Prahar Shah is one of three leaders of restaurant delivery startups to hit this year’s Power List, and a quick look at the numbers and partners associated with his company, DoorDash Inc., explains why.
In the past year, DoorDash has signed deals with KFC, Taco Bell, Dunkin’ Donuts and 7-Eleven. Not only that, but it also received a $40 million investment in its most recent round of funding in 2015.
So much growth underscores that DoorDash and its competitors are getting very big very quickly. And the restaurant industry is keeping a watchful eye on their progress.
Shah, head of business development at DoorDash, pointed out the benefits of the company’s streamlined model where hundreds of “dashers” sign into a mobile app and make deliveries in their local neighborhoods.
“We’ve built software and tools to make that entire marketplace more efficient and more effective,” Shah told Street Fight magazine, an online publication that covers local marketing. “It allows us to achieve … being able to deliver almost anything in an hour or less, and do it with a much more capital-efficient model.”
That may allow for quick deliveries, but it doesn’t mean DoorDash or its competitors always ask for permission. In November, In-N-Out Burger hit DoorDash with a lawsuit, alleging the service used an imitation In-N-Out logo and made unauthorized deliveries of the chain’s food in California. The case highlights how nuanced the cost-benefit analysis of third-party delivery can be for restaurants, which are caught between satisfying guests’ demands for delivery and protecting brand standards.
Meanwhile, Shah and the DoorDash team keep moving forward, not only signing up new brands, but also innovating new ways for them to merchandise their products. One such offering is the “date night” pack at 7-Eleven, available only through DoorDash, featuring ice cream, chocolate, gum and condoms.