Nation’s Restaurant News, October 18, 2019 |
How Will Native Delivery Change the Restaurant Industry?
Just as the introduction of fast food once did, native delivery, or self-delivery, is rapidly changing the restaurant industry. Restaurants all over the United States are currently finding themselves in uncharted territory along with the increasing consumer demand for at-home delivery services. Third-party companies are eager to help restaurants answer the call, but not without inducing brand damage and charging high delivery fees to both the operator and the end customer. The downsides of these third-party delivery services are making many restaurants beg the question: Is it time to ditch the middle man?
The combination of the technology boom and growing consumer demand for restaurant delivery services are leading eateries straight into the arms of third-parties who can help them meet demands. But as the delivery industry continues to rapidly grow and the benefit of third-party services comes into question, restaurants will begin to reconsider native delivery as the most viable option.
Do the Benefits of Third-Party Delivery Services Justify the Cost?
The number of third-party food delivery app downloads is up 380 percent compared to three years ago, as more consumers choose to use services like Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Doordash versus ordering directly from the restaurant itself. With these third-parties dominating the market, each and every customer experience will vary from the next. Each platform implements a different method of processing and outsourcing orders which can disrupt the overall branding of a restaurant as well as consumer expectations.
The customer experience is not the only thing at stake when a restaurant taps third-party delivery vendors. Depending on which service a restaurant opts for, delivery fees can be as high as 30% of the final bill.
The True Cost of Third-Party Services
Those that opt for third-party services are leaving each customer experience in the hands of strangers, which often leads to diminishing returns. When an operator puts their brand in the hands of third-party delivery services, many things can go wrong. Food deliveries can run late, orders can mysteriously go missing, or worse, the food could arrive cold. It takes 12 positive customer experiences to compensate for one negative one. The age of digital media also makes matters worse, as it gives customers the ability to live-tweet their frustrations to the world.
Then there’s the problem of brand identity. Do the people delivering these orders meet the standards set forth by the restaurant operators? The delivery drivers filtered through third-party systems do not go through the same onboarding process as typical restaurant employees. Restaurant operators cannot actively monitor who is meeting their expectations when they have zero access to who the delivery workers are. Such practices do more harm to the customer experience than anything else.
In 2017, a third-party delivery service made headlines after the driver left a threatening four-page note on the door of someone who didn’t tip. In order to resolve the issue, the customer had to resort to posting about the experience on Facebook. How many positive experiences will it take that customer to trust delivery services again? While the restaurant was not directly responsible for the incident, it is likely that it lost the opportunity for future delivery services from that customer. If the restaurant had control over the type of people they hired, as well as the delivery process, this might not have happened.
The Payoff of Native Delivery
While third-party apps enable restaurants of all shapes and sizes to get their delivery operations off the ground both quickly and easily, as the services continue to grow in popularity, the downsides are becoming more evident, leading many restaurants to consider alternatives.
However, native delivery is difficult for restaurants to successfully implement, as the tight labor market and daunting challenge of toxic turnover make it hard enough for managers to find and keep in-house staff, nevermind a delivery workforce.
Luckily, restaurant operators have a choice when it comes to native delivery solutions. Companies like ShiftPixy offer affordable solutions to expensive third-party services.
ShiftPixy’s ecosystem enables operators to implement native delivery by keeping schedules staffed and benches stocked with a live, local on-demand workforce. The driver management layer intercepts online orders, pings the designated driver, communicates with the customer as the driver completes the order. Now a uniformed team member trained by the brand, can deliver the brand-intended customer experience, and take full advantage of the wildly capitalized wave of mobile food, on-demand.
With ShiftPixy’s native delivery solution, operators can restore lost profits, own their customer data and protect their brand from third-party damage.