DoorDash is testing in-app reservations

DoorDash in-app reservation Los Angeles screenshot
A screenshot of a reservation that a Restaurant Dive reporter booked through the DoorDash app in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Permission granted by Emma Beckett

Dive Brief:

  • DoorDash is piloting in-app reservations, the platform confirmed to Restaurant Dive in an email on Tuesday. This news was first reported by Expedite, a restaurant tech newsletter published by Kristen Hawley.
  • The “Reservations” button appears in the app for New York and Chicago consumers, but a Restaurant Dive reporter was also able to book a restaurant reservation through the app in Los Angeles.
  • The reservation pilot appears to be powered by restaurant reservation platform SevenRooms. As of press time, DoorDash has not responded to a request for comment on the geographic range of the pilot. SevenRooms declined to share details on its test markets. 

Dive Insight:

DoorDash customers, in zones where the feature is live, can select “Reservations” from the menu at the top of the app. DoorDash then displays nearby restaurants offering reservations. Once a user selects a restaurant, the app lists available reservation times. After selecting a time, the app shares a “Reservation Confirmed” message with directions to the restaurant and a note that the message has been sent in partnership with SevenRooms.

DoorDash reservation Los Angeles 2
A screenshot of reservation options available through DoorDash at Robata Jinya in Los AngelesPermission granted by Emma Liem Beckett

A Restaurant Dive reporter based in Los Angeles was only able to view DoorDash’s reservation option by inputting a New York City address in the profile section. Then, the app populated a map of nearby Los Angeles restaurants based on the reporter’s current location, but retained the “Reservations” filter, making it possible to book a restaurant reservation in Los Angeles.

After booking, the reporter received an emailed reservation confirmation that included SevenRooms’ branding, but no DoorDash branding. The restaurant, Robata Jinya in Los Angeles, confirmed the reservation showed up in their system. The location’s staff members and the restaurant company’s vice president of marketing weren’t aware of DoorDash’s reservation pilot. Notably, the location lists SevenRooms as a reservation partner online. 

This method did not work for a Restaurant Dive team reporter in Washington, D.C. It is unclear if the feature is supposed to be available outside of New York and Chicago, where the Reservations button is visible in the app, according to screenshots from DoorDash users viewed by Restaurant Dive. Other DoorDash users in Los Angeles with whom Restaurant Dive spoke with also did not see the Reservations button in their app.

DoorDash Los Angeles reservation 3
A screenshot of the Reservations tag that is visible above a map of Los Angeles restaurants Permission granted by Emma Liem Beckett

“To evolve alongside merchant needs, we’re constantly testing innovations to identify new opportunities for partners to grow, in turn enhancing how consumers interact with their business. We’re evaluating the results of this pilot, and don’t have anything more to share at this time,” a DoorDash spokesperson wrote.

DoorDash has been adding features to improve the value proposition of its platform for small restaurants, including a product dashboard that debuted in August. Reservations — a key tool for managing traffic at full-service restaurants, small units and independents — may give DoorDash a competitive edge over other third-party restaurant delivery services, which generally do not offer in-app reservations. 

SevenRooms integrated its waitlist product with Google in 2020.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *