DoorDash exceeded analyst estimates with its 2020 fourth-quarter revenues. However, the third-party delivery service also more than doubled its losses during that time period, and DoorDash stock took a dip this afternoon, after trading. Total revenue for the quarter represented a 226 percent year-over-year growth.
The company went public in December 2020 after experiencing a boom fueled largely by the COVID-19 pandemic and the restaurant industry’s shift to off-premises formats like delivery. In its first financial report since that time, DoorDash said its sales increased 225 percent from 2019 during the fourth quarter 2020. Sales for Q4 totaled $970 million, beating analyst expectations of $926.7 million. However, the company also posted a net loss of $312 million, up from $134 million the previous year.
DoorDash told shareholders it expects “declines in consumer engagement and average order values” as markets open back up and restaurants are able to open their dining rooms once more. How sharp that decline is remains unclear, the company said.
The pandemic forced pretty much every restaurant that managed to stay open to adjust their focus towards delivery and takeout orders. Needless to say, this created a lot of business for companies like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub as homebound customers ordered in.
Off-premises orders are likely to remain popular for the foreseeable future. At the same time, third-party delivery services remain steeped in controversies (hello, Prop. 22) and many restaurants are fed up with them. There has of late been a push to bring more of the digital ordering process back under restaurants’ own roofs, promote pickup orders, and, in some cases, build native delivery platforms that cut out the need for a third-party aggregator like DoorDash.
That might be one reason DoorDash has in the last year expanded its services to include grocery and convenience store delivery. By diversifying the types of goods it can get to customers’ doorsteps, the company may have a better chance of staying relevant long term, regardless of what happens in the restaurant biz.