DoorDash announced a new feature today that’s meant to speed up the process for pickup orders and make it more appropriate for these socially distanced times. One catch: the new feature needs your location data in order to do that.
Customers can opt in and share their location data with the DoorDash app, so that as they approach the restaurant, that restaurant can receive an alert and have their order ready to go. The idea is to cut down on the amount of people crowding into a restaurant lobby as they wait for their takeout orders to be ready. In theory, at least, a restaurant could have a designated area of the lobby for pickup orders and place the food there when the app notifies them of a customer’s arrival.
Of course in order for that to work, people have to be okay with DoorDash having access to their location data while the app is running. I doubt this will be an issue for most customers, given the times. Recent survey data sent to The Spoon by Dragontail found that 73 percent of consumers getting takeout/delivery said they would be “more inclined to order for carry out over delivery if given the option for a contactless experience.”
The new feature is also a way for DoorDash to originate more takeout orders through its own platform. Third-party delivery has taken much heat (understatement) lately over the amount they charge restaurants in commission fees for delivery orders. More than ever, customers are encouraged to order takeout directly from the restaurant itself so that the revenue from each transaction goes directly to businesses, which need all the help they can get right now. The idea of ordering takeout direct from local restaurants has even been translated into a weekly event on social media.
DoorDash is clearly trying to grab back some of the orders from takeout, and it wouldn’t be alone. At the end of last week, Postmates launched a curbside pickup feature. Grubhub has had a feature for pickup orders in place for some time, too.
Nor is sharing one’s location to make food pickup more efficient just the territory of third-party delivery services. My colleague Chris Albrecht highlighted its benefits in the grocery sector this week when he wrote about his experience with Walmart’s geofencing technology that enables contactless curbside pickup. Geofencing, and location data in general, will “take on more importance as restaurants and grocers look to efficiently maximize their revenues while reducing human-to-human contact.”
Back in the restaurant world, DoorDash still leads in terms of market share for third-party delivery companies, according to the latest numbers from Edison Trends. That number one spot could be upset, though, if the rumored Grubhub-Uber Eats deal goes through. Edison Trends noted that the combined Grubhub-Uber Eats entity would gobble up 45 percent of the market share — the exact same percentage DoorDash currently holds. The latter’s push to win more takeout orders is no doubt also a move to retain some of that market share in the face of the impending deal.