Larry Pelty, UXMC
User Experience & Design Leader

Multi-restaurant Ordering for DoorDash

A UX Case Study - Updated Product Design

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Hey DoorDash…so how does one order from more than one restaurant at the same time?

So how did this all start?

Before this particular project began, I was working with three other talented students in a research class in the Maryland Institute College of Arts’ Master of Professional Studies in UX Design program. Our goal? Evaluate a problem statement presented by one of the group around communications issues when order problems occur using DoorDash.

How might we allow customers to order from multiple restaurants at the same time?

  1. Design a method for customers to order from more than one restaurant at the same time on DoorDash. Get your Chicken Koobideh AND that pint of Netflix and Chill’d.

  2. Extend the existing interface without redesigning it. This needs to feel like a natural, seamless, extension to the app.

There are more than you might think.

And the same challenge was also expressed by others leading to the creation of our aptly named Variety Victoria persona.

Multi-restaurant ordering for DoorDash

The two personas from the “Hungry Customer” audience profile.

Of course our two customer personas were not alone. We also developed others for the DoorDash delivery drivers (or Dashers) and restaurant workers who take the orders. But as this particular idea piqued my interest, I decided to head in a direction that might (hopefully) solve one of Variety Victoria’s challenges, and my own.

My journey begins.

A Challenge assigned.

But more than that, COVID-19 was rearing it’s ugly head across the world. And that would undoubtedly mean that any research, interviews or usability testing would have to be virtual.

And here’s how it all came together.

Step 1: Determine the order processes and any areas of opportunity to focus on.

Multi-restaurant ordering for DoorDash

The sprint map created and opportunity area of focus based on the “How Might We…” question.

Of course, this led to a new question: how many restaurants might one desire to order from in a single order? I would need to address that question at some point.

Step 2: Evaluate competitor and influencer applications for potential ideas or insights.

Multi-restaurant ordering for DoorDash

Lightning demos and Crazy 8 sketches.

Drawing out ideas through lightning demos and crazy 8s, I began to visualize different methods for DoorDash users to quickly order from multiple restaurants, find their favorite restaurant pairings, view the cart and, of course, schedule multiple deliveries.

Step 3: Develop wireframes demonstrating a hypothetical user flow of ordering from multiple restaurants.

Multi-restaurant ordering for DoorDash

To create an alternative outcome, potentially leading to additional add to cart actions instead of a “let’s start over” stopping point, I needed to utilize one of the best tools in a UX Designer’s toolkit: wireframes.

Multi-restaurant ordering for DoorDash

Initial wireframes demonstrating a multiple restaurant order flow.

Now that I had my wireframes in place, next would be working in higher fidelity. DoorDash’s brand is distinct and therefore the mockups required the same look and feel (or as much as I could determine visually and via brand research) as their released mobile app.

Multi-restaurant ordering for DoorDash

Single restaurant cart (left) and multi-restaurant cart (right).

Next, I worked on how to hierarchically display more than one restaurant along with the associated dishes when viewing the cart.

Thinking back to my interviews, I followed a core assumption that, I hoped, would minimize cognitive load: customers will more easily remember their large margherita pizza, two bacon cheeseburgers (hold the tomato), and four red velvet cupcakes versus Russo’s PizzeriaBob’s Burger Joint and Crave. One has you salivating in anticipation, and the other….wait…is that Crave with a C or a K?

Multi-restaurant ordering for DoorDash

The current DoorDash cart (left) and mockup of a multi-restaurant cart (right).

And so, DoorDash’s current cart hierarchy of:

Restaurant name (the cart name) → Item(s)


Order Cart (the cart name) → Item(s) → Restaurant

...with potentially multiple hierarchies of items and restaurants.

The resulting structure change led to an enhancement in how items would be displayed in the cart, keeping the customer’s desired items in front.

And, finally, I reached the pièce de résistance — scheduling multiple orders. DoorDash’s time selection options are simple: as soon as possible or a scheduled time easily set with swiping actions. Today? Tomorrow? 7–7:30pm? Easy. But what about adding another dimension to this — not just one restaurant but perhaps several?

Multi-restaurant ordering for DoorDash

 The existing DoorDash scheduling screen (left) and the extended scheduling in the mockup (right).

The rest seemed easy from here. Maintain the final order flow and user feedback, ultimately bringing the customer to the order status screen as they eagerly await the driver’s knock on their door.

Step 4: Prototype the extended ordering process

Prototype demonstrating multi-restaurant ordering capabilities.

With my first prototype eager to be seen, it was finally time to find some DoorDash users to test it with.

Step 5: Evaluate the prototype through usability testing

Multi-restaurant ordering for DoorDash

The usability test plan and results captured in Airtable.

The discovered opportunities and pain points were also grouped and evaluated by the number of appearances in each session, potentially providing additional areas of focus in future revisions of the prototype.

Step 6: Revise the prototype based on qualitative research data

Multi-restaurant ordering for DoorDash

The revised cart mockup with selected times shown.

During the testing, a few pain points emerged that I wanted to immediately address, primarily around providing an improved amount of detail in regards to fee breakdown (keeping in mind the fees charged by different restaurants) as well a clearly indicating the scheduled times prior to moving forward in the checkout.

I also further extended the ASAP option with an additional message to inform customers. As the ASAP time window would incorporate one or more restaurants, I assumed an additional need to indicate that the orders could arrive at different times, as more than one driver may be required for those deliveries.

What I learned in my journey well traveled.

Through the usability tests and subsequent discussions with the users, I believe that the process defined for multiple restaurant orders within the prototype was validated with only minor modifications made. While there was not enough time in this project to dig even deeper, additional opportunities and pain points were uncovered in regard to navigation and fee calculation which should also be explored in future research, prototyping and testing.

So what’s next?