Initially, the company, which will have its German headquarters in Berlin (employees already work here), will start with around 30 couriers in Stuttgart. The aim, explains CEO Andy Fang, is to build a delivery business that is as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. Local restaurants as well as beverage delivery services, flower shops and the like should be able to expand their business through Doordash.
The aim of Doordash, founded in 2013 in Palo Alto, is, explains Andy Fang, to enable local retailers and restaurants to have another mainstay and to support the convenience of customers. Fang believes that smaller restaurants run the risk of falling behind if they don’t participate in the convenience economy. The pandemic has helped many smaller retailers understand that a delivery option is not just nice-to-have, but an important element in the company’s success.
It is remarkable that Doordash, who work exclusively with bicycle couriers, is just starting in Stuttgart. Because hardly any larger city in Germany is likely to be hilly, and hardly one more geared towards automobile traffic. Doordash, the company explains, decided to do this on the basis of market research and wants to gain experience on the German market first. They want to use Stuttgart as the first location to get to know the market better, to gather experience and then to decide in which cities and metropolitan areas one can continue to grow. But it is also likely that Doordash consciously chooses a location where Wolt and Flink are not present.
Doordash therefore leaves open which other cities will be launched in the foreseeable future – there have been rumors in the last few days of Hamburg, a location where Wolt is also present (Doordash is currently in the seven billion euro takeover process) . Andy Fang does not want to comment on how these plans fit in with the cooperation efforts with Flink and Wolt. These are ongoing negotiations. “Every customer who gets access to our services counts,” was the evasive answer.
So far, Doordash is available in more than 7,000 cities in the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan – Germany is now the first European market to follow. The aim is to offer customers: inside, as standard, CO2-neutral transport; in the past this was offered as an option in other markets.
The costs that a service provider pays for the referral to customers are at the usual level. We are talking about ten percent – the company is not very precise here – for the pure brokerage of goods, i.e. when the restaurant delivers them itself; up to 25 to 30 percent are due if the couriers from Doordash take care of this. First of all, the restaurant receives access to the platform, a storefront connection and free pictures.
When it comes to employing staff and couriers, the company wants to do a lot of things right, emphasizes Doordash. In addition to supplying bikes from the Australian provider Zoomo and the associated maintenance and support, if something gets stuck, there is weather-appropriate clothing and a free mobile phone contract. But the company doesn’t really say much about the conditions under which the couriers are employed. When asked, you won’t find out anything about the conditions, only that Jobandtalent as a service provider who initially employs 30 couriers, explains the company.
It is just as unclear whether they are permanently employed there, as at the competitor Lieferando, as is the question of whether they are paid by the order or by the hour, whether there is a bonus program like the gorillas, and whether they apart from this (converted if necessary) on the Minimum wage of 10.50 euros. What is clear, however, is that Doordash does not want to burn its fingers like Q-Commerce competitor Gorillas and that is probably why it does not initially run the courier business itself.
The company is also sustainable when it comes to packaging. Here there is a cooperation with the Berlin startup Choco, which has so far been particularly successful in the USA and is now helping Doordash to enter the German market. Choco brings gastronomy and suppliers together and specializes in “simplifying supply chains”, as founder Daniel Khachab describes it. Choco operates an app of the same name, which restaurateurs can use to order the groceries they need directly from the wholesaler. At Choco, communication between restaurateurs and wholesalers takes place in a kind of chat interface, through which restaurant operators can place their orders and dealers can send invoices.
Customers order on the Doordash platform and choose from the numerous restaurants and shops. It takes around half an hour for delivery. A local restaurateur sees the technology as a difference to other providers: Restaurants should have real-time control so that daily changes can be mapped to the cards and the availability. It remains to be seen whether this will be sufficient as a unique selling point for customers. It is clear that Doordash appeals to a slightly different retail and catering clientele than Lieferando / Just Eat Takeaway, for example.
Regional services such as Boxbotewhen Doordash enters the same regional markets. In any case, CEO Andy Fang is confident that there is a large market in Germany for deliveries and convenience services of this kind, especially because Doordash wants to cooperate with other partners in the future. “We are planning the international expansion as a project for the coming decade and beyond”, the CEO announced – and is confident that the Swabian metropolis will not remain the only city in Germany that is of interest to Doordash.
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