By Abhay Sukumaran, Product Manager
From the very start, DoorDash was founded with the goal of being the local logistics layer for every city. To get there, we began by building a consumer-facing marketplace focused on possibly the most complicated item to deliver correctly: food. Over the past three years we’ve been learning from millions of deliveries, training our data models, and building the technology to get food delivery right. While we continue to double down on restaurant delivery by signing new partners and expanding to new markets, we’ve also been building the tools necessary to support additional types of deliveries through DoorDash and to bring us one step closer toward our ultimate goal of delivering anything from anywhere.
Today, we are launching DoorDash Drive, our fulfillment product that allows businesses to deliver orders that originated outside the DoorDash marketplace. DoorDash Drive is the first step to opening up the DoorDash platform to everyone, so if you’re a merchant and want to make day-to-day delivery operations easier than ever, check out Drive at doordash.com/drive/discover or learn more in our “Getting Started” blog post.
The challenge of offering any business a Dasher on-demand is huge and incredibly complex. Traditional delivery and logistics companies have it comparatively easy with a finite number of vehicles, a specific number of warehouses, and a known quantity of deliveries on any day. In contrast, deliveries through DoorDash are dynamic, with a constantly fluctuating number of Dashers, customers, orders, pickup locations, and delivery destinations. Our challenge was to take this intricate, ever-changing system and put it into order.
To do so, we reworked our technology so that DoorDash Drive would offer the best possible experience for customers, merchants and Dashers. We built different types of predictors to account for the greater difficulty of Drive orders; we built technology to identify Dashers that are equipped to handle larger orders; we introduced more intelligent routing; we added real-time monitoring for merchants; and we used our machine learning to improve the entire network after every delivery.
We’ve been testing Drive for the past few months, and the response from restaurant partners so far has been incredible. While restaurants like Buca di Beppo and Lemonade are using DoorDash Drive for catering, other businesses have begun using it for more complicated deliveries. For example, Coolhaus uses Drive to restock their ice cream in retail locations, and Greenleaf Chopshop uses Drive to deliver their salads and smoothies to Equinox gyms across LA. We’ve even seen interest in using Drive to deliver things beyond food including mattresses, Christmas trees, and much, much more.
As we look to the future, we know that Drive is just the first step in our mission to allow any local merchant to offer delivery. After testing the service in a few markets this Fall, DoorDash Drive is now available across our more than 250 cities, and in the coming months we’ll be integrating Drive into our merchant apps as well as building out an API for anyone who wants to access an on-demand delivery network and integrate it into their customer ordering, supply chain management, or other in-house systems.
While building the local logistics layer for cities has always been our goal, that plan has also been based on a deeper mission: to help local merchants grow their businesses. Now, you don’t need dozens of trucks driving around the state to stock retailers nor do you need a storefront on every corner to reach customers. Instead, we can simply provide you a Dasher when and where you need one. And by giving the power of an entire delivery fleet to small businesses for the first time, we are empowering every store and restaurant to take advantage of their entire city and connect with more customers through delivery. Check out doordash.com/drive/discover to learn more and look out for additional Drive updates, apps, and APIs in the coming months.