As On-Premises Dining Falls, Home Delivery Adds Jobs

Call it COVID-19-induced kumbaya.

Just a few weeks ago, third-party restaurant delivery services like DoorDash and Grubhub were in all-out warfare in their quest for elusive scale and profits. Likewise, restaurants nationwide had been complaining that some delivery services were listing them without their permission—among other perceived offenses.

Things have changed—at least for now—given the massive decline in on-premise dining and the boom in restaurant pickup and home delivery.

One of the more visible signs of an attempt at dining détente is a campaign that broke last week by DoorDash titled “Open For Delivery.”

This DoorDash video by The Martin Agency opens with a montage of restaurant imagery while the voiceover says, “And even though tables are empty at the moment, the kitchens are full. While the doors may be closed, the kitchens are open for delivery.”



Although the video does not mention DoorDash competitors by name, the company tagged Uber Eats, Postmates, Grubhub and its own Caviar service on Twitter last Friday while promoting #OpenForDelivery. 

For its part, Grubhub recently announced it will temporarily defer collecting some $100 million in marketing commission fees paid by restaurants that appear on its platform. 

All this good will comes as the National Restaurant Association seeks public support for federal assistance amid the ongoing pandemic. Today, the association canceled its National Restaurant Association Show scheduled for May 16-19 in Chicago and will now hold the event in 2021.

In a March 18 letter to President Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the NRA said it anticipates restaurant sales to decline by $225 billion during the next three months, “which will prompt the loss of between five and seven million jobs.

“Without aggressive and immediate action from the federal government, many restaurants that are a staple of local communities will simply never resume service.”

Some restaurant chains and delivery services are trying to take up the slack by increasing hiring to meet increased demand for at-home dining -- including major pizza purveyors Pizza Hut, Papa John's and Domino's, as reported by CNN Business

Grocery delivery service Instacart is more than doubling the size of its workforce by bringing on an additional 300,000 people over the next three months, according to Progressive Grocer.

Meanwhile, there’s been no ceasefire declared in the breakfast wars—the most recent skirmish of which was kicked off on March 2 by Wendy’s. While some quick-serve restaurants have pulled back on their advertising of late, Wendy’s and McDonald’s are actively promoting their breakfast menus.

A commercial for the McDonald’s 2 for $4 mix-and-match breakfast offering has had more than 5,000 national airings up to and including today, according to The “Don’t Know It Yet” breakfast campaign by Wendy’s has had more than 6,600 airings.

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