As a grim but practical sign of the times, DoorDash has partnered with Cellex to make discounted COVID testing available for partnered independent restaurants with three locations or fewer. This new program is a direct result of feedback the company gathered through its Restaurant Advisory Council members, and is rolling out later this week.
According to DoorDash’s announcement, its merchants will have access to an online order form starting on February 13 to procure one discounted COVID testing kit, which will be available on a first-come-first-served basis. Each kit includes 25 unique tests, including 25 test cassettes, 25 swabs and 25 vials. The kits will be available for $100 plus shipping and handling.
The delivery giant says the announcement “lends itself to a bigger story about the importance of COVID testing for restaurants,” adding that scientists say testing is one of the best ways to avoid spreading the virus. This new program is part of DoorDash’s larger Main Street Strong effort to create programs, policies and products to help its restaurant partners navigate through the complexities of the pandemic.
DoorDash stressed that this is currently a one-time offer, but it is considering expanding the program in the future should opportunity arise.
“In a concerted effort to protect our employees and customers, rapid antigen testing has been a lifesaver,” said Aaron Noveshen, CEO of Starbird Chicken in San Francisco. “In today’s environment, being able to keep your doors open even just one more day, means money back in your pocket to keep operations running for long term. We’ve spent over $20,000 on COVID-19 testing to date, so we appreciate the lengths DoorDash is going to provide this benefit for us.”
An informational email was sent to eligible DoorDash restaurant partners on February 10 with details for applying for the kit. Upon approval, independent restaurant partners will be sent details on how to purchase testing kits.
“As a small business owner and member of DoorDash’s Restaurant Advisory Council, this is a program we are very excited about,” said Benson Wang, CEO of SL Hospitality. “It’s essential that we come together as a community to rebuild San Francisco’s, and the country’s, vibrant food scene while staying keenly focused on the safety and wellbeing of our employees and guests.”