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DoorDash: More on the menu

MEDFORD -- Ride-share providers that offer food delivery will have yet another service through which they can earn extra cash after DoorDash's debut in the Rogue Valley.

Likewise, people who don't feel like driving to pick up food have an even wider array of places from which to order.

Exclusively offering food delivery, not unlike Grubhub but with seemingly more variety and a more user-friendly app, DoorDash is unique in that it services restaurants that typically don't offer delivery.

While food delivery used to be limited to pizza joints or locally run courier services, increasing reliance on social media and ride share services made food pickup a no-brainer.

In recent years, local drivers for ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft began adding food pick-up to their list of services.

DoorDash, founded in 2013, was the brainchild of a group of Standford students and has been a major competitor for Uber Eats in large cities.

Stephanie Karpins, a local Realtor who supplements her income by providing rides and food delivery via Uber, signed on for DoorDash, too, and said the apps are a good opportunity for earning extra income.

Parked outside McDonald’s on Thursday, Karpins heard the familiar “ding” on her Uber Eats app and zipped into the fast food joint to grab a recently placed order.

“I got into it about three months ago because I was in a bad situation this summer and I needed to make some money to get my daughter and I a place to live. I’m a real estate agent now, but I needed something to supplement when I was first starting,” she said.

Locally, a handful of Uber and Lyft drivers concede that they’ve installed DoorDash on their cellphones in hopes of comparing the newest provider with the slew of others already in use.

Drivers who want to earn extra cash simply install the app on their phone, submit basic paperwork and get to work.

In a nutshell, various ride-share and courier-only services offer delivery from their own unique batch of restaurants. Uber Eats, for example, offers food delivery from McDonald’s while a Taco Bell or KFC craving can only be cured via the GrubHub app.

Karpins said familiarity with the area, avoiding speeding tickets and working at times she is sure to get lots of calls, helps make the driving gig worthwhile.

“I do two shifts a day, and I was making close to $2,000 a month,” she said. “I know a lot of drivers who pay their car leases solely by doing deliveries. I think a lot of people are pretty thankful for the opportunity. I know I am.”

Headed from McDonald’s down McAndrews to Keeneway, Karpins drove less than five minutes to drop a bag of food to Medford resident Chris Cooper.

Cooper, who uses Uber Eats and Grubhub a handful of times each week said the low-cost delivery is hard to beat.

“Most of the deliveries are like $4.50,” Cooper said. “It’s a pretty good deal when you don’t want to go get it. I use Uber for McDonald’s, and then I have Grubhub for Taco Bell and KFC. They all have different restaurants you can do.”

With so many restaurants on board — from Sushi and Hawaiian eateries to barbecue and gourmet eateries — Jaspers Cafe manager Shelley Ledezma said her restaurant got on board just after New Year’s when DoorDash arrived in southern Oregon.

“Our first week we did great. It’s easy to do and we haven’t had any complaints on our side,” she said. “We have the little tablet and it rings like a doorbell. We have our whole menu put into the app, so customers can pick everything they want and give us special instructions.”

Medford resident Shianne Kellogg recently ordered Jaspers via DoorDash and said having the option for delivery from “just about any restaurant” in the area was helpful.

“I think they all have their pros and cons, so it’s nice to be able to use all of them,” Kellogg said. “The fun thing is they each track where your delivery is so it’ll let you know, ‘Hey, your food will be here in like two minutes.’ They show the driver name and what kind of car they’re driving, just so you know.”

Sick with a cold last week, Kellogg said the service “kind of saved my life last week.”

“I found out it was really handy when you’re stuck home and you’re sick, but your kid is hungry,” she said. “To be able to order takeout for food or drink. It’s something small but it takes something off your plate and could really be helpful if you’re having a hard day. You can get sushi delivered, anything you want. It’s pretty useful. It’s a win for me.”

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