DoorDash has launched a new program to provide merchants on its platform with discounted products and services, including healthcare, hiring and staff management, as well as mental health and educational benefits.

As part of the new Merchant Benefits program, the third-party delivery provider also released a new research report titled, “The Impact of Benefits on Recruitment and Retention in the Restaurant Industry.”

That report includes stats like 66 percent of restaurant employees are more likely to apply to a job that offers health benefits, and 86 percent of employees who are not satisfied with current benefits would consider staying if benefits improved.

The National Restaurant Association’s “State of the Industry Report” indicates that recruitment and retention is the top challenge for 50 percent of restaurateurs this year, signaling staffing is a primary focus to improve business growth. To support merchants in overcoming attracting, retaining and developing employees, the first cohort of businesses within Merchant Benefits focuses squarely on these issues.

“The economic fluctuations that come with running a small to medium sized business challenge employers in many ways, including being able to provide affordable benefits to staff,” said Christopher Payne, president and chief operating officer at DoorDash. “Given our vast network of merchant partners, we’ve negotiated these benefits on their behalf who would otherwise face a steep surcharge, eliminating a barrier to growing teams to their full potential.”

In the first iteration of the program, DoorDash is working with six partners who are working to address key issues within the industry, including access to healthcare, mental health benefits and continued career development.

DoorDash will not administer the benefits, rather working with partners who will administer the benefits directly to interested merchants. As the needs of businesses evolve, DoorDash will continue to partner with additional companies as part of Merchant Benefits.

“Staffing shortages hinder a restaurant’s ability to run efficiently, which has direct effects on overall customer experience and staff morale. Many dining rooms across the nation are struggling to fully reopen due to them being unable to staff appropriately,” said Jordan Boesch, founder and CEO of 7shifts. “We’re proud to partner with DoorDash to help operators improve efficiency and expand access to our team management platform, including enabling restaurants to hire, train, schedule, pay, and retain their employees long-term.”

“While the restaurant industry and individual dining preferences have shifted, the importance of food safety has remained paramount to the success of a business,” said Nick DeAngelo, director of sales at StateFoodSafety. “Expanding access to a variety of food safety courses through DoorDash’s Merchant Benefits program benefits all involved—customers, operators, and employees.”

More details on the program are available HERE.