DoorDash, a food delivery startup originally founded in Silicon Valley in 2013 by four Stanford graduates, officially launched in D.C. Monday. The startup offers delivery services and integrated software solutions to restaurants who do not presently offer home delivery options. The District will follow Boston as DoorDash’s second launch city on the East Coast. DoorDash can be accessed via its iOS mobile application and on the web through its desktop version. Local restaurants like Ben’s Chili Bowl and Bethesda Bagels who were previously never an option for customers looking at delivery now can be, and DoorDash expects it to be a massive hit.
Currently, DoorDash employs a fleet of 50 verified and vetted drivers, but it hopes to increase that number to 100 within one month and roughly 500-1000 drivers by year’s end, DoorDash General Manager Michael Chen told DC Inno. With 100 current restaurant partnerships on deck for its launch, the DoorDash GM also said that an estimated 1000 locations will be using DoorDash before the start of 2016. Its delivery services are available from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. The plan is to expand late night hours nationally as DoorDash’s D.C. operations become cemented.
“Washington DC is a city where everyone is always busy. Our best customers are those that value their time. Compared to other tier one cities, DC residents have the least access to convenient services and we think it’s time for a change. Couple that with the recent restaurant revival and it’s very obvious why DoorDash chose to launch in DC,” Chen said.
First-time DoorDash users will be offered a one-time free delivery option for signing up, after which a $7 flat rate fee — regardless of weight or quantity — becomes the standard cost, said Chen. The food startup tips its hat on the quality and effectiveness of its drivers — who are vetted and interviewed in house — and also their proprietary software algorithms, which integrate order receipts directly into a restaurant’s kitchen. In addition, DoorDash’s system is able to specify the best driver for the specific job based on location of order, vehicle in use and driver route timing.
DoorDash plans to have a local presence in the D.C. market by establishing a city office that is solely focused on its District-based operations as soon as possible, Chen said. For the moment, DoorDash will only be available in NW but it hopes to expand coverage throughout the District and northern Virginia in the coming months. Included in the list of their initial 100 restaurants, local favorites Booeymonger, Simply Banh Mi, The Cheesecake Factory, Ben’s Chili Bowl and Bethesda Bagels, are now all official DoorDash partners.