DoorDash to create websites for restaurants' online food ordering

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Food delivery company DoorDash will announce on Thursday a service to help restaurants build their own websites for online ordering so they do not have to pay marketing commissions to the platform itself.

Restaurants will also not have to pay most fees for the new DoorDash Storefront service through the end of the year, providing some relief to a ravaged industry as it starts reopening in some areas, DoorDash Chief Operating Officer Christopher Payne told Reuters exclusively.

Commissions as high as 30% paid to delivery companies - including Grubhub Inc, Postmates and Uber Technologies Inc’s Uber Eats - are a sore spot for some cash-strapped mom-and-pop restaurants.

The fees, especially those charged for marketing, are under increasing scrutiny, with deliveries rising as people have stayed home to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

DoorDash waived commissions over the last couple of months and provided other relief totaling about $120 million to help independent restaurants through the pandemic, Payne said.

But about 40% of the restaurants already working with DoorDash do not have their own websites that allow for ordering and transactions.

Through DoorDash Storefront, restaurants will also get the data from orders that come through their own websites - valuable customer information for marketing that would otherwise go to the third-party delivery platform.

Storefront is in testing and will go live after July 1, but restaurants can sign up now.

Next year, standard fees for the service will kick in, including for set-up, monthly software charges, credit card processing and delivery. Payne declined to say exactly how much the service would cost.

Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by David Gregorio and Steve Orlofsky