- Beginning Feb. 16, DoorDash partner restaurants with three locations or less will be able to access an online order form for one of 1,150 discounted COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits from Cellex, according to a DoorDash blog post.
- Each kit, which will cost $100, offers 25 tests, which includes test cassettes, swabs and vials. They will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.
- This offering is part of Door Dash's Main Street Strong pledge, which includes $200 million in Dasher and restaurant assistance through 2025, and links restaurant operators with the resources they need to survive the pandemic.
During a recent Restaurant Advisory Council, which consists of 12 restaurant operators that serve a six-month term to discuss industry issues and provide feedback on DoorDash service each month, a few operators said testing has become a pain point, with some restaurants paying out of pocket to access tests, said Mariah Ray, public policy and partnerships lead at DoorDash. Individual tests can cost as much as $125, and one operator said that he has spent over $20,000 on testing to date, according to a DoorDash blog post.
Other restaurants were concerned about sending employees to a lab for testing for fear of exposure to the virus, Ray said. Lab-based testing also can take two to seven days to process the results, meaning restaurants may need to pause operations much longer until they know it is safe to reopen following a possible exposure, according to the blog post.
The Cellex tests deliver results on-site within 15 minutes, Ray said. Eligible DoorDash partners were sent an email on Wednesday with details about how to apply for the kits. Once approved, these partners will receive information on how to purchase them.
"Public health experts agree that [testing] is something that needs to happen," Ray said. "Rapid on-site antigen testing is something that allows restaurants and businesses to operate with peace of mind and really, really address the fears that folks have of operating during the pandemic."
While this testing offer is a one-time promotion, DoorDash could expand the initiative if it receives positive feedback that the tests were useful, Ray said, adding that restaurants have already said having access to a rapid testing company through DoorDash will be easier than having to do testing research on their own.
In addition to these tests, the aggregator is increasingly focused on providing additional resources for its restaurant partners to help them through the pandemic, including access to Blue Vine to help restaurants with Paycheck Protection Program loan applications. DoorDash also previously offered $2 million in cold weather grants to local restaurants ($5,000 per operator) and set up an online store to provide access to winter items, including discount codes for outdoor heaters, Ray said.