Successful restaurants are adding delivery to their business model in line with consumer trends towards fast-casual dining, delivery food, convenience and everything being accessible from the palm of your hand.
Choosing a third-party delivery company to affiliate with may appeal to a restaurant owner that is considering offering delivery and takeout. Third-party delivery companies such as GrubHub, Uber Eats or Doordash can seem like the easy way to start as they take care of some of the more difficult and potentially expensive aspects of food and beverage delivery.
Using delivery partners takes away the need to hire a delivery team, they arrange scheduling, routes and delivery times, and they provide customers within your target market a simple user-friendly interface for ordering and payments.
If you are in the hospitality management or restaurant industry then you will be aware of the challenges of staffing, and there are other potentially expensive considerations such as purchasing, maintaining and insuring delivery vehicles, ensuring you have the correct liability insurance, and updating your point of sale (POS) solution.
However, industry studies and restaurant news show third-party companies that take large commissions per sale can lead to big increases in sales but only very small increases in profits, leaving restaurants struggling.
Plus, handing over control of the ordering and delivery process can negatively impact customer relations. Restaurants lose valuable access to customer data as well as control over timeliness and quality of delivery. And even though it might be the delivery companies fault, not the restaurant, customers will often not see the separation.
ShiftPixy offers the best of both worlds. ShiftPixy’s native delivery solution provides a unique approach to on-demand food allowing restaurants to start delivery services the easy way. Already experts in human capital management this system allows you to allocate existing staff to be delivery drivers. The solution plans routes and communicates in real-time with customers, and ShiftPixy provides comprehensive insurance all for a low fixed per-transaction fee.
Why Not to Choose Third-Party Delivery Companies
There are a large number of third-party delivery companies that can seem like a good option for a restaurant owner that is setting up delivery as part of their restaurant business. However, industry news shows that third-party food delivery partners, while they may have some advantages, come at a high cost to restaurant owners.
While third-party delivery partners provide delivery drivers and can increase restaurant marketing through their apps, they also take a high percentage of additional sales which can have a big impact on your bottom line. They also control delivery menus, pricing and delivery options.
Their model is based on the emerging restaurant industry trend for fast casual dining and they provide customers with a wide range of food and beverage options delivered directly to their doors. But while having someone else take care of the delivery staff and provide other resources like restaurant marketing and delivery bags can be appealing it’s worth considering the loss of control and profits when making the decision.
Making In-House Delivery Part of Your Business Model
Whether you are a delivery-only restaurant, a food truck or an established local restaurant with a loyal local following offering restaurant delivery and takeout can be a great way to boost sales.
Choosing in-house delivery means you get much more control over everything from your delivery team and delivery times to your delivery menu and restaurant operations.
Using ShiftPixy’s native delivery solution you can allocate delivery staff from your existing workforce, meaning you can train your delivery team and ensure a brand focused customer experience from ordering through to handing over the food at their door.
Using a native delivery solution allows you to start delivery services for your restaurant the easy way. Keeping abreast of customer trends and providing your target market with the food quality, experience and service they expect.
You get to design your delivery menu and set delivery prices in house, ensuring you are delivery food that travels well. Link your delivery service to your existing restaurant POS systems. Use your trusted workforce for delivering food. And have greater control over your restaurant operations including managing volume at peak times and keeping your profits in house.
Operating your own delivery business also allows for better customer engagement. You can track drivers in real-time and get instant feedback from customers. You also have greater control over customer data.
ShiftPixy’s team are experts in hospitality management, technology and the gig economy. The ShiftPixy native delivery management platform combines existing human capital management expertise with comprehensive commercial driver cover, liability insurance, route mapping and real-time customer communication.
Start an In-House Delivery Service for Your Restaurant
If after reviewing industry news and getting business advice it is clear you need to add delivery as an option for your customers then there a few things you need to consider to make sure your restaurant operations are ready to go.
Kitchen lines need to be prepared for increased volume at peak times. You need to have systems in place for packaging and checking to-go orders, and it’s important to design a delivery menu that ensures food safety and food quality. The packaging is a consideration. And you may need to upgrade your POS solution to make the process as smooth as possible.
Setting up Delivery
Your restaurant POS solution can be a powerful tool when it comes to expanding your business. ShiftPixy works with many POS systems ensuring your delivery business and restaurant business can work seamlessly together.
A good POS will help with online ordering, customer information and operational control. And if you are keeping your delivery native this is even more important for ensuring smooth running and great customer service.
Once orders are received the kitchen needs to be prepared. This includes having enough staff to cater for increased demand and systems in place for checking and packing delivery orders with consideration given to keeping food hot or cold, fresh and safe. It is much easier to rectify a mistake if your customer is sitting in the restaurant, and much harder to replace a wrong item when the order has been delivered. Staff may also need additional training in food safety for delivery.
Peak delivery times may coincide with peak times in the restaurant so staffing levels need to be sufficient to cope with this. But they may also peak at other times such as rainy days or sporting events.
How much you charge for delivery items, whether you have a minimum order for delivery, and whether or not you charge a delivery fee will also need to be considered when starting a delivery service. Choosing to run the delivery service yourself gives you more control over these aspects and allows you to factor in staff tips, the cost of providing delivery and the additional wage bill.
It is also important to make sure you have a system in place that clearly lays out what customers should do if there is a problem with their order. Real-time contact with customers and using your own staff as delivery drivers makes this process much easier, and information can also be included on your website and printed on receipts.
Delivery packaging might seem like an afterthought when it comes to starting a restaurant delivery service but it can have a big impact on the success or failure of your delivery and takeout business.
Customers expect the same quality of food they get when they dine in and that means the food has to travel well. Training staff and delivery drivers will have an impact but so does using the correct delivery packaging.
The packaging you choose has to be suitable for the food you are providing. Food safety and quality are paramount in the restaurant industry and delivered food is reliant on good packaging to ensure it reaches the customer as intended.
Packaging needs to be able to keep food separate and control temperature during transit. You don’t want a wilted salad or melted ice cream arriving because it’s been packaged alongside hot food, and no one wants grease or sauces leaking onto the outside of their containers.
Third-party delivery companies will often provide delivery bags that keep food hot while it is out for delivery. If you are planning on native delivery services then you will need to factor these into your set up costs.
You may also wish to consider the environmental credentials of your delivery packaging. Business advice for the restaurant industry suggests that Millennials or Gen X are the target market to aim for as they spend a large proportion of their food budget eating out or getting food delivered. These customers also care about bio-degradable packaging and are also big supporters of micro-chains. So it’s worth catering to their needs.
Finally, the packaging is also a big part of brand image and marketing. There may be a slight cost advantage in using generic packaging but customers will remember more than just the food.
One reason restaurant owners may choose third-party delivery companies is that as well as taking care of delivering food they also bring in new customers by exposing restaurants to potential new customers through their apps.
Restaurants that are setting up a new delivery service should consider how they will market this to new and existing customers.
Designing your delivery menu is an important part of setting up delivery services for your restaurant. Not all food lends itself to being packaged in takeout containers and traveling across town. And nothing will put off repeat customers more than delivering food that doesn’t meet your usual standards of food quality.
Drive thru restaurants have shown the importance of keeping a delivery food menu simple as offering delivery on top of usual service can put increased pressure on kitchens especially during peak times. As well as needing to think about food safety and choosing food that travels well restaurant news suggests there is also a trend towards simplified menus for takeout and delivery.
Streamlining your menu can improve efficiencies, make delivery packaging easier, and reduce order times as well as improve quality and make offering delivery a profitable addition to your restaurant operations. If you are with a third-party delivery company you have less control over your delivery menu and food businesses find it more difficult to add or remove items. Find out what it would take with your current resources to get your very own native delivery service to hit the ground running. Book a demo today!