DoorDash expands to Ottawa with eye to taking bite of growing food delivery market

Pizza delivery

Food delivery startup DoorDash has made Canada’s capital its latest destination, launching locally Tuesday with more than 1,100 Ottawa-area restaurants and increasing competition in the growing sector.

DoorDash joins a growing network of third-party food delivery services in Ottawa, including UberEats, SkiptheDishes and Just Eat.

Brent Seals, the coordinator for the Ottawa launch, says DoorDash has been able to hold its own in other markets with multiple competitors.

“We’ve seen really great success throughout Canada and more specifically in Ontario over the past couple of years,” said Seals. DoorDash has been in Toronto and Vancouver since late 2015 and, more recently, scaled up its Canadian expansion by opening in Edmonton, Calgary and throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Ottawa’s growing restaurant scene is the logical next step in this expansion, says Seals, and a step they have planned for carefully.

“As Canada’s capital city, Ottawa was a really attractive market for us due to its rich cultural heritage, younger demographic, and thriving urban scene,” said Tony Xu, CEO and co-founder in a statement.

San Francisco-based DoorDash operates in more than 850 cities across the U.S. and Canada, and recently raised US$535 million in financing to help expand the business to more cities.

The company has had several notable partnerships since its inception, including a television ad with Wendy’s.

Like other food delivery services, DoorDash partners with both local and national restaurants to provide delivery via its “Dashers” – the DoorDash equivalent of an Uber driver.

Eventually, Ottawa customers will be able to place an order directly with a restaurant, which can then opt to use DoorDash to complete the delivery.

DoorDash’s biggest competition will be UberEats, which was identified as the fastest-growing meal delivery service in the U.S., according to data from Second Measure.

However, Seals says DoorDash is focusing on offering the widest range possible of restaurants and keeping deliveries going smoothly as the Ottawa expansion rolls out, noting that online services – whether meal delivery, ride-sharing or otherwise – have become a near-ubiquitous part of people’s lives, which means a little competition is just a sign of the growing market.

“It’s definitely been an exciting time to be in the food delivery industry,” says Seals.