Fast food is becoming the newest thing you don't have go out for.
DoorDash, one of several app-oriented delivery services scrambling for scale in cities across the country, said it would provide home deliveries of Taco Bell in Minneapolis starting Thursday and in St. Paul next week.
The Silicon Valley company, which started serving the Twin Cities in June, until now has chiefly grown by delivering orders from mom-and-pop restaurants — sushi bars, gourmet pizza joints, Thai food and the like.
It started a pilot program with Taco Bell in California and Texas a couple of months ago. On Thursday, it also expanded to Chicago, Houston and San Diego.
"On-demand delivery is redefining convenience," Tony Xu, DoorDash's chief executive, said in an interview. "It's getting people what they want and when they want it."
He added that Taco Bell executives have openly said delivery has been their No. 1 request over the past decade. And he noted that the company has seen an "incredible response" so far from its initial tests.
Fast-food delivery is common in large cities in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Except for pizza delivery, U.S. consumers for decades have had to visit or drive through fast-food outlets.
Adding fast food is a way for the delivery services to stand out. Chipotle announced this week that it will expand its delivery options to 40 college campuses this fall through the service Tapingo. McDonald's is testing delivery in New York City through Postmates.
Recently, Postmates and Try Caviar set up in the Twin Cities, joining existing delivery services such as Bite Squad and DoorDash.
To promote the Taco Bell rollout, DoorDash will reduce its $4.99 delivery fee by $1 for a limited time. Some Taco Bell items may be priced higher for delivery than they would be in one of its restaurants.
The average Taco Bell delivery time has been about 37 minutes. DoorDash typically only delivers within 4 miles of a restaurant.
The most popular item ordered in tests has been, not surprisingly, crunchy tacos. Xu said DoorDash worked closely with Taco Bell to make sure it can get the crunchy tacos delivered before they turn soggy.