on higher-margin items, best-sellers, and items that travel well to ensure an efficient and profitable off-premise operation.
Step 4: Add a bank account and submit
Once you complete those steps and your account is activated, enroll in direct deposit so that you can see profits right away. Having your bank account information handy during the sign-up process will make this easier.
Finally, sign the contract, download a copy, and submit! You’re now a DoorDash partner. You'll be able to confirm details and go live with your listing whenever you want. Then, customers can browse your offerings, and you can watch your sales grow.
How to make the most of third-party delivery
Once your business 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, the Business Manager App, innovative marketing solutions, and world-class customer support.
1. Easily manage third-party delivery 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 that helps DoorDash partners 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.
2. Track your performance with DoorDash sales analytics
With the sales analytics data found in the Merchant Portal, you can track your 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 businesses identify trends and track their business performance in aggregate or across individual locations.
3. Manage your business with the DoorDash Business Manager App
Running a business is hard work, but the DoorDash Business Manager App makes it easier. It allows you to track orders in progress, resolve issues, access support, and monitor performance — right from your phone. If you need to update your hours at the last minute, manage storefronts across various locations, or pause orders during open store hours, the DoorDash Business Manager App is there with the tap of a finger.
4. Drive sales with DoorDash marketing tools
DoorDash partners can also leverage marketing promotions to increase visibility and reach new customers. With DoorDash marketing tools, your business can dive into sales data to understand which promotions drive the most ROI for your business, so you can make every dollar count.
Examples of marketing tools include promotions such as "First Order, $0 Delivery Fee” and "Order Again and Save” that will help you build and maintain a loyal customer base. DoorDash partner MISHKA Luxury Dog Treats uses DoorDash promotions to attract new customers, which has helped it grow 7X since the beginning of the pandemic. On average, businesses that use promotions see up to a 20% increase in DoorDash sales.
5. Get 24/7 customer support
If any issues arise, DoorDash partners can rely on our 24/7 support. You'll have access to a library of online resources in the Merchant Help center, and can always reach our support team by chat, email, or phone. Larger DoorDash partners also receive a dedicated account manager to provide customized advice and consultations on driving business growth.
6. Factor third-party delivery into your 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.
7. Keep the Dasher experience in mind
A strong relationship between businesses and Dashers is one of the biggest factors in contributing to a positive customer experience. If you’re committed to having a five-star delivery process, it’s important to set up a system that works well for businesses and Dashers alike. To make the Dasher experience as smooth as possible, set up designated pickup spots, set realistic prep times, have staff members double-check orders to avoid mistakes, and establish a system for Dasher identification. This ensures that customers receive their orders on time and free of errors, and it will also make your Dashers’ jobs far easier.
Get started with third-party delivery
For more information on industry trends and tips to grow your business, subscribe to the DoorDash for Merchants blog and learn how to build a successful food delivery business. Read the Product Guide for Merchants for more information about products and services DoorDash offers to help your business grow.
Ready to boost your revenue with third-party delivery? Become a DoorDash partner today.