DoorDash is scaling up its on-demand distribution activities with the introduction of supermarket distribution, starting with select retail chains across California and areas of the Midwest. The step follows DoorDash ‘s earlier this year’s drive-through grocery stores and its newly unveiled virtual DashMart shop for the selling of snacks and other food products and over-the-counter goods.
For now, DoorDash just deals for Smart & Final, Meijer, New Thyme and Hy-Vee, and Smart & Final representing just California clients in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento, and San Diego.
Access to Meier and Fresh Thyme will be available to customers in Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee, with support for Hy-Vee stores coming later.
DoorDash also wants customers to think of these orders as takeout rather than standard Amazon Fresh and Instacart-style delivery which typically occurs in scheduled time windows. (Amazon, Instacart, Aim, and others experimented with quicker, the same-day and even one-hour shipping, but it is limited and restricted to the area you are in and the store you are shopping at.)
DoorDash can do this with its partner stores through a distinct model its set up. As most Instacart shoppers do, contract drivers for the company will not be physically conducting the shopping for individual orders. Instead, the corporation works with a third-party company that will hire part-time and full-time employees to work at the store, pick items for orders, and prepare them for pickup. DoorDash can thus promise short delivery windows comparable to ordering a restaurant take-out if you have a small enough grocery order.
DoorDash is also enrolling food delivery into the DashPass membership program to help get the new service off the ground, ensuring anyone who pays the $9.99 monthly charge will get free delivery. “And if you’re shopping for your family for a week or just need a few items to plan your next dinner, we’re here to gratify all of your food buying needs easily and affordably in conjunction with our groceries,” explains the blog post.
DoorDash is now the leading meal delivery company in the U.S., beating GrubHub and UberEats primarily due to its wide presence around the country and the number of restaurants and other stores it added to the market.