$19 billion UberEats killer launches
THE three-way fight between Menulog, UberEats and Deliveroo for Australia's $280 million online food delivery market is set for a massive shake-up with the arrival of American juggernaut DoorDash.
The $18.6 billion ($US12.6 billion) company, which was founded in 2013 and is now in more than 4000 cities in the US and Canada, has picked Melbourne as its first market expansion beyond North America.
Restaurants available on the platform from today include Nando's, Betty's Burgers, Salsa's Fresh Mex Grill, as well as local independent restaurants including Misschu, Bay City Burrito and exclusive partners Cedar Bakery and Il Gusto.
"We are excited Australia is our first international expansion outside of North America," DoorDash Australia general manager Thomas Stephens said in a statement.
"We dove deep into the Australian market and quickly realised two things - restaurants want more from their delivery partners, and not all Melburnians have access to the selection that they should expect."
Mr Stephens said DoorDash had "built a lot of product and expertise to solve these problems in North America".
"Combining that experience with a tailored approach just for Melbourne, we're excited to grow the market here," he said. "We've built a service for Australian eating habits with a simple focus: provide more access to Melburnians' favourite foods."
DoorDash says it offers "a superior delivery experience plus a unique 'pick-up' function allowing users to collect their meals on the go in addition to 'group ordering' for big groups".
Its delivery people are known as "Dashers".
"Working collaboratively with restaurant owners of all business sizes, customers and Dashers, our priority is accessibility to a delightful food delivery experience for all," Mr Stephens said.
"From Melbourne, we aim to continue our expansion efforts throughout Victoria and Australia through the remainder of 2019 and into 2020."
DoorDash's media release also includes supplied statements from Nando's chief executive Craig Moson and Bay City Burrito owner Gary Mink.
"With over 80 restaurants across the city and outer suburbs, we're excited to be partnering with DoorDash to offer our customers even more flexibility around how they enjoy their favourite meal," Mr Moson said.
Mr Mink said, "It has been refreshing working with the team at DoorDash who have taken the time to understand my business and set me up for success on their platform to get incremental orders from both their delivery and pick-up product."
DoorDash is offering free delivery for the first 30 days as well as a "30 or $30" promotion promising all orders delivered within 30 minutes.
According to Roy Morgan research, nearly two million Australians aged over 14 use meal delivery services in an average three-month period.
IBISWorld estimates annual revenue for the industry at $278.1 million, having grown 72 per cent a year between 2014 and 2019. Menulog is the Australian leader with 44.9 per cent market share, with Deliveroo on 28 per cent and UberEats on 26.6 per cent.
DoorDash's entry couldn't come at a worse time for the rival platforms, which have been forced to raise prices in the face of increasing competition.
Foodora became the first casualty of the food fight last year, exiting Australia "to shift focus towards other markets where the company currently sees a higher potential for growth".
The gig economy platforms have also faced growing pressure over their treatment of riders, with the Transport Workers Union last week launching fresh action against Deliveroo after winning a landmark case against Foodora.
DoorDash faces similar legal challenges in the US, and in recent months has copped fierce criticism for its policy of taking a portion of tips from its riders. The company vowed to stop the practice by this month.