Fast Company has a long piece about Door Dash's business model, framing the company this way:
"For almost all of DoorDash’s seven-plus years, two things about the company have been true: It has aspired to be a logistics company that did more than restaurant delivery - one of the first articles ever written about the startup, in March 2014, was headlined ‘DoorDash enters food-delivery fray with much grander ambitions’ - and it’s been controversial as it’s pursued those dreams.
"It has been accused of 'swiping' delivery driver tips, and restaurants have sued it for listing their eateries on its platform without their consent. DoorDash has also fielded complaints from the restaurants it aims to serve for taking too fat a slice of their revenues. Finally, it took part in a $200 million-plus campaign last year to convince Californians to legalize the use of contract labor in delivery, via ballot Proposition 22, thereby preventing workers from attaining the protections that come with employee status."
The bottom line questions: Can Door Dash build a sustainable business model? Can Door Dash make money?
"DoorDash believes that as people continue to struggle with balancing work and the rest of their lives - from child rearing to carving out time for themselves - its path to profitability lies in soothing the anxieties of middle-class customers who don’t have the time or energy to make dinner or go shopping. The end of the pandemic may dampen Americans’ appetite for delivery. But if it doesn’t, what do we lose when we value convenience at all costs?"
You can read the piece here.