Restaurant Roundup: DoubleDashed, Double Vaxxed And Double Shacked


After launching several major partnerships and initiatives to expand its delivery service well beyond the restaurant meals that initially established the business, DoorDash is now making moves to drive consumers toward its other offerings. On Thursday (Aug. 5), the company announced in a blog post the launch of DoubleDash, a feature that allows customers to add items from a selection of merchants to their restaurant order for no additional cost.

“We began to meaningfully lay the groundwork last year to move beyond restaurant delivery into new categories including convenience, grocery, retail, pets, and more,” a company spokesperson said in a statement emailed to PYMNTS. “DoubleDash takes this one step further and allows consumers to shop across multiple stores and categories all in a single order, for the first time.”

Read more: Food Delivery Services Aim To Expand To ‘Everyday Goods’

For now, customers can add items from a handful of select stores, the majority of which are convenience stores: 7-Eleven, Walgreens, Wawa, QuickChek, The Ice Cream Shop and DoorDash’s DashMart digital convenience store.

By allowing customers to order from multiple vendors at once without additional fees or order minimums, DoorDash is moving food delivery closer to the way that other kinds of eCommerce marketplaces work, making the ordering process look more like placing, say, an Amazon order.

With this feature, the delivery service is growing its ability to meet more of consumers’ disparate needs at once, which could potentially escalate the existing trend of aggregator users becoming more loyal to the marketplace itself than to the vendor from which they are ordering.

Yelp Adds Vaccine Transparency Features, Diners Resist Measures

On Thursday (Aug 5), Yelp announced in a blog post that it is adding two attributes that businesses can add to their pages: “Proof of vaccination required” and “All staff fully vaccinated.” The company is also adding “protective measures” to keep businesses that add these attributes from receiving slews of reviews that attack these safety protocols.

As VP of User Operations Noorie Malik said in the post, “With the uncertainty surrounding the spread of the COVID Delta variant, we’re seeing an increasing number of businesses implement new safety measures to protect their employees and communities.”

Last week, celebrity restaurateur Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, announced that all the group’s restaurants will require staff to be vaccinated and will require diners to show proof of vaccine. His restaurants join the growing list of establishments implementing similar measures.

See also: Restaurant Roundup: COVID Concerns Pervade As Diners Return to Bars

Yelp’s announcement comes amid growing reports of diner pushback to COVID-19 safety measures. A recent Datassential study finds that 30 percent of restaurant customers would leave a restaurant that they “regularly visit” if they were asked to show proof of vaccination, while only about half would comply, and about one fifth would instead opt to order a meal to go from that restaurant.

Shake Shack Frames Digital Platforms As Brand Entry Point

As revenue doubled year over year, Shake Shack’s digital mix fell to 47 percent in the second quarter of 2021, CFO Katherine Fogertey told analysts on a call Thursday (Aug. 5). This marks a decrease from a 75 percent digital mix the previous year and 60 percent the previous quarter.

“When we study our digital guests, we find they continue to show higher loyalty and frequency as well as a greater average check than our traditional in-Shack guests,” Fogertey said. “Therefore, we are focused on acquiring more first-time guests in our digital ecosystem.”

Through the restaurant’s loyalty program, CEO Randall Garutti explained, the company is looking to “get people back in different ways,” which includes uses the relationship that the company builds with guests through the program to draw them back into stores for brick-and-mortar sales. Perhaps as an immediate reaction to the decrease in digital mix, or perhaps as a forward-looking approach to the restaurant’s omnichannel future, the company is centering digital platforms’ contribution to overall sales, rather than just the digital sales themselves.

“We are a young digital ecosystem,” said Garutti. “We’ve got a lot to do, and we’re really proud of the team and their work and where we’re at today. And we know we’ve got a long way to go.”

DC Area Pizza Chain Raises $7.5 Million To Expand

Pupatella Pizza, a chain with five locations in Washington, D.C. and Virginia, announced Tuesday (Aug. 3) that it had raised $7.5 million to expand within the D.C. area and to other markets. The investment, primarily from private investors, follows on a $3.75 million fundraise in 2018, which was primarily from the same the same investors.

“Our investors recognize a winning recipe when they see it,” Adam Winder, the restaurant’s chief financial officer, said in a statement. “All of our restaurants continue to exceed expectations, and we are thrilled to keep growing and succeeding with a smart group of brand enthusiasts behind us.”

Read more: Pizza Is The Food Of The Pandemic

Taco Bell Loyalty Program Increased Active Customers’ Spending By 35 Pct

Domino’s: Major Pizza Chains Are Thriving, Independents Struggling 

Pizza is one of several favorite foods for delivery orders, leading to strong digital sales throughout the pandemic, as consumers turned to digital ordering. Domino’s and Pizza Hut’s positive same-store sales growth in Q2 suggest that demand remains high even as mobility increases, though much of that growth is going to category giants.