Customers are always looking for better, smoother, and faster restaurant experiences and that applies to their off-premise dining, too. As the landscape focuses even more on convenience, restaurants will need to decide on a delivery system that offers the best customer experience.
According to Paytronix, both first-party and third-party options offer benefits for restaurants and their partners, but many restaurants are struggling with deciding on their method of choice. Here’s a look at what both bring to the table to help you make better business decisions for your restaurant:
Setting up on-site delivery can be costly and overwhelming, but there are some advantages, too. When you handle delivery yourself, you control the guest experience, managing the entire process from start to finish. As an example, Domino’s system offers real-time updates on your order from the time it is being prepared to when it leaves the store. They also include the name of the employees working on your order which connects guests to the restaurant and the experience.
The second advantage is the access you have to your customer data, which is an important tool for restaurants. Information like your guests’ favourite orders, how often they order, whether they are celebrating a milestone, how long they’ve been a delivery customer, and more, are all available through delivery apps. With third-party, the delivery service typically keeps that information so you miss out on valuable data that can help you get to know your guests, develop a stronger connection, and serve them better.
Lastly, most restaurants are operating on thin margins, and may not be in a position to give up a percentage of each order to a third-party delivery company. These percentages can reach up to 30 per cent, so commission fees could be a deterrent to going the third-party route.
While setting up first-party delivery can be a steep endeavour initially, it may benefit you in the long run to maintain control and keep all your profit.
Partnering with a third-party delivery system can be beneficial to your business, so chose the company that best aligns with your restaurant to optimize that experience for your guests. Third-party delivery sales grew about six per cent over the last year, showing that people remain interested in enjoying their favourite meals and beverages without leaving the house.
The first advantage restaurants enjoy with a third-party partnership is increased exposure. Smaller chains or independent restaurants are featured on the apps right alongside large chains and franchises, so you are reaching people you may not have access to otherwise. Only 16 per cent of people use delivery apps with a specific location in mind, searching instead for a type of food, so that offers an advantage to smaller, lesser-known restaurants.
Operators who are not sure how to best proceed or manage a delivery system get to leave it to the experts with a third-party partnership. This saves you the headaches of trial and error as you fine-tune the process.
Saving time and money are the main advantages of choosing a third-party delivery system, as managing labour can be tricky. Before you get it right, you risk the possibility of wasting precious labour as drivers wait around for orders, spending more time waiting than actually delivering. Much time and money can be spent on perfecting the process for your business.
One disadvantage of this system is that restaurants are at the mercy of the delivery drivers. So, if food arrives cold, you could lose customers. In that situation, 44 per cent of customers blame the restaurant, which could lead to negative reviews, and discourage customers from returning.
Making decisions that work best for your business means doing your research, putting the customer experience first, and choosing a system that makes the most of your margins.