About Westside Pizza
Westside Pizza has 36 locations in five states, primarily in the Pacific Northwest. Their tagline is "It's All About the Pizza!" — and they mean what they say.
"We don't cut corners on the recipes or the portions," says Director of Development Jeff Roberts. "It's definitely the quality that sets us apart. We make our dough fresh every day. We grate the cheese in-house every day. We make our sauce from scratch, chop all the veggies, and use high-quality meats."
When he joined the Westside Pizza franchise in early 2021, Jeff was eager to bring on DoorDash as a partner, having seen tremendous success with the platform the year before at his family restaurant in Washington state. They had partnered with DoorDash along with other third-party apps during the COVID-19 shutdown. "Within six months, DoorDash was outdoing the others five-to-one," he says. "We had great success with it."
But at Westside Pizza, Chief Operating Officer Aaron Olson was initially reluctant to relinquish quality control for the pizzeria deliveries — and it took time to convince him. Pizza restaurant managers know that if you can deliver a piping hot, delicious pizza to your customer's door by the time they're ready to sit down and eat, you'll have a loyal customer for life. But deliver a lukewarm pie in over an hour? You'll lose that customer forever.
"We typically aim for delivery in 20 to 25 minutes from the time a customer calls in," says Jeff. Westside Pizza was used to keeping its own drivers — to ensure that the pizzas were delivered promptly in the highest-quality warming bags. And with about 95% of their orders coming through DoorDash being delivered, it was important to get it right.
My advice to restaurateurs is to do your research and see what's the best fit for your area. For us — in a smaller town that doesn't have many DoorDash drivers — people still have the app everywhere. So Self-Delivery helps us reach new customers.
The franchise ownership group decided to test out DoorDash Self-Delivery, a service that allows customers to order and pay on the DoorDash App, while orders are fulfilled and delivered by in-house drivers within a select area. "No more than 8 to 10 minutes each way," says Jeff. "Get to the store, 10 minutes in the car, 10 minutes back max."
After initial success piloting the program in their Boise, Idaho and Yakima, Washington locations Westside Pizza extended DoorDash to additional locations, with positive results. "Self-Delivery ensured we could control both the quality of the product and the timely delivery," says Jeff.
He has nothing but positive feedback on the entire platform, including promotions using DoorDash marketing — which he has experimented with on occasion to boost sales with limited-time discounts and offers. He's also a big fan of DoorDash's suggestive selling — like recommending customer favorites, such as their cheese sticks and cinnamon sticks — as well as popular pizzas like Death by Pizza.
Since introducing Self-Delivery to a number of additional Westside Pizza locations, they have seen an 8-10% increase in orders on average month over month. "We're happy with the rates and the service we're getting, so it's a mutually beneficial relationship."
Jeff also appreciates the fact that DoorDash customers were willing to spend a little more— an increase in average order value of 29%. As he explains, "DoorDash helped us get in front of a new customer base — people who may be passing through town or aren't getting our advertisements. It exposed us to a new population that was hungry and ready to eat and used to ordering off their phone."
One of Westside Pizza's locations netted $22,000 last month in DoorDash Self-Delivery orders alone and saw a 50% sales increase after being awarded Most Loved on DoorDash.
Jeff is so confident in DoorDash’s contributions to Westside Pizza’s bottom line that he worked with a DoorDash account manager to get 21 franchisees set up on the platform. "They were very helpful and whatever kinks we had in the first few weeks, we worked out," says Jeff. "We created all their menus, but it's up to each independent location to activate and sign the contract with DoorDash and order the iPad. We have them all queued and ready!"