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As of 2021, over 390,000 restaurants and retailers use DoorDash. The app empowers customers to order food and get it delivered straight to their doors—even if the merchant doesn't have any delivery drivers on staff.
That same year, DoorDash brought in a total of $4.88 billion in revenue.
DoorDash is a multifaceted platform, and it's hard to overstate the value that it offers restaurants, small businesses and merchants. But, since its inception, merchants have been frustrated with some of the limitations and fees the platform imposed.
In response, the platform launched DoorDash Storefront.
Storefront, by DoorDash, offers new services, at new price tiers, for restaurants and retailers.
Unlike its primary service, the online ordering software is commission free and it charges retailers a flat rate of $0.30 per online order, plus 2.9% for credit card processing.
But what is Storefront by DoorDash? What value do its services provide merchants? And is it the right option for your business?
Read on to discover exactly how DoorDash Storefront works, and how your brand could take full advantage of it.
Ever since the platform first launched in 2013, DoorDash has changed its offerings and pricing model every few years.
In 2020, the platform started charging restaurant partners a 6% commission for pickup orders, which was a helpful reduction. But, it also set commission rates as high as 30% per delivery order for DoorDash Premier.
While DoorDash Premier does offer unique benefits—like a larger service area and lower customer fees than the platform's other options—Doordash merchants were often frustrated by the variability of their expenses.
So, the platform launched DoorDash Store front in 2020. The Storefront is a part of the Main Street Strong Accelerator program that provides restaurant grants and education to local restaurants and local businesses hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Doordash is a food delivery service that has been rapidly growing in popularity. One of the features that sets them apart from their competitors is their Storefront feature, which allows restaurants to set up an online ordering system through Doordash.
It empowers restaurant owners to create a branded website affiliated with DoorDash. Then, with the tools, merchants can enable customers to place orders for pickup or delivery directly from their site.
The tech platform adds value in a few key ways.
First, it reduces the upfront costs associated with local delivery services. This makes it easier to maintain a local delivery service on slim margins. And, the flat-rate pricing makes expenses associated with delivery easier to budget for.
Second, it facilitates growth. Online, Storefront facilitates easy process orders improves a merchant's website's rank in local search results on Google. This is due, in part, to the value Storefront adds to a merchant's potential customers.
Businesses can also grow with some of the tools it provides. This includes resources to automate marketing and customer service via:
Finally, Storefront by DoorDash can increase a merchant's brand awareness among a local population.
The options to brand your site, rather than conform to DoorDash's branding, make it easier for your customers to associate your brand with their order. It also lets you cultivate your customers' qualitative experience of your shop.
DoorDash Storefront integrates with restaurants' existing point-of-sale systems. It's also connected to Google. This lets customers order from a merchant's Google Business profile without leaving the search results page.
Here's how to take advantage of these benefits.
This connection with Google is one of the highest-value features of the online ordering system. It expands a merchant's visibility by improving its rank in Google's search engine. Consider this DoorDash Storefront example:
When locals search for "Mexican food near me," your Mexican restaurant's Google Business profile is more likely to be one of the top results. Google prioritizes retailers that let customers order instantly.
If you live in Northeast Ohio, this search may show you La Terraza. La Terraza is a popular Mexican restaurant on the DoorDash app.
Now, searching brings up the restaurant's Google Business page, with an icon that directs you to its website: laterrazabargrill.com.
The website is completely La Terraza's. The branding, photography, and copy reflect the true experience customers have in the restaurant.
When users reach the site, two action options are prominently displayed. The two buttons say, "Table Reservation" and "See MENU and Order." Click on the latter button, and you can easily order food and get it delivered to you.
DoorDash's branding isn't anywhere on the site. Yet, the entire order-for-delivery process is facilitated by DoorDash Storefront.
Most DoorDash services have variable costs, depending on how much a customer orders. This variation can be challenging to navigate and budget for.
In contrast, merchants pay a flat, per-order rate to use Storefront.
Merchants pay $0.30 per order, plus 2.9% for credit card processing, no matter what the order costs. If a merchant wants to offer on-demand delivery to their customers, they can easily add the service.
Through Storefront, on-demand delivery costs merchants roughly $7.00-$11 per order. The flat rate saves merchants the headache of trying to predict their expenses when they pay a percentage to DoorDash.
It's much easier to account for a flat per-order fee. Merchants don't have to run as many calculations to effectively build the cost of those fees into their pricing.
Many merchants find growth is easy with DoorDash Storefront. In fact, the average merchant sees a 26% growth in sales revenue after implementing it.
One restaurant that saw incredible growth was Honey's Kettle. Honey's Kettle is a fried chicken brand with two restaurants: one in Los Angeles, and another in Culver City.
The unique food stop has been improving on a family recipe that's been handed down through generations in Vincent Williams' family.
Williams co-owns Honey Kettle with his son, Trent. Together, they make chicken, hotcakes, kettle fries, biscuits, and pies. Honey's Kettle has become a beloved, family-friendly restaurant since its first location opened in 2000.
Unfortunately, in March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Honey's Kettle saw its revenue slashed by 50% almost instantly. So, Trent Williams tried DoorDash Storefront.
Before Storefront, customers would call in orders for pickup by phone.
But, the restaurants had no efficient system to track the orders the customers called in. The staff just used a slapdash system of taking phone orders and writing notes by hand. This was chaotic and led to mistakes.
It was also challenging to effectively divide time between in-store customers and customers calling in.
With Storefront, pickup orders became a lot more manageable. By using Storefront's order management system, Honey's Kettle staff could streamline production.
As a result, not only did Honey's Kettle make up for the lost sales, their total sales increased by 20%.
After the first seven months the restaurants used Storefront, revenue increased by 62.5%.
All this growth stemmed solely from Honey Kettle's increased efficiency in fulfilling online pickup orders—something made easy with DoorDash Storefront. Logistics alone adds incredible value for a merchant.
The Doordash order manager also improves growth by giving restaurants promotional tools.
Merchants have access to a marketing calendar and toolkit courtesy of DoorDash. The toolkit is full of resources to launch promotional campaigns online, including:
The promotional event toolkit isn't the only resource DoorDash offers merchants to help you succeed. Business plans, onboarding guides, and strategies to implement on-demand delivery successfully are all available.
DoorDash Storefront further streamlines growth with its delivery logistics, automation, and integrated options. These options enable merchants to hit the ground running, rather than build the services they need from the ground up.
These services take the operations DoorDash has spent the last few decades perfecting and brings them together in a package that's easy for merchants to use.
All options begin with DoorDash's unique "BFF" API. From there, DoorDash enables a range of integrations that improve order management and workflow, as well as automated services that save merchants' time.
You can either have your orders fulfilled by Dashers, or you can use your own drivers with DoorDash Self-Delivery.
The crux of DoorDash Storefront is its patented Backend-for-Frontend (BFF) API.
An API is an "application programming interface." In essence, a platform's API is the code it uses (typically a set of functions and procedures) that empowers other software applications to access its data safely and effectively.
With this access, the platform can "team-up" with a diverse suite of applications. This lets those apps use the platform's data to perform tasks for the user.
DoorDash developed the BFF API to optimize the way information flows. This makes receiving and facilitating orders both more efficient and more secure.
The BFF API makes good use of targeted endpoint requests. This reduces latency (slowness) and prevents errors that can occur with other methods.
BFF saves bandwidth, enabling merchants to handle a high volume of orders with ease through the platform.
Delivery services are the heart of DoorDash. For most people, DoorDash is, first and foremost, a delivery app.
Storefront lets merchants take full advantage of its delivery services for a reasonable, predictable fee. Through Storefront, DoorDash charges merchants a flat rate of $7-$11 per order for on-demand delivery.
Merchants can also accept orders from customers who subscribe to DashPass, enticing customers with low delivery fees without having to eat the large fee typically imposed by an expensive order.
DoorDash Storefront enabled integration with Order With Google in February 2022.
By integrating with Order With Google, DoorDash Storefront gives merchants another avenue to accept customer orders without paying a commission fees.
Google first launched its food-ordering capacity on 2019, which let users order food through Google Maps and Google Voice Search, as well as regular "near me" searches.
Today, over 51% of internet users utilize Google voice search to order food locally. This is the majority of locals online. If your restaurant skips integrating with Order With Google, there are plenty of customers you'll miss.
While DoorDash Storefront isn't the only service that lets you integrate with Google's service, it streamlines and automates much of the process.
DoorDash Storefront is designed to work with the POS system you're already using. It's compatible with 51 different systems and gateways.
Storefront's BFF API makes it easy to send and receive payment data securely. Some of the point-of-sale systems and payment gateways you can use with Storefront include:
Creating a website can be time-consuming. Fortunately, the DoorDash feature lets restaurants automate independent website creation with templates, guides, and tools that automate menu generation.
Explore the widgets available that make your website fast.
DoorDash Storefront enables easy data analytics with the Business Manager app. The Business Manager app incorporates tools that let you better understand different facets of your sales performance.
The Merchant Portal lets you compare different items' popularity, learn more about your business' ratings, and make smart business decisions based on up-to-the-minute revenue and payout information.
The Business Manager app also lets you track orders live, to see how your customer's order gets to their doorstep in real-time.
It's smart to start small, then level up with DoorDash Storefront. Take full advantage of the data available to you. And, remember, you can alter or cancel your membership at any time.
Food blogs like Grub Street report on food delivery platform opportunities. While reviews across the board are mixed, Storefront seems to offer a better deal than most. The most notable pros of joining DoorDash Storefront are:
Storefront delivery may not be the best option for merchants who largely sell low-priced menu items. For these merchants, a percentage commission system may work better than a flat rate. Other cons include:
When you consider other options, read comparison guides. This guide explores the difference between DoorDash and GrubHub, for example.
There are a few best practices to keep in mind when you use DoorDash Storefront as a merchant. These include:
When merchants put their restaurant on the DoorDash marketplace, they get the benefits that come from DoorDash's logistics services. But, they do not get to create their own website.
Moreover, the fee structure differs for Storefront merchants and typical marketplace merchants.
DoorDash Storefront is an incredible resource for restaurants and retailers.
It gives merchants like you the resources you need to grow and thrive online. The website builder service makes it easy to create a memorable online experience for your customers.
And, between the marketing resources, built-in logistics, and integrations, it's easier than ever to grow your business with pickup and delivery services.
If you want to elevate your customers' experience when ordering from you online, sign up for DoorDash Storefront today.