A food delivery service has pulled into Wytheville. DoorDash drivers have been delivering take-out restaurant orders for a couple of months.
It works like this: you download the DoorDash app onto your phone, enter your zip code and choose from restaurants that offer the service. When you select a restaurant, you can view its menu. In Wytheville, eight restaurants, plus Walgreens, offer DoorDash. The app also tells you the delivery time. Monday evening, delivery times ranged from 26 to 40 minutes.
A quick check with some participating restaurants revealed a mixed bag of comments. Managers at two restaurants – Mood Dog Brick Oven and Tokyo Japanese Seafood & Steakhouse – said they receive orders verbally and that sometimes the orders are difficult to understand. Two other restaurants – Shoney’s and the Matterhorn Restaurant & Biergarten, receive written orders on a tablet device and are happier with the service.
Moon Dog Manager Lisa Alford said the service is a good idea, but she has trouble reaching anyone at DoorDash to help her. She said Door Dash is losing a lot of business because of communication issues and people complaining to her that they didn’t receive their order because Door Dash didn’t place it.
“There are some issues that need to be addressed,” she said.
Also at Moon Dog, manager Jessalyn Johnson said customers sometimes place orders, but no one picks it up and food is wasted. She, too, has issues with the verbal orders.
In spite of some issues, Johnson said more people are using the app to order food for delivery.
At Tokyo, Manager Joe Keliwon likes the DoorDash idea and loves that it creates jobs for the drivers, but he plans to study the numbers before deciding to continue with the service. Like workers at Moon Dog, his employees also have trouble with the verbal orders.
“Words get mixed up,” he said. “It’s hard to understand the phone call.”
But not everyone is having as many issues with the service.
Mark Brooks, manager at Shoney’s, said his business has increased by 10 percent thanks to DoorDash.
“We have an iPad set up for DoorDash only, and the orders come in on that. It’s on the server line and we ring the ticket up here and send it to the kitchen. It’s working out for us; we are happy with it.”
Amy Kepner, manager of the Matterhorn, said the service has increased business and introduced new customers to the restaurant.
“So far, so good,” she said. “It has definitely added to our sales overall, and we are starting to get customers we would not normally have.”
Kepner said people who don’t want to go out because of the Covid pandemic use the service, along with people staying in hotels.
“I think we will definitely keep it. I think it’s an asset to Wytheville. It’s only in town, and I just wished it went out to the rest of the county,” she said.
Kepner reported that the only issue the Matterhorn has is that sometimes it takes a while to find a dasher to deliver the order, so employees now hold off preparing an order until a dasher agrees on the app to pick up the order.
Regarding payment, you can pay online and there is hands-free delivery. Door Dash charges a delivery fee, an 11 percent service fee, and you can also leave a tip for your driver or tip them in person. The app allows you to view your order history and see past receipts. There is also information for businesses that want to join and people who want to drive for the company.
Local participating businesses are Shoney’s, China Wok, Walgreens, Tokyo Japanese Seaford & Steakhouse, Moon Dog Brick Oven, Papa John’s Pizza, Peking, the Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theater (home of the Matterhorn Restaurant & Biergarten) and The Dawg House.
To reach reporter Millie Rothrock, call 276-228-6611, ext. 35, or email firstname.lastname@example.org