Mar 28, 2019 Community

Introducing Kitchens Without Borders: Supporting Immigrant and Refugee Business Owners

By Tony Xu, CEO and Co-founder

I’m proud to announce the launch of a new program at DoorDash: Kitchens Without Borders.

Kitchens Without Borders spotlights the human stories of immigrant and refugee business owners we partner with at DoorDash. To kick off this initiative, we’ve created a dedicated channel, kitchenswithoutborders.com, featuring a group of San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneurs and their restaurants: Besharam, Z Zoul Cafe, Onigilly, Los Cilantros, Sabores Del Sur, West Park Farm & Sea, Little Green Cyclo, Afghan Village, D’Maize, and Sweet Lime Thai Cuisine.

DoorDash’s mission has always been to connect people with possibility by creating valuable opportunities for entrepreneurs to reach new audiences. For immigrant communities facing heightened barriers to success, that goal has become even more important – and for me, it’s at the heart of the company’s story.

For one, I’m an immigrant. I moved to this country from China when I was five, and my mom ran a Chinese restaurant with the purpose of creating a better life and fulfilling her dream of becoming a doctor. I worked alongside her as a dishwasher and saw firsthand what it takes to make it in this country. Over the course of 12 years, she eventually saved up enough money to become the doctor that she wanted to be and opened up a medical clinic, which she has now been running for the past 20 years.

DoorDash was founded for people like my mom – people who came here with a dream to make it on their own, whatever that dream is. We serve over 310,000 merchants on the platform today, many of whom are immigrants – in fact, a third of business owners in the restaurant industry are immigrants. Still, the hurdles for these entrepreneurs is disproportionately high: In addition to reduced access to capital, they also face high failure rates common in the restaurant industry.

We understand the unique, inherent challenges for entrepreneurs starting their own food businesses. As part of DoorDash’s mission of Delivering Good, we’re committed to empowering any local business to thrive and scale through delivery. Kitchens Without Borders continues this mission, giving people like my mom more opportunities for growth while supporting more diverse, inclusive communities.

When you start understanding the stories of these makers and builders in our cities, you start feeling more and more belonging to the place that you live in. At the end of the day, fostering those connections and inspiring people to support local business owners of all backgrounds is our American dream – and what DoorDash will always stand for.