As cities and states across the US mandate that restaurants cut the capacity of their dining rooms -- or close them all together -- restaurateurs will have to rely heavily on delivery in the weeks ahead. Many eateries are already having a difficult time dealing with reduced revenue due to people staying home out of coronavirus concerns and DoorDash is aiming to help independent restaurants stay afloat by removing or reducing commission fees through the end of April. As of today, restaurants new to DoorDash can sign up and pay zero commission fees for 30 days. Eligible restaurants already onboard will pay reduced fees on delivery orders and won't be charged for pickup orders, but it's unclear as to how long this will be the case. A DoorDash spokesperson said, "Due to the rapidly evolving situation, we will be evaluating conditions week over week, as opposed to assigning a fixed duration and will continue to connect with our merchant partners throughout the process."
DoorDash will also allow over 100,000 independent restaurants to join its subscription program for free, while existing partners will have their commission fees reduced. DashPass lets diners pay $10 a month to have delivery fees waived on orders over $15. In today's world, that could be a good deal, both for consumers and for restaurants.
Restaurants don't just pay hefty commission fees to companies like DoorDash and GrubHub -- the delivery businesses also charge them for advertising and marketing purposes. DoorDash pledged up to $20 million in marketing funds to help independent restaurants generate more business in the coming weeks, in addition to the waived commission fees.
As coronavirus concerns grow in the US, more people may opt to stay at home and more independent and small businesses may face major financial impacts. Hopefully initiatives from companies like DoorDash will help to soften the blow.