DoorDash Debuts New Grocery & Alcohol Options
Cities turn to smart curbs, McDonald's coffee sales, FSTEC kiosks
It’s Monday, meaning it’s time for another week of delivery innovation. DoorDash is starting things on a strong note, as it teams up with a number of marquee brands from coast to coast. Plus we’ve got some fun insights into Mickey D’s coffee sales, and some interesting updates from both cities and tech vendors.
DoorDash Launches New Grocery & Alcohol Options
Cities Untangle Deliveries with Smart Curbs
Chart Time | McDonald’s Coffee in the Morning
Kiosks Steal the Show at FSTEC
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3PD | DoorDash Debuts Eight New Grocery Partners
DoorDash kicked off the week with a slew of new grocery partners, with the delivery giant on-boarding eight brands from coast-to-coast. The markets include: CUB, with 79 locations across Minnesota; EATALY, an Italian restaurant / marketplace “experience” in 7 high-end regions; El Super, a hispanic grocer with 65 locations in the Southwest; Fiesta Market, a 59-unit low-cost grocer in Texas; Lowe’s Market, with 140 stores across the mountain states; Pruett’s Foods, a 10-store Arkansas and Oklahoma grocer; Stater Bros, with nearly 170 stores across inland Southern California; and Strack & Van Til, which has 22 stores in the Midwest.
The Big Picture: The grocery wars are really heating up, with first Uber Eats and now DoorDash hammering away at Instacart’s dominance in the segment. With these new partners, DoorDash now offers grocery and convenience delivery to more than 99% of the country. The 3PD also beefed up its alcohol delivery offerings, thanks to an expanded partnership with ALDI’s 1,200 American locations. If DD can move any of these brands into its DoubleDash system, that’ll make its promise of one-stop ordering all the more appealing.
POLICY | Cities Turn to Smart Curbs to Manage Deliveries
More and more cities are turning to curb management to manage the ever-growing size of delivery fleets on city streets. Pittsburgh’s smart loading zones start with 15-minutes free, then charges in quarter-hour periods, and is now expanding from 20 to 200 locations. Santa Monica’s pilot prioritized the use of electric delivery vehicles, including by crafting policies that made it easier and safer for couriers to use ebikes; eventually this program encouraged the rise of the delivery bots that are now nearly ubiquitous in the city’s commercial neighborhoods.
The Big Picture: As these programs are often kickstarted by federal money, they’ve been rolling out across the county rather slowly; new funding means similar programs are now finally headed to the likes of Miami, Minneapolis, Portland and more. While restaurateurs and merchants often grumble at the implementations at first, they eventually find that lowered congestion, increased reliability and fewer parking tickets are worth the mild “downside” of having to pay for curb access.
CHART TIME | When Does Mickey D Serve His Coffee?
With McDonald’s tweaking its cafe menu in select locales, new data from Measurable.AI sheds some light onto Mickey D’s coffee sales. Unsurprisingly, the beverage sells best during morning hours, with a second jolt around lunchtime. Still, for businesses like McDonald’s that have been known to struggle with sales during the morning daypart, adding more caffeinated options to your menu can be a good way to bring in A.M. sales.
TECHNOLOGY | Food Tech & Kiosks Shine at FSTEC
The restaurant world convened in Dallas last week, as operators gabbed and demoed for the annual FSTEC food service technology event. Key takeaways include: IT demands have become so important that a CIO or CTO is now as important as any other C-suiter; investments in cyber security are worth the upfront expense (we’re sure MGM Resorts wishes it heeded that advice); brands are considering secure lockers and other ways to deter pickup / delivery theft; and too often, vendors think a segment-specific offering is one-size-fits-all.
The Big Picture: The biggest star of the show were kiosks and ordering tablets. While these machines have certainly been making slow in-roads for a while now, this year seems to be the moment when they’re finally breaking through in certain segments. After all, with customers attuned to ordering on their own hand-sized screens for delivery, how hard a leap is it to use one for in-house dining as well? Some operators are reporting that kiosks are improving sales by 4%, while brands like El Pollo Loco report that 80% of customers make use of the machines in properly equipped locations.
A Few Good Links
Chick-fil-A eyes return to U.K. New FreshTake grocery concept debuts in Georgia. DoorDash launches football season themed promo campaign. Grocery Shopii rolls out recipe media. Boxbot pivots from LMD trucks to robotic-warehouse storage solutions. Canuck Eats purchases Feastify to form Canadian small-town delivery contender.
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