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How This Startup Is Helping Restaurants Be More Efficient About Delivery

This story appears in the August 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Door-to-door delivery is a service plagued by a lack of reliability and consistency. "It is something that's way harder than it actually looks," says Tony Xu, co-founder and CEO of Palo Alto, Calif.-based DoorDash, which has created web software and a mobile app that partners with restaurants to offer on-demand delivery using a team of Uber-style drivers.

Gabriela Hasbun
It’s in the bag: Tony Xu of DoorDash.

After building a prototype of the software in a dorm room at Stanford University, Xu and his co-founders perfected DoorDash in summer 2013 at the Y Combinator accelerator. The result is a product that addresses the delivery needs of merchants, drivers and consumers. Drivers (called "dashers") are matched with restaurants that need them to make deliveries; the restaurants, meanwhile, can see where the drivers are, and the customers know exactly when to expect them. The app also factors in food-prep time and how long an order will stay hot in transit, with the goal of being as reliable as possible.

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