Beyond Delivery: Are You Missing Out on These DoorDash Features?

DoorDash is no longer just an online ordering and delivery platform. Like other major players in the third-party food delivery space, it now offers a whole suite of features to restaurant partners, designed to help it compete while also helping operators grow their business.

If you’re already a DoorDash partner, consider exploring the platform’s other offerings to get the most out of your relationship. We take a look at some of the primary add-ons below.

Employee benefits and staffing resources

The most universal benefit for operators is DoorDash’s Merchant Benefits program, giving all restaurant partners access to discounted healthcare and other staffing resources in an effort to help operators improve hiring and retention.

DoorDash has partnered with six different vendors as part of the program. This includes two health-related partnerships, one with telehealth company Sesame, offering plans to DoorDash clients starting at $5 a month, and another with Breathwrk, offering 85% off subscriptions to its app, which teaches breathing exercises for stress management.

DoorDash is also partnered with two educational and training companies. Restaurants can get 40% off EdApp, a mobile learning app that offers dozens of courses for food and hospitality workers, as well as 15% off StateFoodSafety, an online company that offers Food Handler and Alcohol Server certifications and other industry-related courses.

The final two vendor partners are staffing platforms, allowing restaurants to get a free month subscription to recruiting and hiring platform Landed and gain access to four free months with scheduling platform 7shifts.

“According to the National Restaurant Association’s State of the Industry Report, recruitment and retention is the top challenge for 50% of restaurateurs this year,” said DoorDash in response to its primary goals behind the benefits program. “That’s why the first cohort of businesses focus on categories that might help merchants in overcoming attracting, retaining, and developing employees. 

Virtual brand and brand licensing opportunities

One of the company’s newest offerings, DoorDash recently launched an opportunity for select restaurants to license already existing brands to host as virtual brands. 

​​What’s a virtual brand? Virtual brands are digital restaurants that exist on delivery platforms like DoorDash, Uber Eats, Caviar, and Grubhub. They can launch out of ghost kitchens or existing restaurant kitchens, but typically there’s no physical storefront.

DoorDash partners with established brick-and-mortar brands, like Milk Bar and Bird-N-Bun, and pairs restaurants with these brands based on their kitchen space and equipment. The idea is that restaurants will use their existing resources, including staff, to prepare another brand’s menu items, creating a low-cost way to adopt an additional revenue stream. This creates an opportunity for restaurants that might have slow periods to fill, but don’t want to spend time developing a virtual concept on their own.

Restaurants are set up with a separate, virtual-only menu on DoorDash from which customers can order. DoorDash handles the staff training required for restaurants to learn the licensed brands, as well as marketing.

DoorDash declined to comment exactly how the payment structure works, but it’s based on a profit-sharing model where DoorDash takes a percentage of the earnings. To learn more and apply, click here.

Cash advances

Need funding for a new refrigerator? If you’ve got a sustained sales history with DoorDash, you might be eligible for a cash advance through DoorDash’s partnership with business financing provider Parafin. Eligible restaurants typically receive $5,000 to $15,000 in capital, which is generally used to support business needs like purchasing equipment, marketing costs, rent, hiring, and payroll.

The cash advance includes a one-time fee that you’d pay over time through your DoorDash sales. (A percentage of daily sales is automatically sent to Parafin to use towards the repayment.) The total fee is calculated based on a restaurant’s qualifications and the amount of money a restaurant chooses to accept. Typically, cash advances are paid back in six to nine months. However, restaurants are able to customize how quickly they pack back the advance, choosing a lower rate to maintain flexibility or a higher rate to pay back the financing faster. Unlike with a loan, there’s no interest, and there also aren’t any late fees.

To check your eligibility for a cash advance, log into your Merchant Portal and navigate to the “financials page”. If eligible, a pre-approved offer amount will already be there.

Alcohol delivery (select states)

It’s well-known that offering alcohol can increase check totals. When it comes to delivery, DoorDash is helping make that option a little easier for restaurants that already have alcohol permits. Check if your restaurant resides in one of the eligible states here.

DoorDash estimates that adding alcohol may increase restaurants’ average customer order values by up to 30%,” said DoorDash in a press release.

In partnering with DoorDash, the platform takes on a variety of the necessary compliance measures, like requiring customer IDs in the DoorDash app upon ordering and scanning IDs again upon delivery. Delivery drivers also check for signs of intoxication

 If your restaurant resides within an eligible location, you can simply log into your account to add-on alcohol delivery.

 Grace Dickinson is a reporter at Back of House. Send tips or inquiries to

[Photo by RODNAE Productions]