If people were interested in having their food delivered to their homes, the only way they would be able to do so is having to go through a process that included calling the restaurant, ordering through the phone, waiting for their delivery to arrive at their home, meeting the deliverer at the front door, and enjoying their meal. Although this is still a process people may go through to get their food delivered, the advancement of technology and cultural shifts have changed the game for food delivery services. The more recent and beneficial way people have been getting their food delivered is through food delivery service apps on one’s smart phone. Over the past few years, the growth of smart phones and online delivery services in general have skyrocketed, however the COVID-19 pandemic increased the usage of those applications by miles. Food delivery apps have been created to help simplify one’s order process, where ordering can occur right at your fingertips. Restaurants now depend on these delivery service apps to gain and generate profit for their businesses. With multiple food delivery service apps, a very popular one is called DoorDash.
Established in 2013, DoorDash is one of many food delivery services that has shifted the culture of delivering food. Four Stanford graduates realized at the time that restaurants were struggling individually with delivering their food to their customers. With this realization four guys brainstormed and created a website called PaloAltoDelivery.com that allowed people who place a food order for delivery (Viktor).
If you type in “PaloAltoDelivery.com” in your search bar, it automatically takes you to DoorDash’s current website online!
DoorDash operates in more than 7,000 cities across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Japan. In 2016, DoorDash won TalkDesk’s 2016 Customer Award: Most Customer-Centric Culture Award. They were awarded for the way they interact with their customers and the positive experiences customers have had with the company (Marketwired).
In the first image here, we see the first website introduced to the public for PaloAltoDelivery. After the four graduates watching their website be interacted with, where a couple hundred of orders were placed, their company and website were shortly rebranded to DoorDash, where you can see that in the second picture. With DoorDash’s popularity increasing and the usage of smart phones being the hottest topic of society, DoorDash also decided to create a free application that you can download on your phone as shown.
DoorDash and The Circuit of Culture
The Circuit of Culture is a tool used to analyze the culture of something. The Circuit includes five aspects: production, representation, consumption, regulation, and identity. These five elements do have their own significance, but the reason it is called a circuit is because they all work with and for one another, connecting in different ways to create that specific culture (Arvind). After analyzing the company, this circuit can be applied to DoorDash.
Production of DoorDash: You may be wondering: How does DoorDash exactly work? As stated before, four graduates from Stanford created the company, where it makes its profit by partnering with local restaurants delivering those meals to customers within a certain distance of said restaurant. In order for food to be delivered, deliverers are necessary. DoorDash’s workers are called Dashers. DoorDash partners with both local and chain restaurants that make the food, where the Dashers pick up and deliver the made food. With this, it is important to learn that Dashers are not employees of the company. Dashers get paid when they decide to physically go out and deliver food. They work for and underneath the company, but they are gaining their own profit by doing the legitimate delivering itself, not DoorDash giving them a paycheck every so often. Point is, DoorDash would not be its business without its partnerships with restaurants and its Dashers. So, although the company itself stands tall, those workers on the inside of the company, including the owners, have a very important role in making sure their relationships with their partners and Dashers are strong, positive ones, because the brand would not be itself without those important jobs (Viktor).
Representation of DoorDash: DoorDash is advertised by using the partnerships it has. Here are two examples of how DoorDash is being advertised. When the Little Caesars pizza chain announced a deal with DoorDash, this automatically becomes an announcement that helps both businesses. As other chained restaurants started moving away from the traditional way of delivery and started using third-party delivery services, the pizza chains knew it was time for them to make a shift from their own, independent delivery services, in order to not get left behind with the cultural shift occurring. This partnership will help Little Caesars improve their own company in the pizza chain industry, as well as DoorDash now being an accessible option for this chain. Now, when people notice that DoorDash is an option, they might first use it, but then secondly, now become a customer and start using it for other restaurants that are also partnered with them (Khan). DoorDash Chipotle Image Another example is when DoorDash and Chipotle celebrated their one-year anniversary of their partnership. In honor of the time spent together, both companies shared offers with their customers. Through DoorDash, if you were a registered customer, one had the ability to receive free chips and guacamole using a promo code if a certain amount of money was spent on other food. The other deal was free delivery if an order was placed through DoorDash or Chipotle’s phone app. With this partnership, both companies were included in the advertising leading up to this special and fun event. Furthermore, both companies did earn great profit and attention, but Chipotle had a ball with this decision. Chipotle’s digital sales became the fastest-growing part of their business. We see here that DoorDash is benefiting themselves, as well as the restaurants partnered with them (PR Newswire).
DoorDash As shown above through images, we see how DoorDash has grown from being an online website to a mobile app. DoorDash has not only brought a different way of delivering food into the game, but the brand itself adapted to culture change in media and technology as well. The company went from a website to now being both a website and phone application. In this image here, you see the current DoorDash website. What has shifted from the previous websites, where the images of the designs were presented above, is what the website consists of. Below this image on the website’s main page includes the local favorites after you enter your zip code. It will show you the name of the restaurant, an image of the food, the delivery fee, and the time it takes for the food to be prepared. The website also shows and leads you to how you can become a Dasher, a partner with the company, and tells you to download the app on your phone for a better experience. These upgrades have updated the website, making it a more beneficial experience for the customer when going online. These attributes allow the customers to connect with the company, as well as using all it has to offer. DoorDash Image Some visual examples of how DoorDash is advertised is like most other advertisments, where boards or posters are propped up somewhere with a large crowd to see, while other advertisments could be online and through social media. A way DoorDash advertises that ahs caught my attention before is when a sticker is posted somewhere near the door handle or hours of operation sign at a restaurant, as this image shows.
Consumption of DoorDash: Due to a cultural change of people’s lifestyles and busy schedules, how we go through our everyday lives and the tools we use to manage our life, restaurants not having a delivery option can lead to a huge downfall for their business. Not having a prioritized option for many people’s lifestyles will lead to falling behind with everything else being up to date and moving forward. Doordash and other food delivery services play such an important role is today’s climate, while also not forgetting about the global pandemic that struck us all and created a huge anxiety for those who still wanted to consume their favorite restaurants’ meals. The technology platform of delivering food through your fingertips makes the process easier for one to order food through delivery. For the restaurant themselves, the technology platform takes logistical burdens off a company’s plate and provides useful consumer data for the restaurant itself. This app also allows restaurants to analyze any trends or patterns occurring. This service not only helps the customer with their delivery process, but helps restaurants keep their businesses and helps them analyze and create ways to continue their success, or even improve on certain aspects. In general, when you open the phone app, you either look up the certain restaurant you have in mind, or you enter your zip code to see what is around you. Obviously, people use the app in different ways by eating different styles of food at different times, but those choices do depend on your location, so having the option to look up food the way that pleases you the most is a huge positive for customers. 60% of Millennials, those aged 25-40, would like restaurants to have the option to use technology to order food, due to them believing it is more convenient (McCarthy). Another aspect to using DoorDash more recently is that the company created an update in 2016 that allowed DoorDash and iPhone users to order food through an existing iMessage group chat. This helps make group orders for friends or co-workers a lot easier than before. Connecting the app through iMessage changes the way customers will use DoorDash, where the company is coming up with positive idea that make the process simple for the customers (Tumbokon).
Regulation of DoorDash: If there are any rules that need to be followed with DoorDash, they would be ones that are connected to the hiring process, since the company depends on their Dashers to make the company do what is it supposed to do. One fey factor is that a Dasher must be 18 years of age and have a clean record. In order for DoorDash to hire their Dashers, the company will complete a detailed background check on those who apply. This means that there will be a review of any criminal or personal records that relate to the name of the person applying. One’s motor vehicle records will also be checked, especially since most Dasher’s form of transportation is through a car, as well as a motorcycle being an option. A background check can take from 3-10 days, which is a good sign that DoorDash takes this hiring process seriously.
Identity of DoorDash: What I love about DoorDash is that it holds its own ground as having one job and one job only: delivering food. When I think about one of DoorDash’s competitors, UberEats, their company is a transportation company as well. Although it may be great for one brand to have different roles, I enjoy DoorDash being its own, individual, and only focused on one thing self. The people that think DoorDash is important are ones that enjoy food being brought to them. Carryout is always an option for those who like to get out of the house and drive in a car for a small change of scenery, but those who enjoy staying put where they are, or ones who are too busy or unable to go out, most definitely depend on a company like DoorDash. DoorDash Covid Image DoorDash has been a company for a few years now, but the brand’s identity has grown and expanded with the pandemic. In order to continue to satisfy customer needs during a difficult time in all our lives, as well as keeping your company successful and moving, DoorDash took COVID-19 very seriously by taking major precautions that will help keep everyone safe and healthy, both Dashers and customers. Some rules that were implied included all Dashers had to wear masks, the company shipped more than 1,000,000 sets of hand sanitizer and gloves to Dashers to keep them protected, and a new option for delivery. This option is called No-Contact Deliveries, where the app now has a “leave it at my door” option, where Dashers will now just leave your delivery where a customer has asked. Having this option and improving the communication between Dasher and customer through the app is a strong, positive move that DoorDash took in order to help their company be remembered and used by customers.
For as much change and uncertainty the past few years have experienced, whether it be changes in culture, usage of products, or a dramatic change in our lives, there is always going to be something new for everything. Even though DoorDash isn’t even 10 years old quite yet, it has been a part of significant change for our society. This company does not seem to be going anywhere, and different generations see this company doing different things for their own sake. DoorDash allows those who enjoy getting food delivered to have a comfortable, safe, and secure experience when trying to retrieve some delicious food. So, if you are ever in trouble and need to find some food nearby, you know what to do!
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