- DoorDash today is launching a campaign to urge people to support independent restaurants that are suffering financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic. The food delivery app's "Without Restaurants" effort aims to remind people of how restaurants help people celebrate everything from post-game parties to birthdays, weddings and baby showers, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- As part of the campaign, DoorDash started a social media challenge featuring celebrities who ask others to share their experience of how restaurants shaped their careers before and after they got famous. Comedian George Lopez, actor Mike Colter and actress Ming-Na Wen are among the stars who are participating in the #GotMyStartChallenge.
- DoorDash will urge its followers to join in while offering a delivery promotion with participating restaurants. The company is also working with the National Restaurant Association on an #OpenForDelivery campaign for social media, per its announcement.
DoorDash's "Without Restaurants" campaign aims to raise awareness for the estimated 75% of independent eateries that are unlikely to reopen amid the reluctance of consumers to dine out because of fears about the coronavirus pandemic, per data cited by DoorDash. The restaurant industry lost $120 billion in sales during the first three months of the pandemic, and 34% of restaurants in May said they don't have enough customers to justify reopening, per a study by the National Restaurant Association. Only 36% of U.S. adults this month said they feel comfortable about going to eat, a considerable improvement from 18% in April when widespread lockdowns were in effect, per a tracking survey by researcher Morning Consult. Until more people are willing to dine out, the restaurant industry will face significant pressures.
With many people ordering food for delivery instead, DoorDash experienced a surge in activity that included a record high of almost 10 million U.S. downloads in Q2 to reverse a three-quarter decline, per a report from researcher Sensor Tower. To help maintain that growth, DoorDash needs a healthy restaurant industry that includes independent operators to provide more menu choices for consumers. Its "Without Restaurants" campaign can help to raise awareness for the plight of restaurants, while also supporting its rapidly growing delivery business.
By enlisting celebrities for the #GotMyStartChallenge campaign, DoorDash can extend its reach among social media users who follow their favorite celebrities and may participate by sharing their own stories about the positive effect of restaurants on their careers. The effort can help to reach younger consumers who are most likely to use social media to stay connected with friends and family during the pandemic. Sixty percent of U.S. consumers ages 18 to 34 and 64% of people ages 35 to 49 said they boosted their social media usage in the past few months, per reseacher eMarketer. Social media challenges have become a popular way for brands like DoorDash to spur organic growth for their campaigns as people share posts and urge others to join in. Teen clothing brand Hollister, Mondelez's Trident Gum, Mattel's Uno card game, backpack maker JanSport and Sweetarts candy are among the brands that have included social media challenges in recent campaigns.
DoorDash's "Without Restaurants" campaign follows other recent efforts to engage consumers on their mobile devices. In May, the food delivery app sponsored a group of augmented reality (AR) lenses that let Snapchat users immerse themselves in virtual versions of restaurant chains such as Baskin Robbins, Buffalo Wild Wings, Cheesecake Factory, Chili's and Outback Steakhouse. Last year, DoorDash's "Every Flavor Welcome" cross-channel campaign included digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising showing menu items from restaurants. The ads had QR codes that passers-by could scan with their smartphones to add the menu item to the DoorDash app.