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Why Oren's Hummus Partners Exclusively with DoorDash for Delivery

Find out how this Bay Area-based Mediterranean restaurant grew their delivery business after partnering exclusively with DoorDash.

6/6/2024
Mx - Oren's Hummus - food flat lay

Disclaimer: This merchant was compensated for their participation in this testimonial. 

When tech entrepreneur Oren Dobronsky moved from Israel to California's Bay Area, he deeply missed the cuisine from back home. In 2011, he and his restaurateur wife Nancy opened Oren's Hummus in Palo Alto, CA to serve fresh, authentic Mediterranean food. Oren's Hummus quickly became a staple among locals, tech workers, and students at nearby Stanford University. 

Dobronsky hired Mistie Boulton, president and founder of EyeSpy Critiquing & Consulting, to provide mystery shopping and restaurant consulting services. "Three months into the relationship he said, 'I need you to build me a hummus empire,'" Boulton recalled. From there, Oren brought on Boulton as a co-owner and CEO of Oren's Hummus. 

Today, Oren's Hummus has six locations across the Bay Area, a packaged food line, partnerships with multiple virtual kitchens, and a 8,000-square-foot commissary kitchen and catering facility. "I'm working on that empire," joked Boulton.  

Mistie Boulton

"If a customer is craving our food, then we've done something well."

Mistie Boulton, CEO & Co-Owner, Oren's Hummus
Mx Oren's Hummus chicken rice bowl

An early adopter of third-party delivery

Just down the road in Palo Alto, Tony Xu and his co-founding team launched their startup DoorDash in 2013 and set up a meeting with Oren's Hummus. "Tony Xu was coming right out of Stanford University and presented this new idea for food delivery," Boulton recalled. "He was so passionate and energetic; I could feel that it would be a great relationship." 

DoorDash offered a solution to a challenge that Oren's Hummus was facing. At that time, already 35% of Oren's Hummus' revenue came from takeout orders. But their 49-seat location was often crowded with takeout customers waiting in long lines to pick up their food. 

"It was an amazing concept and I was immediately bought in," she said. "If I can have a partner to help grow my takeout business and be able to bring orders to customers, that's also going to help optimize our in-store operations.'" 

Soon after their conversation, Oren's Hummus became one of DoorDash's first restaurant partners. 

Mistie Boulton

"For us, it's really important for customers to not only love the food but also have an amazing experience with our service and seamless systems." 

Mistie Boulton, CEO & Co-Owner, Oren's Hummus

The decision to go exclusive with DoorDash

As third-party delivery became more popular, Oren's Hummus partnered with multiple platforms. But in 2023, when the opportunity to go exclusive with DoorDash came up, Boulton decided to go for it. 

"Out of all the other third party platforms — and we've used them all — DoorDash has really been a partner," Boulton said. "They're not the type of company that's just a vendor to us. They're 100% engaged, coming to us with ideas and asking 'How can we help?' or 'Where do you need more support?'"

While she believed in the partnership, Boulton was apprehensive that going exclusive would result in losing some delivery business. To help with the transition, the DoorDash team provided flyers to place in takeout bags to notify customers, and partnered with Boulton to launch a Promotion to encourage customers to switch to DoorDash, and a Sponsored Listing to help Oren's Hummus gain more visibility in the DoorDash app. 

Mistie Boulton

"We did not lose any of our volume for delivery at all when we went exclusive with DoorDash. If anything, we ended up gaining about seven percent more than what we were doing with all delivery platforms combined."

Mistie Boulton, CEO & Co-Owner, Oren's Hummus

The transition plan was a success. "They help to ensure that going exclusive will not only be great for DoorDash and for our commission rate, but we actually didn't lose any volume," Boulton said.

During October 2023, when Oren's Hummus became an exclusive DoorDash partner, their Sponsored Listing campaigns generated 1,701 total orders, more than $73,500 in sales, and 460 new customers — all with an average return on ad spend (ROAS) of 8.6X. 

In conjunction with the Sponsored Listings, Oren's Hummus also ran a Discount for All Customers Promotion to help boost order sizes by offering customers a discount when they hit a minimum spend. In October 2023, this campaign bo average order value of $49.24, 115 new customers, and a ROAS of 7X. 

Today, DoorDash accounts for an average of 42-48% of Oren's Hummus' overall sales, depending on the store. At their counter-service location Oren's Express, DoorDash makes up 85% of sales. 

"I know it sounds silly, but DoorDash does feel like family," explained Boulton. "We're always in communication. If we have a question or want to throw out an idea to our account manager, it's like she's part of our team. So it's absolutely a partnership because they're helping us on many different levels." 

7%

more sales generated exclusively with DoorDash than when using all third-party delivery platforms combined

up to 48%

of Oren's Hummus' overall sales come from DoorDash

8.6X

average return on ad spend (ROAS) of Sponsored Listing campaigns in October 2023

Optimizing their DoorDash business for order accuracy 

As a restaurant consultant, Boulton understands the importance of a high-functioning kitchen. "A really big piece of being able to do 48% takeout volume is creating systems, streamlining our operations, and optimizing our kitchens to support that," she said. Here are a few optimization tips that Oren's Hummus implemented: 

1. Review order performance metrics

Boulton meets with her account manager regularly to review data on metrics like inaccurate orders or missing items. "On other third-party platforms I've used, you can log in and see data, but sometimes I don't have the time to even realize that it's available," she noted. "What I love about DoorDash is they will actually bring the data to you."

Mistie Boulton

"DoorDash is not just going to say, 'Let's turn you on and go.' They approach it like 'How can we be successful together?' and I think that's really a key element to why they're such a strong partner."

Mistie Boulton, CEO & Co-Owner, Oren's Hummus

2. Offer staff training and adjust DoorDash settings to reduce errors 

Boulton has been impressed with the suggestions that DoorDash provides to optimize their delivery business and improve accuracy. For example, if the DoorDash team flags that there are more errors at a specific Oren's Hummus location during a certain time, Boulton can then adjust staff schedules to add another person to that shift, or offer more training on takeout order hand-off processes for that location. 

"We're really big on communication, training, and continuous learning so if we know that one of our locations has more errors, it gives us that opening to say, 'What's going on? How can we help support you?'" said Boulton. 

Other suggestions she's received from DoorDash to minimize errors include adjusting prep times or instating caps on the size or number of orders during peak times — so they avoid getting a $500 order with no notice during the lunch rush. "They help come up with ideas on how you can be more successful so you don't have errors, and we've improved that a lot over the past year," Boulton said. 

3. Add high-quality menu photos

Another way to maximize sales on DoorDash is by adding high-quality photos for all delivery menu items. DoorDash partners receive a free photoshoot as part of the onboarding process. 

"DoorDash will bring in a photographer to take photos that you can use not only on your DoorDash page but on your own website, online ordering system, or POS system," Boulton said. "It helps us be seamless across all platforms."  

Mx Oren's Hummus - restaurant interior

Expanding the Oren's Hummus empire

The future of Oren's Hummus is all about expansion. They work with DoorDash to help determine where to open a new location. "DoorDash can tell us if they have a strong customer base and revenue in a particular area," said Boulton. "Since takeout is approximately half of our revenue, that's important information for us to know and helps us look at where we want to grow." 

Oren's Hummus' massive commissary kitchen is also a strategic part of their future growth. With vacuum sealing systems, they've been able to give their products a long shelf life without adding any preservatives, which opens up new opportunities for their packaged food line and expansion plans. "We want to make sure that our menu items are consistent and fresh everywhere, just like if you bought it from us in Palo Alto," explained Boulton. 

They're also putting other systems in place to expand into other states, either through new locations, franchising, co-packing, or by partnering with virtual kitchens

For Boulton, quality is always paramount, no matter how big the Oren's Hummus empire becomes. "We want to ensure that the craving for our hummus stays in play," said Boulton. "And the best way to do that is ensuring that our product comes out perfect, wherever it may be."

Autor(a)

Sara DeForest
Sara DeForest

Redactora creativa

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