According to Upserve, online ordering and delivery have grown 300% faster than dine-in traffic since 2014. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased this growth. If your restaurant is considering moving to food delivery, you’ll need to decide whether you’ll build your own in-house delivery fleet, utilize third-party services, or some combination of the two. Here’s what you need to know to make this important decision.
While creating an in-house delivery service can be challenging, there are certainly many benefits to consider.
When you use a third-party food delivery service, you’re losing anywhere from 15-30% of your profits. While you’ll likely need to hire a few delivery drivers and implement an internal online ordering system to make delivery work at your restaurant, private fleets tend to cost less per order, and online ordering systems only require a monthly flat-fee, rather than a percentage-per-order.
With in-house online ordering and delivery services, you’re in control of the experience from start to end. While it may be more responsibility, it also allows you to curate the experience from start to finish, which means no more one-star reviews because a third-party delivery driver stored the pizza box sideways in his car or let your food get cold while running a personal errand on the job. With in-house delivery services, you can train your employees to deliver the experience of your choosing, and you have leverage over them if they’re not doing work that reflects your restaurant well.
While third-party delivery services aren’t right for everyone, they do offer their own unique benefits.
You can’t beat the convenience of a third-party delivery service. While there are some drawbacks to not being in control, it also opens you and your team up to focus on making the food and serving dine-in guests. With third-party delivery services, you don’t need the capital, the in-house online ordering system, the driver insurance, or the hassle of managing the logistics of food delivery.
Aside from convenience, one of the biggest benefits of using a third-party delivery service like Grubhub, UberEats, or DoorDash is the free publicity. By including your restaurant on these apps, you’re much more likely to acquire new customers who have never eaten at your restaurant before. For many restaurants, that visibility often ends up being worth the price of admission.
Your restaurant might even benefit from some combination of in-house and third-party food delivery. You might, for example, utilize third-party services to try to drive new customers while offering discounts to entice repeat customers to use your restaurant’s in-house delivery services.
For more restaurant management tips, check out the McDonald Wholesale blog, where we offer actionable advice about how to rank for “near me” searches, how to create a profitable restaurant patio, and how to do no-contact restaurant curbside pickup & delivery the right way.