DoorDash Is Working on an AI Chatbot to Speed Up Food Ordering

DoorDash Inc., the US food-delivery service that competes with Uber Technologies Inc. and GrubHub, is looking to speed up ordering and help customers find food options with an artificial intelligence-based chatbot.

The company is working on a system called DashAI that it’s testing in a limited capacity in some markets. Evidence of the technology was first discovered in DoorDash’s iPhone app by developer Steve Moser and shared with Bloomberg News.

The idea is to bring DoorDash into the AI era, allowing customers to get personalized restaurant recommendations with simple text prompts. If the software ultimately launches, it could give the company an edge over rivals, though some other apps — like Instacart — are adding AI as well.

A DoorDash spokesman declined to comment on the feature. But Chief Executive Officer Tony Xu said during a conference call in May that the food-delivery company is “running different experiments internally.”

The DashAI system includes a warning message that the technology is experimental and that accuracy can vary. Its code also provides examples of how users could query the AI system:

  • “Can you show me some highly rated and affordable dinner options nearby?”
  • “What’s a place that delivers burgers that also has really good salad options?”
  • “Where can I get authentic Asian food? I like Chinese and Thai.”

DoorDash is joining an AI frenzy fueled by last year’s debut of OpenAI Inc.’s ChatGPT. The software has taken the world by storm, leading Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Microsoft Corp, Inc. and others to push deeper into artificial intelligence.

By offering an AI chatbot, DoorDash could market itself as a more curated food-ordering service — helping the company maintain its edge in a crowded field. Using an AI-based search engine could also be more convenient and quicker than scrolling through endless menus of food options.

San Francisco-based DoorDash commands 65% of food-delivery sales in the US, according to Bloomberg Second Measure.


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