Earlier today, DoorDash announced they had acquired Bbot, a maker of order & pay software solutions. We sat down with DoorDash’s chief revenue officer Tom Pickett to hear about the thinking behind the deal. Answers have been edited slightly for clarity.
What motivated you to do this acquisition?
We’ve been watching this space over the course of the last year, and we’ve seen it evolve from this contactless solution to something that we feel is going to be a core part of what restaurants use going forward. In a similar way, online ordering wasn’t that big of a thing before COVID, but as COVID happened and digital commerce started to become a more important thing for the restaurant, we accelerated efforts and built our Storefront product and that’s now part of the arsenal for any restaurant. And so we think the same thing is starting to happen with digital ordering. I’d say we’re still in the early side of that, but we see the same trends, and we want to get ahead of it and make that easy for restaurants to be able to adopt.
Do you plan to sunset the Bbot name and replace that with DoorDash eventually?
We haven’t made final decisions on that yet, so for now, it’s still Bbot.
Anyone who’s gone into a restaurant with any degree of frequency over the past six months has had the option to pay at the table. That just seems like it’s the frequency that is just going up and up and it makes it much more convenient for the customer. I think the waiter is probably pretty happy with that as well.
From the waitstaff perspective, Bbot has told us that there’s more leverage in the model. So waiters can handle more tables and, in the end, that translates to more tips. So the waitstaff generally is happy with this type of solution. The restaurant management staff is generally happy because they can handle more demand.
And what we’ve also found is that customers tend to order more when they have access to a digital solution. That could be just because of the latency of having to wait for a waiter, and if the customer wants to order that extra drink, they can just go ahead and pull it up on their phone and order that. But the ticket size tends to go up with a digital solution.
What will (Bbot CEO) Steve Simoni’s role be post-acquisition?
Steve will be joining our product organization and he will be leading our digital in-store solutions that we continue to build. The first step is we want to integrate the Bbot solution into our broader technology stack. He’ll be driving that. And this will become part of our broader suite; if you think about Storefront, plus digital online, plus a digital in-store ordering solution, we want to make that integrated and easy to onboard and sell into our broader base of restaurants.
You are responsible from a sales perspective for both Bbot and Chowbotics (the bowl food robotics startup DoorDash acquired last year). While these are obviously very different products, they are both a part of an effort by DoorDash to diversify its product offering. Do you see any similarities between these two businesses?
On one hand, they both have to do with efficiency. The digital in-store solution is an efficiency lever, but it’s also a great customer experience addition as well. So it’s really the combination. Restaurants are learning how to operate more efficiently and the Bbot solution definitely helps in that regard. Chowbotics, on the one hand, can be an efficiency lever, if you think about Chowbotics as a back of store model, but the other side of robotics is a front of store model where we put that out to expand the footprint so it’s really more of a sales growth model.
Do you think we’re going to start seeing more of these types of acquisitions, not necessarily from DoorDash, but across the landscape?
I think we already are seeing some of that. Just look across some of the recent announcements, I think we’re early in the ecosystem. A lot of technology players out there, so I think there’s going to be a natural evolution, one way or the other through acquisitions, some of those technologies are just not going to make it over time.
Thank you for your time.