COVID-19: Could DoorDash save US restaurants?
As government officials tell citizens to avoid public spaces amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, do food delivery services have a greater role to play?
As shops are emptying across the world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many restaurants are on the brink of collapse, food delivery apps are providing a lifeline to businesses and consumers alike.
In the US, delivery company DoorDash has led the way for F&B delivery companies by launching contactless options that automatically apply at check out, but it has waived delivery fees through April. Existing partners will not be charged commission fees, and the company will seek to provide commission reductions where possible.
DoorDash confirmed: “This is not a deferral of fees, nor will merchants be asked to pay anything back.” It has also promised that it will provide free hand sanitiser and gloves to its delivery workers, but this is yet to be rolled out nationwide until the end of next week, according to Business Insider.
DoorDash is also leading the way as it partners with United Way Worldwide in order to deliver groceries and prepared food to seniors and low-income families, as well as mobility-impared individuals in the US. It currently has 100,000 restaurants signed on, a number that is sure to increase in the coming weeks.
Elsewhere in the world
In the UK, Deliveroo has announced that it will offer no-contact deliveries. This option, available via its app, allows customers the option to have the company’s riders knock on the door, and leave goods on the doorstep with the rider standing at a distance recommended by health officials. This service is applicable both ways, and riders have the choice to also choose a contactless delivery.
“This is a worrying time for everyone, and we want to acknowledge the incredible efforts of all our riders who are working hard at this time and who are committed to helping the communities in which they work,” said a Deliveroo spokesperson.
This development follows on from a similar announcement made by fellow British food app, Just Eat, who has also launched the same service. Deliveroo will be rolling out this service internationally. In Hong Kong, 20 malls have joined Deliveroo's programme to rescue the plunge in food and beverage sales. Deliveroo expects this to generate US$2.6mn in incremental online sales, benefitting 300 restaurants.
In Australia, a petition has been circulating, calling for Uber Eats and other food delivery services to cut down on its 35% commission in a bid to help restaurants during this challenging time. “With Australians increasingly staying at home instead of eating out because of coronavirus fears, these small food businesses are going broke,” Fordham wrote on the petition.
Uber Eats has started to make changes in the US. Janelle Sallenave, the head of Uber Eats for the US and Canada, said: "As more customers are choosing to stay indoors, we’ve waived the Delivery Fee for the more than 100,000 independent restaurants across US & Canada on Uber Eats. We will also launch daily dedicated, targeted marketing campaigns—both in-app and via email—to promote delivery from local restaurants, especially those that are new to the app."
For more information on business topics in the United States, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief USA.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.