Merchants are looking for ways around the issues created by the Covid-19 pandemic, and this has been especially true for restaurants. That’s creating a wide range of opportunities for merchant-service firms. On Wednesday, Square Inc. said it has added DoorDash to Square Online as a delivery option for eateries and other sellers.
The move comes six months after Square rolled out its on-demand delivery service through Square Online. Postmates is also participating, and Square says its looking for more delivery services. Citing a “challenging new business environment” brought on by infection fears, local lockdown orders, and social distancing, David Rusenko, head of e-commerce at Square, said in a statement the company is looking to “provid[e] restaurants access to the tools they need to thrive.”
With DoorDash, one of the nation’s largest delivery apps with nationwide reach, the new option relies on a so-called white-label fulfillment platform the company offers called DoorDash Drive. The platform allows clients to tap into the DoorDash logistics technology and access its fleet of delivery drivers.
In the Square Online deployment, eateries can offer the delivery option via an ordering page on their own Web site. Customers can track their order on maps indicating where the delivery driver is at any moment. For the DoorDash service, Square collects a $1.50 fee per order from the restaurant, which also pays a “flat DoorDash delivery fee,” according to Square’s announcement.
The costs may be acceptable for at least some restaurateurs struggling with Covid-induced restrictions. “With the threat of additional shelter-in-place orders looming, it’s more important than ever to be flexible and maintain our focus on pickup and delivery to continue serving our customers,” said Chris Pastena, proprietor of the Chop Bar, an Oakland, Calif.-based restaurant that has been using on-demand delivery through Square Online, according to Square’s announcement, which quoted Pastena.
Square’s move to add delivery options in the face of Covid-19 follows the company’s introduction in September of QR codes as part of Square Online for ordering meals at the table to avoid extra interactions with wait staff. In October, Square launched an application programming interface for its Square Terminal point-of-sale device to ease acceptance of contactless technology, including mobile wallets such Apple Pay or Google Pay.