DoorDash, a well-known restaurant delivery service, has recently introduced a significant enhancement to its payment options, incorporating cash payments. This move, however, is specifically tailored for its DoorDash Drive platform, a white-label delivery solution that enables restaurant owners to manage deliveries through their own websites or apps while utilizing DoorDash’s extensive courier network.
During the pilot phase, the cash payment feature saw substantial adoption, particularly among Chinese restaurants and pizza shops. Notably, about 20% of pizza orders in the U.S. through DoorDash Drive were paid in cash, indicating a strong preference for this payment method in certain sectors.
The introduction of cash payments addresses two main customer groups. First, it caters to those who are hesitant to share their credit card details online. Secondly, it’s a boon for the underbanked population that lacks access to digital payment methods. Despite the surge in digital transactions, a significant portion of the population continues to rely on cash. This trend is not unique to DoorDash, as other major companies like PayPal, Walmart, and Amazon have also explored similar initiatives to accommodate cash transactions for online purchases.
Cash payments also present advantages for DoorDash drivers, known as Dashers. They benefit from immediate access to tips in cash, eliminating the wait for bank transfers. Moreover, DoorDash assures that drivers keep the entire amount of cash tips, avoiding any split with the restaurant or the delivery company. This policy might encourage more customers to tip in cash, knowing that their drivers receive the full amount, a concern with some online ordering systems.
Drivers have the option to opt into the Cash on Delivery service, with the flexibility to opt out at any time without affecting their ratings. Before its nationwide launch, a significant portion of Dashers in the U.S. had already chosen to accept cash orders, underlining its popularity.
Yet, despite the growing interest in cash payments, DoorDash has decided not to integrate this feature into its main app. The company notes that users of the DoorDash app typically expect to pay with a credit card.
The cash payment option, while convenient, may incur an additional per-order cost for DoorDash Drive services. This is in contrast to the usual flat delivery fee structure without commissions.
In response to feedback from restaurant partners, especially from the pizza industry, DoorDash is also enhancing its operational aspects. The focus is on improving delivery times, accuracy, and communication tools between operators and drivers. An interesting initiative is the increased use of pizza-specific hot bags to maintain the quality of deliveries, although currently, only a portion of deliveries utilize these specialized bags.
These improvements come alongside a range of new features for DoorDash customers and drivers in its main apps, like safety enhancements, return package options, bundled orders, and a broadened partnership with Starbucks. These efforts reflect DoorDash’s commitment to enhancing the delivery experience for both its customers and drivers.
In a separate but related development, DoorDash is also strengthening its focus on pizza deliveries. This move comes at a time when major pizza chains are experiencing fluctuating demand patterns, partly due to economic factors like inflation. DoorDash’s emphasis on quality and operational efficiency, including the use of hot bags for pizza orders and improved communication tools, positions it as a formidable competitor in the delivery market, particularly against established pizza brands that rely exclusively on their own delivery infrastructure.