Independent restaurants and local communities receive 5-year, $200M support pledge from DoorDash

Independent restaurants and small businesses are the backbone of local economies and communities. While supporting local businesses has always been important, it is now more critical than ever.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March, restaurants across America have been forced to rethink their entire approach to preparing, cooking, and getting food to their customers — or possibly shutting their doors altogether. To help its restaurant partners, DoorDash created Main Street Strong, a series of initiatives designed to help independent restaurants stay open during the pandemic by decreasing and optimizing operating costs, increasing sales, and providing commission-free services.

The company’s commitment includes the Main Street Strong Pledge: a five-year, $200 million commitment to support restaurants and other small businesses, couriers, and local communities. This investment will build on existing initiatives, like the allocation of $2 million in grants to help local restaurants in six cities — Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Denver, San Jose, and San Francisco — prepare for the winter months. This commitment was increased to $10 million recently to expand into additional markets.

In 2021, DoorDash will expand its Reopen for Delivery program, an initiative to help restaurants that closed due to Covid-19 reopen via delivery-only kitchens, enabling them to grow their businesses without the added cost of traditional overhead. In addition, the company is also launching Main Street Strong Accelerator, a program designed to help women and minority entrepreneurs — who were disproportionately impacted by Covid-19 — sustain and grow their business.

Activities to increase restaurant sales include a nationwide “Winter Wednesday” promotion, which offers discounts to customers who order from local restaurants. Restaurants can take advantage of a commission-free partnership with DoorDash through Storefront, an online pickup and delivery product that operates directly from a restaurant’s website.

On a community level, DoorDash expanded Project DASH, which empowers community organizations to leverage the company’s logistics to increase access in their communities. Over six million estimated meals have been delivered and over 300,000 deliveries of meals, groceries, household goods and school supplies were made through Project DASH. In 2021, a partnership with United Way will increase deliveries to two million over a two-year period.

DoorDash is also investing in independent contractors, called Dashers, who deliver orders. A $12 million rewards program for Dashers was established, and the company is partnering with the National Urban League to create a program that will help Dashers of color attain new job skills and build generational wealth via financial literacy training, educational funding, job programs, and more.

Since mid-March, 1.9 million Dashers have joined the platform. Dashers earned more than $3.5 billion during the first six and a half months of the pandemic, and approximately 60% of that total — $2.1 billion — was earned by people living in ZIP codes with above-average Black and/or Latino representation.

Learn more about how DoorDash is supporting local communities and the hardworking people who keep them going at