To help get them through the winter, some Montpelier restaurants are adding their own takeout delivery services. Meanwhile, national food delivery behemoth DoorDash has moved into the area, although with terms that some restaurateurs say are onerous.
Restaurants that have recently decided to go ahead with their own delivery include Julio’s (free locally, but online ordering required for delivery) and Three Penny Taproom (free within Montpelier for orders of $40 or more). Sarducci’s is considering adding delivery, and Woodbelly Pizza plans to offer it when it opens in January.
Of course, some local restaurants, such as Domino’s and Positive Pie, have long offered delivery. Domino’s will deliver to Montpelier and portions of neighboring towns, while Positive Pie will deliver for free anywhere within three miles of the restaurant for orders of $10 or more. (Delivery drivers do appreciate tips.)
Meanwhile, DoorDash, which reportedly has cornered 50 percent of the national on-demand meal delivery business, moved into the region in the past few weeks, hiring gig workers to make restaurant deliveries that customers order online or via an app. Customers can add a tip when they order and choose to have deliveries handed to them or left outside.
DoorDash went public on Wall Street Dec. 9, with shares jumping 78 percent above the expected initial public offering price on the first day of trading. That values the San Francisco company at $71.8 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
At least until recently, the company was offering a month of free delivery and $5 discounts on food as a way to entice hungry locals to sign up for the service. A number of local restaurants are included on the DoorDash web page for the region, but not all of them are officially affiliated with the company.
One local restaurant owner has heard DoorDash will eventually charge restaurants 30 percent of the tab to remain on the site and app, which this owner thought was excessive. It appears customers who sign up with DoorDash will also eventually have to start paying for delivery, which reportedly costs $5.99 in other areas.
However, for the next month or two — or as long as the local service is free to some restaurants and customers — DoorDash may provide a convenient delivery service that could help boost participating restaurant businesses in the Montpelier area.