- Food delivery app DoorDash is working with Chili's Grill & Bar on a livestreamed virtual dinner party hosted by performer Chantel Jeffries, who is celebrating the release of her upcoming single, "Come Back to Me." The party, with celebrity guests including Britney Spears, Liam Payne and Paris Hilton, will stream as a live premiere on YouTube at 8 p.m. ET on May 14, per an announcement.
- DoorDash and Chili's created a special delivery menu for viewers who want to recreate the virtual dinner party at home, and are offering a $3 discount on orders of $15 or more to customers who use the CHILISWITHFRIENDS code while supplies last. The special menu will be available May 14-17.
- DoorDash will donate the cash equivalent of one meal to nonprofit group Feeding America for every person who livestreams the #comebacktomexdd party on YouTube. The donation is capped at 250,000 meals, per the announcement.
The DoorDash and Chili's promotion blends content and commerce to engage homebound consumers who have boosted their usage of food delivery apps during pandemic lockdowns. The virtual dinner party not only includes the release of Chantel Jeffries' latest single and appearances by celebrity guests, but also urges people to participate by ordering food from Chili's with discounts on the delivery fee.
While DoorDash and Chili's aim to boost delivery orders and entertain people, the campaign also holds a more serious tone with its effort to help Feeding America in providing meals to distressed communities during an economic downturn. More than half of consumers want to hear how brands are helping out communities in response to the coronavirus pandemic, per a 4As survey.
Restaurant chains like Chili's have had to overhaul their operations as lockdowns almost entirely prevent people from dining out, limiting sales to delivery and takeout orders. Parent company Brinker International recently reported that Chili's same-store revenue plunged as much as 63% from a year earlier amid the shift to off-premise dining. Its off-premise sales, including takeout and delivery, made up about 20% of sales in late March and the first few weeks of April, the company announced. Until restaurant chains are allowed to open more physical locations as lockdowns relax, takeout and delivery services will remain key sources of revenue.
DoorDash and Chili's are among the brands that have hosted virtual events to connect with homebound consumers and raise money for a good cause. Cholula Hot Sauce last week hosted what it called the world's biggest virtual "Taco Tuesday" on Instagram Live, bringing together people who couldn't celebrate Cinco de Mayo at bars and restaurants. The brand donated money for each viewer who watched the livestream to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, a nonprofit formed to help save local restaurants. PepsiCo's Tostitos brand this month hosted free livestreamed salsa dancing classes in a Cinco de Mayo campaign that urged people to donate to COVID-19 relief. Pepsi, Buffalo Wild Wings and Verizon also sponsored livestreams in recent weeks to raise money.