Little Caesars — a chain best known for its pickup-only model for pizza — announced today a partnership with DoorDash to deliver from Little Caesars stores in the U.S. and Canada directly to customers’ doorsteps.
Here’s the catch: Little Caesars will not actually be listed on DoorDash’s website. Instead, the chain is adopting a hybrid delivery strategy where orders originate via the Little Caesars website and app. DoorDash will only be involved for the last mile, using its drivers to transport the food from restaurant to customer.
The deal is just the latest of many hybrid delivery strategies restaurant chains are employing of late when it comes to using third-party delivery services. Panera operates an inverse version of the Little Caesars deal, where orders originate on the DoorDash, Grubhub, or Uber Eats platforms and are then delivered by Panera’s own drivers. Outback Steakhouse, meanwhile, struck a deal with DoorDash in September of 2019 to “complement” its existing in-house delivery program and receive incoming orders from both its own app and that of DoorDash.
By some accounts, 70 percent of restaurant delivery orders will come from third-party platforms like DoorDash by 2022. At the same time, however, restaurants large and small are looking for ways to offset the hefty commission fees and loss of control over branding that come with letting third-party services handle the entire delivery stack. So whether it’s handling the technical logistics, the last mile, or some combination of those, it makes sense more restaurant chains are experimenting with ways they can customize the third-party delivery model to meet their specific needs.
The deal with DoorDash will cover about 90 percent of Little Caesars’ locations in the U.S. and Canada. The chain’s full menu will be available, and there will be no minimum amount required for delivery.
Last year, Little Caesars unveiled its self-service Pizza Portal to speed up in-store pickup orders. With the addition of delivery, the chain is clearly taking consumer demand for off-premises options seriously.