Getting your restaurant or food business registered with DoorDash provides incredible exposure to over 20 million potential new customers. Offering delivery convenience in today’s world is no longer just a nice addon —it’s practically an expectation.
This step-by-step guide will teach you how to get set on the DoorDash merchant platform and start capitalizing on this revenue channel:
Things to Consider Before Registering with Doordash
Before diving into the registration process, be sure to understand DoorDash’s fee structure and terms first so you know exactly what to expect.
DoorDash Fee Breakdown
DoorDash charges the following commissions:
- Delivery Fee – Ranges from 15-30% per order
- Service Fee – 10% of the subtotal
- Dasher Payment – The delivery driver gets 100% of the tip plus base pay per order
You must factor these fees in when pricing menu items for profitability. Don’t make the mistake of registering and then realizing margins are unworkable due to high commissions.
Account Termination Policy
Understand that DoorDash can terminate your account at any time if you violate their merchant terms. This includes fraudulent activity, unacceptable service reports from customers or extremely high refund/cancellation incidents.
Once confident commissions make sense and you won’t risk account termination through poor service, proceed to signup.
Gather Key Business Information You’ll want to have vital business info handy before starting the application. This includes:
- Legal entity name and DBAs
- Physical address
- Phone number, email
- Website URL
- Proof of business/permits
- Hours open for delivery
- Takeout/dine-in also?
- Delivery radius limitations
- Catering options?
Menus & Media
- Detailed menus with prices
- Good quality food photos
- Storefront photos
Having all this vital data makes completing the signup process much quicker.
Sign Up for a Merchant Profile When ready, head to DoorDash Drive’s merchant registration page and choose your business type. Enter all the key details like name, category, location info, hours and delivery radius preferences.
You’ll need to be extremely thorough when listing out menu items, modifiers, descriptions and accurate pricing. This step is crucial, any errors get forwarded to the customer.
You must configure state/local tax rates that get tacked onto customer orders accurately. Check regulations in your jurisdiction so you don’t mess up compliance.
Upon completion, DoorDash will verify details through various databases and run security checks.
Get Approval Notification After 2-4 weeks you should receive either an approval notification or requests for additional information if something didn’t check out.
Provided everything is validated, your merchant centre and storefront listings will go live. Congrats, you can now start accepting orders!
Account Setup Process Before Register your Business with Doordash
Download Drive App
The DoorDash Drive app allows you to configure key details for daily operations. Settings include:
- Hours of availability
- Contact names for order issues
- Ineligible delivery zones
- Regular/catering menu setups
Integrations & Hardware
You can integrate your POS system with Drive more seamlessly to receive orders. Many platforms like Toast, Square and Clover offer add-ons for syncing.
If taking phone orders, set up a tablet POS station dedicated to DoorDash. Confirm your wifi can support the extra traffic.
Print orders remotely or use thermal printers synced to the Drive dashboard. This avoids handwritten errors.
Get staff familiar with the Drive platform right away. Create accounts for key personnel so the entire team can help manage incoming orders based on permissions.
Promote New Delivery Offering
Update your website, social media pages, delivery apps and anywhere else you market the restaurant to showcase DoorDash availability with appropriate links and details.
Having the DoorDash information everywhere establishes consistency so customers know you officially deliver through them.
Offer 10-20% off first orders for new DoorDash customers for the first 2 weeks. This incentivizes app users in your area to check your listing and provide a rating. Good initial reviews boost credibility.
You can mitigate the revenue loss from discounts by setting appropriate menu prices factoring in commissions. Just don’t make this an endless promotion.
Use provided DoorDash supplies like stickers, signs and table tents so dine-in patrons also get a reminder about ordering delivery.
Train staff to notify customers as well — the simplest efforts go a long way towards revenue growth.
Analyze Key Metrics
Leverage available analytics through your DoorDash merchant tools showing essential metrics:
- Number of orders by day/time
- Average delivery time
- Most popular menu items
- New vs returning customers
DoorDash compiles delivery feedback and service complaints. Stay on top of reviews and quickly address systemic issues.
Trends & Optimization
Use insights to make data-driven decisions on pricing adjustments, adding menu items, expanding delivery radius and properly staffing for peak order periods.
Registering provides the platform you must closely analyze to maximize benefits.
The Pros and Cons of Using DoorDash for Delivery
There are some definite advantages and drawbacks owners must weigh.
Pros of Using DoorDash
Reach The sheer size of DoorDash’s user base represents an incredible marketing opportunity. Getting placement on their app exposes your restaurant to thousands of hungry people who otherwise may never wander in. Without spending a dime on advertising, signing up immediately grows your potential customer pool.
Coordinating an in-house fleet of drivers for delivery gets extremely expensive quickly. DoorDash handles all that driver staffing and routing logistics for you. They also provide metrics on popular delivery zones, letting you better understand geographic demand.
DoorDash provides options for promoted placement when customers search for nearby options enabling greater discoverability. You can also run app-based promotions to loyalty members or during custom date ranges when order volume slows.
Cons of Partnering with DoorDash
Commission Fees That expanded reach comes at a cost. DoorDash tacks on anywhere from 15-30% fees per order plus additional service fees. When setting menu prices, you must account for this revenue share to maintain profit margins.
You have very little oversight on the contracted Dashers fulfilling orders out on the roads. Yes, there are driver ratings, but slip-ups happen. Packaging glitches, combo mixups and cold food complaints could all negatively impact your brand.
Account Suspension Risks
If service issues occur, DoorDash penalizes the restaurant, not just the driver. Too many refunds, extreme delays or other problems can result in your account getting deactivated without notice. You must maintain near-perfect operations and feedback.
Dilution Reviews on DoorDash are separate from your independent restaurant website and social pages. Customers may leave negative comments about delivery mishaps that won’t show up on your owned properties. Yet their perception of your brand diminishes all the same from bad experiences through the app.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
Expanding reach through DoorDash does not come without its downsides. Before moving forward, carefully evaluate your pricing plan factoring in commissions. Solidify packaging strategies and menu details in coordination with DoorDash recommendations to limit errors. Closely track service metrics and solicit customer feedback to head off problems before account-threatening issues arise.
Used strategically, DoorDash can take your restaurant’s success to new heights. However, entering this partnership blindly without considering pitfalls poses a tremendous risk.
Getting up and running on DoorDash does require an upfront time investment inputting all your vital business information into their merchant platform.