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Tom Pickett, Chief revenue officer for DoorDash, speaks about delivery caps from states mandated by the coronavirus pandemic and delivery in 2020.

Delivery wars: How will DoorDash maintain its third-party delivery lead

Chief Revenue Officer Tom Pickett addresses the company’s relationships with restaurants and its position on COVID-19-spurred commission caps: ‘We just don't think that arbitrary caps are the right way to go.’

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Competition among third-party delivery companies is growing stronger by the day.

Grubhub was recently gobbled up by Just Eat Takeaway from the Netherlands. Uber Technologies, snubbed by Grubhub, is instead buying Postmates.

What does that mean for the No. 1 delivery player in the U.S., DoorDash?

“I think it's exciting times in the delivery space,” Tom Pickett, DoorDash’s new Chief Revenue Officer, told Nation’s Restaurant News during the latest edition of the Extra Serving podcast.

“What you've seen over the last month or so have really validated that [delivery] is a big and growing important part of the restaurant business going forward,” he said shortly after those business mergers were announced.

Pickett started in late March just as dine-in closures began sweeping the nation to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The former YouTube executive oversees DoorDash’s effort to innovate on ways to better serve restaurants. Once dine-in was halted, his mission quickly turned into producing several relief programs aimed at helping restaurant partners, especially hard-hit independents.

Over the last few months, Pickett said DoorDash has helped restaurants save over $120 million dollars with part of that savings coming from “commission reductions” for some partners.

During our conversation, Pickett addressed the controversy over third-party delivery fees and how restaurants are starting to use premium pricing to counter the high costs. He also addressed the rise of temporary commission caps imposed by cities trying to reduce the economic strain restaurants are enduring amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“We just don't think that arbitrary caps are the right way to go,” Pickett said.

Listen to our podcast to learn more about DoorDash’s plan to remain the No. 1 delivery player in the U.S.

(Editor’s note: This podcast was taped prior to news that DoorDash had mistakenly overcharged a handful of San Francisco restaurants the wrong commission fee. You can read that story at Restaurant Hospitality.)

For our most up-to-date coverage, visit the coronavirus homepage

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @fastfoodmaven

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