Restaurants Fatten Up With Food Delivery Apps

By Tracey Lien
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The advent of apps such as DoorDash, UberEats, Caviar, GrubHub and Yelp’s Eat24, where users can browse a menu, place an order and have it delivered without communicating directly with a restaurant, has quickly given anyone with a smartphone (and the funds to cover the delivery surcharge) on-demand access to a wide swath of dining options.

SAN FRANCISCO

A year ago Mendocino Farms didn’t offer delivery at any of its 15 Southern California locations. Now Ellen Chen, co-founder of the artisanal sandwich chain, is knocking down restaurant walls to make room for delivery drivers.

“It’s kind of crazy,” Chen said.

Since partnering with the San Francisco food delivery startup DoorDash 11 months ago, Mendocino Farms has seen such an enormous surge in sales that at times the restaurant has had to turn off the DoorDash app to keep up with delivery orders.

Chen estimates that three of Mendocino’s restaurants alone have turned away at least $500,000 in DoorDash orders since last April because they couldn’t keep up with the demand.

Not wanting to leave any more money on the table, Chen and her business partner and husband, Mario Del Pero, have been quick to act. They’ve allocated more counter space at their existing restaurants for DoorDash pickups; they’re negotiating with landlords for more 10-minute parking spots to accommodate delivery drivers; and they’re knocking through a wall at one location to create a pickup window just for DoorDash orders.

“We’ve had to go back to every store and reorganize them,” Del Pero said. “You can’t make them any bigger, but you can allocate more space to it.”

The advent of apps such as DoorDash, UberEats, Caviar, GrubHub and Yelp’s Eat24, where users can browse a menu, place an order and have it delivered without communicating directly with a restaurant, has quickly given anyone with a smartphone (and the funds to cover the delivery surcharge) on-demand access to a wider swath of dining options.

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