DoorDash Launches Into Grocery Delivery. Here’s How the Service Works

A door dash employee walks up the stairs from the subway.
Photo courtesy of DoorDash

DoorDash, the largest food-delivery app in the U.S., is expanding its service to include on-demand grocery items at select grocery chains across California and the Midwest. The new service means faster deliveries for customers and more gigs for workers.

The company announced the new service in a blog post on Thursday, Aug. 20. The service went into immediate effect, making more than 10,000 grocery items available for delivery through the app. The services are available to an estimated 75 million people, according to the announcement.

DoorDash has been experimenting with adding convenience-store items from 7-Eleven, CVS and Walgreens. The new grocery-delivery initiative is a separate endeavor that puts the company in direct competition with Instacart and Shipt, the two biggest grocery-delivery apps.

How DoorDash Grocery Delivery Works

For now, the new grocery-delivery services are available in a handful of major cities — and through select grocers that have partnered with DoorDash.

Where it’s available:

  • In California: the Bay Area, the Central Coast, Orange County, Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Diego.
  • Chicago.
  • Cincinnati.
  • Detroit.
  • Indianapolis.
  • Milwaukee.

Partner grocery stores in those areas:

  • Fresh Thyme.
  • Meijer.
  • Smart & Final.

In the coming weeks, DoorDash will be adding Hy-Vee, Gristedes and D’agostino. Additional grocers and cities to come.

For Customers

Shipt and Instacart have long provided similar services. With DoorDash, the idea is to offer speedier on-demand delivery by partnering more closely with the grocery stores.

The announcement said delivery services through their grocery partners could take less than one hour. Other grocery-delivery apps frequently rely on one person to drive to the grocery store, shop for you and deliver the order. That model can result in lengthy wait times.

DoorDash is able to deliver so quickly because it has been developing and deploying a logistics and delivery-tracking software called DoorDash Drive to a variety of businesses for the past few years. DoorDash is using this technology with its new grocery partners to streamline the delivery process.

Adding to that, a spokesperson told The Penny Hoarder that DoorDash is partnering with recruitment agency Adecco to hire in-store shoppers at the participating grocery stores. Instead of having one person shop for and deliver your order, the DoorDash process is supposed to work like this: As soon as you submit your order in the DoorDash app, an in-store shopper is notified and starts wrangling your groceries. By the time your delivery driver arrives at the store, your order is ready to go, ideally.

“We know that grocery shopping can feel like a chore, which is why grocery stores on DoorDash will be available on an on-demand basis — that means no scheduling required, no queues, no waiting,” the announcement said.

Customers also order ready-to-eat meals at the following grocery stores: Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Gelson’s, Kowalski’s, Big Y World Class Markets, Food City, Village Supermarkets, Save Mart, Lucky, Lucky California, Coborn’s, and others.

For DashPass members, who pay a monthly fee of $9.99 for waived delivery fees and other perks, grocery delivery services are included.

For Workers

DoorDash’s grocery-delivery services offer some new money-making opportunities.

If you’re a current Dasher in one of the participating cities, you can start accepting grocery-delivery orders immediately through the driver app. The process works the same as a typical food-delivery order. You show up to the store. Collect the order. Deliver it to the customer. No shopping is necessary because of the partnership with Adecco. An in-store shopper will handle that for you.

A DoorDash spokesperson noted that the grocery-delivery orders are a way to fill in the lulls between lunch and dinner rushes. Grocery orders typically cost more than meal orders, too. And that could translate into better tips.

The partnership with Adecco also provides new part- and full-time jobs. These in-store shoppers use DoorDash technology to receive orders, but they’re technically hired by Adecco.

Pro Tip

Adecco is already hiring part- and full-time in-store shoppers as a part of the DoorDash partnership. You can earn between $14 and $17 an hour.

According to in-store shopper job listings, you must be at least 21 years old to qualify. You’ll also need a high school diploma or GED, an availability to work between 20 and 40 hours each week, an ability to carry about 50 pounds, basic technological skills and experience working in retail, restaurants or warehouses.

Dashers are considered independent contractors and aren’t eligible for benefits. But a DoorDash spokesperson said that in-store shoppers receive benefits through Adecco.

Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He covers the gig economy, entrepreneurship and unique ways to make money. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.