Food delivery platform DoorDash has partnered with a restaurant for the first time to build a new brick-and-mortar store, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Burma Bites, a spin off of Oakland, California-based Burma Superstar, was designed for delivery and takeout, and will offer versions of menu items from the parent restaurant as well as new items in environmentally-friendly to-go containers, DoorDash said. According to the Chronicle, all menu items are priced between $12 and $19.
DoorDash did not disclose the amount of its investment in Burma Bites, but told The Verge in an email it has been working on the project for about a year. The restaurant was originally supposed to open in March, but that was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Georgie Thomas, head of regional merchant partnerships at DoorDash, said the company’s goal is “empowering restaurants with the tools to connect with more customers and build new revenue streams,” and is taking its mission further creating the to-go concept from scratch for one specific restaurant.
Like other food delivery platforms, DoorDash has seen sales increase in the US during pandemic lockdown, as restaurants closed their in-person dining rooms. The company actually had filed to go public in February, and is reportedly planning a traditional IPO before the end of the year. DoorDash said in June it had raised $400 million in equity capital, which brought its valuation to nearly $16 billion.
DoorDash has had something of a bumpy relationship with restaurants and its delivery drivers during the pandemic. It started off relatively well, announcing in April it would reduce commission fees that restaurants in the US, Canada, and Australia pay by 50 percent for a limited time. Then in May, a viral story about a pizzeria owner buying his own inventory from DoorDash at a profit raised eyebrows about the way it subsidizes some deliveries.
In June, the San Francisco district attorney sued the company for alleged unfair business practices and worker misclassification. And last year, the company was called out for pocketing some customer tips to cover base pay for deliveries. DoorDash later changed the policy to ensure drivers received 100 percent of their tips.
Burma Bites is slated to open on October 28th down the street from Burma Superstar.