Periods of change and uncertainty create opportunities that can redefine an industry. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced restaurants to change decades-old models of impressing and retaining customers out of a practical necessity to operate within contactless environments.
Third party delivery services have been one of the undoubted winners of these new conditions, and they may have won a permanent place in the dining market.
Offering third party delivery services has become a quarantine necessity, and as owners and managers begin to think about a post-COVID reality, they have to consider how these digital companies can expand a restaurant business.
Contactless Connections with Diners
Third party delivery within a restaurant setting has been with us for longer than many realize. While food delivery has been dominated by quick service and franchise outlets that staff their own drivers, today’s dominant pick-up and drop-off services such as GrubHub, Uber Eats, and Postmates have roots that date back to the early 90s with companies like Black Tie Express.
Third party delivery lay dormant for decades until the perfect storm of an internet-savvy customer base and a once-in-a-century pandemic forced restaurants to find new ways to connect with their diners.
It has been a spectacular success for the third party delivery services and has become a vital revenue source for restaurants; last year, 72% of all adults placed a delivery order from a restaurant. According to Forbes, people who make delivery orders are 10% more likely to visit a restaurant in person than customers who don’t.
Evidence such as that demonstrates how adding a delivery service can expand a restaurant’s business. It encourages growth in the following ways:
- Contactless connections with diners
- Add a new revenue stream
- Reach a new demographic
- Capitalize on your web presence
- Added service without extra staff
- Level the online playing field
- Streamline your kitchen
These seven potential benefits, coupled with the COVID-19 impact on delivery service success, mean every restaurant has to at least consider adding the option—even at the risk of increased fees, late or lost deliveries, and the uncertainty liability of using an outside company.
Third party delivery has become an expected customer option and one that might not totally recede with the pandemic.
1. Contactless Maintains Connections with Diners
The fact remains that in many areas of the country customers are either not yet permitted or not yet comfortable returning to an onsite restaurant table. Third party delivery lets those diners access the quality food they love from home and helps professional kitchens stay relevant.
2. Add a New Revenue Stream
Third party apps have created a new platform for attracting first-time customers. According to research, the average US adult has two delivery apps and uses them three times a month. Importantly, 46% of people use the app to look for new dining ideas. That means there are potentially hundreds of diners within your grasp searching through their phone looking for a new experience every few weeks.
3. Reach a New Demographic
Third party delivery has become especially popular among young adults. The “internet native” Gen Z (18-24) and Millennial (24 -39) generations are far more likely to use delivery apps than their older counterparts, with over 60% using the services in 2020.
Offering home delivery could expose your food to a whole new generation of potential regulars.
4. Capitalize on Your Web Presence
An online presence is becoming essential to restaurant success in the 2020s. Every business needs at least an introductory page and contacts listing, if not a complete online menu that accurately mirrors the in-person experience. Connecting your personalized presence to the standard form production of third party apps lets you make it easy for diners to find you, to order what they want, and to pay quickly.
5. Added Service without Extra Staff
While there are fees and liabilities involved with using third party delivery, it is undoubtedly more cost-effective than retaining permanent delivery staff. Expenses are tied directly to actual sales rather than shifts. You use your existing kitchen and web tools to create additional revenue without committing to ongoing overheads.
6. Level the Online Playing Field
The online world can be a greater leveler. If presented correctly, your business can sit alongside the biggest names in the delivery industry and proudly display superior food, choice, and proximity. It makes little difference to the third parties where they pick up their deliveries, so online exposure can win you a diner who’d otherwise have gone for something more “convenient.”
7. Streamline Your Kitchen
Finally, adopting third party delivery can help you overhaul and streamline your kitchen. Online menus need to be simple and easily modified because online customers don’t have waiters to help them make selections. In turn, this can encourage your chefs to simplify their offerings, favor ingredients that can be used across dishes, and produce quality food that can be prepared quickly.
A successful online kitchen is an efficient one. The technology to help you make the transition to a newly revenue-conscious restaurant is possibly already set up at your point of sale.
Proper POS Makes Third Party Delivery Work
Modern point of sale (POS) systems are bridges between real-world kitchens and online customers. The leading cloud-based solutions are all-in-one-platforms that combine the best in business management software with a customer-facing presence that makes it easy to maintain a professional connection even during contactless times.
With the right system, you can introduce digital accuracy, accessibility, and functionality to everything from your inventory and purchase orders to your online menu and kitchen communication. In practical terms, you can run an entire onsite and online business from a single hub that fits on to your smartphone.
The ongoing COVID-19 uncertainty has given third party delivery companies the opportunity they needed to get a foothold in the restaurant industry and expand their reach beyond traditional quick service partners.
With the right POS solution restaurants too can capitalize on the new ways potential diners are learning to access and enjoy quality food and expand their business by embracing change. talech has a number of POS solutions that can help your business adjust operations smoothly. From reaching new audiences to engaging with your existing customers more often, we give you the tools to adapt quickly and with confidence.
Want to learn more about third party delivery services?
Get your free Demo