With an increasing number of customers choosing to dine at home, the dilemma that restaurateurs have is not whether to offer delivery or not, but if they should do their deliveries in-house or engage third party delivery services. Each avenue has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Choosing to use a third party delivery service
Gain more exposure
Engaging a third party allows you to share your menu within their delivery app. This gives your restaurant exposure to a larger market and gets you in contact with people that you would ordinarily not have access to you. This will serve to broaden your customer base.
Since some delivery apps only charge you for the food they have delivered, you save money on costs incurred in getting and maintaining a delivery fleet. Additionally, the service would use its own staff, thus you would also avoid the cost of hiring extra employees. However, delivery services come with some costs, so you need to consider the options carefully, weighing the charges involved against the returns you will receive.
The downside to using a third party delivery service is that you have reduced control over your orders. If the service delivers late, or the food arrives there either too cold or too hot, your customers will likely blame you. Your brand reputation can be ruined by a delivery service that is sub-standard.
In addition, the service delivery app will be promoting its own brand, hence your restaurant’s brand will have a secondary role, and thus less visibility.
Doing your deliveries in-house
Control service levels
With careful logistics planning, your restaurant can successfully make deliveries without engaging a third party service. This will be a win for your brand, as more customers prefer to order directly from restaurants.
Since you will be in control of the whole process, from ordering to delivery, you can set the standard for service quality. If customers are dissatisfied with a certain aspect of the delivery, you can quickly attend to their concerns and make any necessary improvements. You will also be in a position to understand the challenges your delivery staff face and thus be able to assist them speedily before the problem tarnishes your brand.
If your restaurant isn’t already offering delivery, you would have to hire staff dedicated to the delivery side of the business. Additionally, you would have to buy or hire vehicles needed for the deliveries. Although this may require a large initial investment, in the long run, it will prove worthy as your restaurant sales will improve.
When it comes to selecting which method to use for delivering food to your customers, take into account the type of restaurant you have. If you choose to use a third-party service, select one that aligns with your brand and that will give your restaurant mileage. If, on the other hand, you choose to use your own employees and vehicles to make deliveries, ensure that your internal processes support the delivery side of your business. Both avenues of delivery have proven to be effective for restaurants, it’s up to each restaurateur to select the one which best suits their brand, and more importantly is convenient for their customers.