In today's society, we are always on the go. This is why many restaurant company representatives have started to offer food delivery services. Whether it be pizza delivery or pub takeout, restaurant owners can now optimize their business and cater to a wider customer base with food delivery. Not only does this optimize how restaurants operate by giving them more control over their menu options and sales numbers, but it also changes the way sit-down dining works as well. With that said, if you are considering expanding your restaurant business with a food delivery service or are simply interested in knowing about restaurant delivery services, read on.
Food delivery & the Restaurant market
Food delivery is the process of utilizing a food delivery service to bring customers' order of food items to their home. Customers may place an order by telephone, online, or in person with the restaurant.
With a food delivery system present in some restaurants, it opens more opportunities for customers who want to order take-out meals without having to go into the establishment.
The increase in sales is one of the biggest benefits for a restaurant company representative to expand into a food delivery service. With more customers coming through the door, there are higher chances for increased profits with each order made from that customer's visit as well as future visits.
The more customers a restaurant has, the higher chance they will have to optimize their food delivery service and provide them with take-out items without having to be present in person. Research has shown that, restaurants see a 20% increase in check sizes from online and delivery orders versus dine-in orders.
With a higher profit margin, it can be beneficial for a restaurant to expand their business by adding items to their menu and hiring additional employees to do other tasks such as running the kitchen. It can also mean that they will get more deliveries which are going to be profitable.
Experiencing food differently
Having a restaurant delivery service can allow customers to experience food in different ways than simply dining out, which depends on the customer behavior. On the other hand, there are also benefits for those who choose to dine in a restaurant rather than ordering take-out. For example, sitting down with loved ones and enjoying some delicious food is an experience that is not possible through restaurant delivery services.
Both choices have perks: one being the convenience of being able to order what you want without having to go into the restaurant while on the other hand, there is the social aspect of sitting down and talking with loved ones over a meal. Both are enjoyable experiences.
People like the convenience of being able to order what they want without having to go into the restaurant and wait for their food to be ready. Most also like the fact that they can order take-out and have their food delivered without any of the hassle.
Customers also like the variety of dishes that are on a restaurant's menu and prefer to order food in person in order to customize their orders. Take-out restaurants are also great because they make sure you don't end up with leftovers in the fridge going bad from too many days of storing them past their prime, or spending time figuring out what's for dinner.
Most importantly, restaurant delivery services optimize the food experience and offer opportunities to cater to a wider customer base by providing them with take-out options.
Restaurant business trends
It's no surprise that if you want to find success in the world of restaurants then providing take-out options is a must. The convenience, efficiency, and variety make offering take-outs an excellent way to increase profits while keeping your current customer base satisfied, there's a market for food delivery.
Several restaurants are hopping on the growing trend by now providing take-outs so customers can call in orders for pick up or delivery. Implementing delivery services has a number of benefits including higher profits per customer, more efficient deliveries due to less staff required, and a wide range of dishes offered (with something for everyone).
An app-based delivery service can make it easier than ever for today's tech-savvy consumers to order delicious meals at their fingertips with a device in hand. Revenue segmented from online food delivery alone was projected at more than $122 million in 2020 with an annual growth rate of 7.5% between now and 2024.
Businesses who offer take-outs also experience improved customer satisfaction ratings because restaurant take-out options optimize the experience for customers who may have dietary restrictions and/or can't enjoy dining out due to their limitations. The cons of offering actual delivery include potentially receiving less personalized customer service which would be more available during an onsite meal; as well as cooking errors depending on how far in advance a take-out order is placed.
Take-outs are, however, more affordable than dining out and this attracts customers. In addition to being cheaper and easier thanks to any food delivery app and online systems, all take-out orders go through an aggregator system rather than dealing directly with restaurants themselves. However, one downside of take-out options may be if specific requests are not met, because it's easier for problems to arise than during an onsite meal.
The increased variety offered from a menu for takeout makes it easy for people who want different dishes at their fingertips without having to worry about what choices will be presented once inside the restaurant, as well as catering larger groups that may prefer to host a party elsewhere. People can also take the time to know what to order before entering the restaurant or calling in, which reduces a lot of stress which may come when dining-in with other clients waiting.
Eating out as an event is another restaurant trend. Whether it be anniversaries or special occasions, restaurants are gearing towards making eating out an experience rather than the mundane task. They're creating experiences that customers like by adding features such as oyster bars where wine servers offer tastings next to fresh seafood selections.
How restaurant delivery services are changing the food industry
The restaurant industry has had to change dramatically in order to stay ahead of the curve and compete with fast food chains. However, many restaurants have found ways to reach customers outside of their location through take-outs, online food delivery systems and other techniques.
In the last five years, over three hundred thousand businesses have started food delivery services, which has become one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. This growth is being caused by an increasing number of people who don't have time to eat at a restaurant or don't want to leave their homes.
The economics of food delivery can be a positive thing for restaurants in the long-term because they receive better control over their menu options and catering to a wider customer base. It may also be worth having an offer in place that encourages customers to come back, like 20% off their next order.
One of the most interesting aspects of food delivery is that there are less risks associated with keeping extra inventory on hand, as orders may come any time. Additionally, food orders are often fulfilled within 24 hours which also eliminates some risk of spoilage or lost sales due to out-of-stock or over-stock products.
However, one downside is that it can be difficult to guarantee unique requests because restaurants don't have an average time to fulfill them and are limited by their menu options. Yet, this can be solved with a proper food and beverage inventory management app, such as WISK.
Knowing when to choose delivery for your restaurant
1) Your venue
Venues with a lot of foot traffic may want to consider having delivery because it's easier for customers to be able to order what they want without being in the restaurant.
Venues that are more high-end may not have as many people ordering take out or delivery, but will still benefit from catering larger groups and having a variety of menu options available for guests who are dining onsite.
2) Your customers
There are a wide variety of customers in a restaurant, depending on the type of restaurant. Customers' preferences are an important factor when deciding what type of restaurant delivery service to offer. For instance, a fast food style eatery will have mostly people looking for an inexpensive meal and quick service. A more formal, high-end restaurant will have customers looking for quality and experience.
Low-cost eateries will need to make sure orders come quickly otherwise it might not be worth offering this service due to the time and effort required for preparation being less significant when delivering low cost meals such as tacos or pizza.
The economics of food delivery may be more beneficial for high-end restaurants that are catering larger groups or have a variety of menu options available because they are able to charge higher prices for those dishes.
For example, some customers like the convenience of ordering and receiving their food without waiting in line. Others prefer to wait for their take-out order, however receive a better packaging and presentation of their food instead.
One of the most common reasons for customer complaints is service. This doesn't just mean that they received poor service when ordering in person, but also while they were on the phone or interacting with your website or app. This could be caused by an employee being rude and impatient; a server forgetting to bring something or being too slow to respond to their order.
Whatever the case may be, you need to investigate these types of incidents immediately and find a way to resolve the conflict.
If it's clear that the customer is not satisfied, there are several ways for restaurant staff members and any company representative to handle this situation. For example, if you see from the food tracking app that they're still waiting for their food after 45 minutes, you can offer a free dessert or appetizer as an apology.
It's also important to note that customers want your restaurant to be a place where they can feel comfortable and are taken care of. Therefore, it should always have the same level of customer service regardless if they're inside the restaurant or ordering from home with food delivery services.
3) Your location
The location of a restaurant changes the way it delivers food. Sometimes, restaurants find that their customers are spread out all over the city or state and choosing to deliver food becomes a difficult challenge.
In these cases, it is best to have your restaurant offer pick-up orders specifically for those who live geographically far from the restaurant. This works when people are willing to drive out of their way nearby and typically provides an incentive for shorter wait times.
Delivery in a high-traffic area can be challenging. How do restaurants deal with high foot traffic when offering delivery while having customers dining in person? When restaurants have high foot traffic, they may not always be able to cater to all of the customers who are walking in for take-out.
The maximum amount of time a customer should be waiting for their take-out order is 30 minutes. One solution to retaining this objective is having a smaller staff on hand that can do prep work and deliver food when needed or use other delivery systems.
Location matters when delivering food because it determines how the products are prepared, packed, and delivered. The economics of restaurant delivery services change as more people look for quicker dining options at a high-end establishment or choose to wait for their takeout order with quick service restaurants.
High-traffic areas can be difficult to handle when offering delivery while many customers may not have access to an option that delivers due to location limitations. There are several reasons why some restaurants may want the ability to do online ordering including maximizing revenue via multiple channels.
The benefits of food delivery
More efficient time management
Efficient time management is key to any modern restaurant - especially when it comes to fielding phone calls and customers in person. Many restaurants have found it difficult to keep up with the amount of people who want take-outs or delivery services on a daily basis. That's why take-out and online ordering is an option to consider.
With an online order system, customers can place the order while waiting and it will be ready for pick-up or delivery much quicker than any customer waiting at the tables. This is especially helpful when ordering a meal that doesn't take too long to prepare and offers customers the ability to decide if they want their food delivered, picked up in person or eaten nearby.
With take-out orders, the employee has the full order all in one go, therefore catering to customers is easy, since the only task left is to prepare the order on time. On the flip side, customers waiting at tables can place a new order whenever, and don't expect to wait as long as people ordering out.
Parking is often limited depending on the location of your restaurant, therefore the benefit of delivery is not having to worry about losing customers that cannot comfortably access your restaurant.
Another benefit is offering food that might not be sold in moments of unpredictable or displeasing weather. When orders are taken for delivery, restaurants have more control over the food they sell, as there are less cancellations due to weather restrictions and consequently less revenue lost.
Restaurant delivery also increases accessibility by catering to people who can't access your restaurant and catering to people who prefer take-out and minimal social interaction.
An alternative revenue stream
Alternative revenue streams are what a smart restaurant needs. Let's face it, all restaurants cook food and sell it to customers. But when you have the ability to offer take-out and delivery with an online ordering system, that's when you're really showing people your best side.
It solves two problems for business owners: it gives easier service to customers in high demand times and allows you to sell food without being tied down to the restaurant's location.
In addition, delivery services offer an alternative revenue stream for restaurants that has proven successful for some businesses. Services have been found to cover costs while providing a profit margin on top of that, with many reporting 100% growth in the areas they serve within 6 months of going into operation.
When every moment counts for big profits, why not focus on taking orders as efficiently as possible?
One of the main benefits of a delivery service is that it reduces the time an employee spends on the phone, especially in high-volume times. The very nature of waiting for takeout means you have to stand somewhere, and most people prefer not to make that wait at the restaurant's front desk. It also decreases interaction with customers because they're ordering quickly and not standing in line, which also redirects employees time elsewhere.
Restaurant delivery has become a popular competition for restaurants in the past few years. For many restaurants, it is not always possible to have enough staff on hand to cater to both dine-in and take-out customers, which can lead to wait times for people dining in person. To solve this problem, some establishments will offer a limited menu available for take-out and online ordering services which ensures that your delivery driver arrives on time and satisfies the customer experience.
Popular food categories
Take-out and delivery services give restaurant owners insigh t into popular food categories. Restaurants often use these insights when they design their take-out menus in the hopes of mimicking or even exceeding what customers are looking for in take-out options. Chicken is a popular meat option, while traditional dishes like spaghetti with meatballs also rank high in popularity.
Speaking of spaghetti and meatballs, some business owners will offer a limited menu available only through its online ordering service. It's a clever way to offer more dishes that represent your restaurant and/or new dishes you would like to possibly introduce into your in-house menu.
Dishes typically served as dine-in options are not always take-out friendly, therefore beware of the costs needed to pack up and deliver to your customers. This is why simpler dishes can be introduced in your take-out menu or even more popular take-out foods; which often cater to customers with such cravings. It can benefit your restaurant in the long run.
Make up for reduced restaurant walk-ins
Delivery options increase revenue by making up for reduced walk-ins. With a restaurant delivery system, you can increase your profits through online ordering because this allows you to take orders when your walk-in customers aren't there or when weather influences the amount of people physically visiting your restaurant.
Restaurants can offer delivery for occasions when customers have a lot of opportunities to eat out, such as rainy or snowy days, or during high-demand hours. People will often visit restaurants for lunch on weekends and holidays, then order takeout for dinner. The takeaway: more of your revenue stream may come from online orders than you first thought. According to a Full-Service Restaurant report for 2019, restaurants that offer online ordering conduct between 6 and 20% of their business this way and see a 16% increase in sales on average.
The drawbacks of food delivery
Increased wait times
On the other side of things, it does take time for restaurants to pack up orders and deliver them, so there is a trade-off in either taking on an employee or hiring food delivery services that can pick it up from your restaurant.
Some people actually like waiting for their food, while others do not. It's a bit of a gamble when deciding to offer delivery because people can be in-patient or see it as a distraction from their busy day, and they may ultimately choose elsewhere.
Most customers will expect that the same quality of service is provided when they order online as they would when they're visiting the restaurant in person. One example of this is if the order is taking longer than expected, then the customer might just cancel their order because it's not worth waiting any longer.
People want to know that their food is being made fresh and that it will be at peak quality when they receive it for pick-up or delivery. You have to make sure your employees are able to handle both takeout customers and those who order online, so you must invest in technology such as a POS system that will keep both customers happy.
This is why you must invest in technology and hire the right people to manage your online ordering system so you can provide an equal service to both walk-in customers and those ordering on the go.
Extra staff training
With restaurant delivery services, it's important that employees are trained to handle the specific needs of both walk-in customers and those who order online. This includes the customer's ability to order in different languages, or if they have a dietary restriction.
For example, if your restaurant is serving gluten-free items and has someone with celiac disease working at the front desk who can answer questions from customers ordering online, then this will keep them happy when eating out on their own as well.
As long as the service you offer in-house transitions into your delivery operations, you can continue to foster a good restaurant delivery reputation, and one you would be proud to be known for.
Encouraging your staff to ask customers to leave a review is beneficial, however be weary of being too pushy. Make sure you offer a humbling experience where customers are encouraged, but not forced to leave a review. Anything from positive feedback on social media, to Google reviews can increase sales and drive future customers to you.
Even though restaurant delivery is a growing trend and has been increasing in popularity year after year, it does come with some expenses you may not know about.
You may be wondering what the hidden expenses are when it comes to food delivery. There are a few hidden expenses that you should consider. One is the cost of hiring more staff, drivers or investing in food delivery services to deliver your orders; because your online orders will take a lot longer than walk-in customers to be served if you don't. Once you plan to adopt a food delivery service, you may need to invest in delivery vehicles (like company cars and/or bikes).
The other hidden expense is the additional space needed for storage--you'll need to have coolers and freezers on site for storing all of the ingredients and perishable items that people order in advance with their order.
It's easy to get overwhelmed by this expense at first, but it can be done by just taking one step at a time--start by ordering only one freezer and cooler until you see how it works.
As mentioned several times before, your menu may be different when you introduce take-out, therefore producing special a menu for takeout may also be another hidden cost. However, the more convenient the dishes are to pack up for delivery, the better. Some other costs come from regularly buying take-out food containers, bags, take-out cups, utensils, condiments, napkins, etc.
In today's modern world, consumers are more willing to order from restaurants that offer delivery services. One of the reasons for this is because it expands the marketing potential of the restaurant and makes meal deliveries convenient for customers who don't want to leave their houses due to a busy schedule or limited time.
Furthermore, many people place a high value on convenience when paying for food. As such, it's likely that they will be more receptive to your price point if they know they don't have to leave their home in order to get quality food delivered right to their doorstep.
Recent statistics show that as many as 73% of all American adults had used pizza delivery services at least once in the last year. This is huge considering that over half of those went on to order pizza delivery from the same restaurant in less than three months.
We can see that increased food delivery is a trend, but it's not without its own pros and cons for restaurants. We are turning into a society that expects their orders in no time at all which has lead restaurants to making orders more convenient, and hence driving up profits.
Even if your restaurant focuses on one type of cuisine or cuisine from only one region of the world, you can still provide a delivery option for customers who want traditional dishes outside of their comfort zone — all while catering to your reoccurring customers' needs.
Food and Beverage delivery services increase profit margins because they're less expensive than producing and running a bar, restaurant, or cafeteria.
Disconnects from your restaurant atmosphere
The atmosphere in your restaurant and delivery can be different. One example of this disconnection is music, where you may want to have a mix of upbeat and mellow tunes when delivering food as opposed to what's playing inside your establishment.
Another potential disconnection could occur with certain items on your menu that don't translate well for take-out orders, such as those dishes requiring more time or space (such as an elaborate plating).
Additionally, you will lose some of your ambience when you have people sitting in their living room, eating food from a restaurant. Most of the time, the restaurant atmosphere is part of the enjoyment of the food and may even increase people's appetite if designed with the customers in mind.\
The other drawback to do with the delivery is that people may expect your take-out meal to look like what they are used to receiving from your physical restaurant or other restaurants. You will need to account for these expectations by either staying perfectly true to the teriyaki or pizza image or make sure your outside packaging is appealing in order to take advantage of your marketing potential.
If these differences can be managed successfully, there are plenty of benefits attached to offering delivery services: increased profit margins; catering better to customers who live in areas lacking quality restaurants nearby; and providing convenience during busy times, like evenings or weekends, such as for people juggling work schedules while still finding time for leisure-time.
Additional delivery and menu dish fees
One of the possible drawbacks of delivering food is that you have to pay for delivery costs, which can be substantial if you're often sending out a large number of deliveries. Customers may also not want to pay the extra delivery cost if they see that the cost is too high or they may pay, but avoid repurchasing from your restaurant.
It has been observed that customers are not happy or enthusiastic about paying for delivery. Some people believe this is due to changes in the food industry, such as lack of options and increased prices.
Others believe that it has to do with the way that restaurants have changed their menus to reflect current trends. Restaurants now provide less variety and offer higher prices in order to compensate for their lack of variety. Customers may also feel like take-out places charge high prices because they know there is no competition near them.
7 tips to adopt delivery in your restaurant
1. Get the word out
Restaurants can advertise their delivery services by having the phone number listed on their website, on their business cards, and in their store. They can also make sure that they have a button that says "Delivery" which links to a page that lists all the available delivery options.
To get the word out about their delivery services, restaurants can offer discounts on delivery and have promotions related to their deliveries. They can also promote themselves through social media by advertising in posts or pictures with a link that is easily accessible. The restaurant is now able to reach customers who do not live near them as well as customers living nearby.
Ever wondered about how to get more customers? The answer is simple. Market and advertise your products through collaborations with influencers in the market. You can even collaborate with local accounts or bloggers to create a special offer like "deliveries on Fridays" for an hour window so that you retain regulars and attract new customers!
2. Be memorable
Food delivery and the restaurant market helps restaurants provide an unforgettable experience dedicated to what makes them different. Restaurants can advertise with exciting wording in advertisements and social media posts, show pictures of sauces, spices, meats or vegetables on their website for customers to choose from prior to ordering anything and create an interactive experience so that customers are able to see exactly what they are ordering.
Restaurants should also provide an extensive menu that includes items from their sit-down experience so they can offer food at different price points and variety for customers who may not want to order delivery more than three times a week.
Restaurants can also have customization options for customers. For example, the customer could choose their protein and if they want to add sauce or other items as well as any of the sides that are available in a restaurant. Customers would then be able to see how much it costs before ordering so there is no confusion about what exactly they ordered when they see the price.
Restaurants can also use delivery services to have a more intimate experience with their customers, for instance by having servers who are in charge of carrying out deliveries or sending digital signatures, so that they know who made the order and what has been ordered before making it to the customer's door.
Restaurant vouchers are a helpful solution for restaurants that are looking to expand their delivery service. The voucher provides the customer with the opportunity to enjoy some of a restaurant's delicious food and experience without paying the full price.
The restaurant also saves money by not having to pay for each delivery, and then still have to deliver it themselves. This saves them the hassle of hiring someone who's qualified at doing all the heavy lifting.
4. Consider an in-house delivery system
An in-house delivery system for a restaurant can provide the following benefits. It can help to attract more customers to the establishment with faster service times, which is helpful in increasing business. It can also provide a way of selling discounted products and still maintain profits, which is good for everyone involved. Delivery also gives you more control over food handling and delivery, as well as who is representing your restaurant for those ordering from home.
A study by Simmons & Lehman (2001) found that people who order their food through an online delivery service spend about $3 per order on average. The study also found that most people who use these services are young adults. So it could be said that providing an in-house delivery system will promote healthier eating habits among young adults as well as provide other benefits like increased profits and fast service times.
5. Delivery tracking system
Running a restaurant and want to make sure you have enough food for your customers?
The Delivery Tracking System would allow the restaurants to track how many orders they have for the day and if they are running low on a certain type of food. It would also give the customers an idea of what time their order will be arriving. This system can also help make sure everything is up to date and in working order on the restaurant side.
You won’t ever run out of any ingredient again! With this system, you can see exactly when your next shipment is coming in so that you always know what ingredients are available. And with our customer-facing app, it’s easy for them to track their order and see it coming up.
6. Consider an online order manager
Nine out of ten customers are ordering takeout from a restaurant that has an online order. Restaurants can consider using an online order manager to make sure they're as accessible as possible to new customers. Their job entails overseeing and handling all online orders, while making sure that each order is properly prepared and distributed on time. A restaurant should make sure that there's a website or app for customers who want to order food from a location other than the restaurant.
A restaurant company can benefit from an online order manager by making the ordering process seamless. To make the process easier, a lot of restaurants offer an online order form that is fairly straightforward to fill out. The website or app for the customer is sleek and serves as a hub where customers can view all the menu items, specials, and promotions. On top of that, it provides a way for customers to review their orders and communicate with staff members if there are any questions or concerns about their food.
7. Third-party delivery services
Third-party food delivery services, like GrubHub and UberEats, are on the rise. In one month alone they’ve garnered $600 million in sales from restaurant clients who take advantage of these additional distribution channels to sell more food items while also expanding their customer base. But at what cost? The proliferation of third-party delivery services make it easy to get a pizza delivered right down the street, but this convenience comes at a cost.
Third-party food delivery companies:
- Offer cheap prices for restaurant clients because they’re not paying for labor and overhead costs like restaurants are.
- Offer delivery, which is an essential part of the customer experience. When people order in advance online, they expect to be able-to track their order in real time and have it delivered at a specified location.
- Make things easier for the customer, however when customers are paying with an app, merchants don’t get any feedback about how satisfied they were directly by the restaurant itself.
- Facilitates restaurants to reach a wider customer base and sell more items.
Restaurants with third party delivery services can gain by integrating with their POS system. This way they can get feedback on how satisfied customers are and make adjustments accordingly. It is also easier for them to have a wider customer base while also being able to sell more food items and making things easier for the customer.
Restaurants can also gain by receiving feedback from customers and making adjustments accordingly, which gives insights into their business and their projectory.
Switching to takeout and delivery only
Like mentioned earlier, restaurants can switch to takeout and delivery only by integrating with their POS system. This way they will be able to receive feedback from customers and assess how satisfied they are and make the required adjustments accordingly. Restaurants can also make it easier for the customer, a trend that is on the rise.
A term for the most extreme case scenario is a "ghost restaurant", i.e Mr. Beast Burger. It is a restaurant that has no staff, and instead relies on third-party food delivery services. Ghost restaurants keep their prices low by not having labor or overhead like traditional establishments do. But this can lead to a lack of customer experience and satisfaction that could be attributed to poor food quality--or worse yet, customers associating the job of the third-party service with your restaurant's capabilities.
This trend is growing in popularity because people are expecting that as soon as they order online, they will be able to track their order in real-time and have it delivered at a specified location.
Some of the disadvantages of switching to only takeout and delivery is that several restaurants may struggle finding labor to work with and will also be lacking in overhead. If a restaurant were to offer takeout and delivery only there might be more potential for mistakes when handling food-related items.
A pro of switching to takeout and delivery only is that it can make things easier for customers by making the process less complicated. For example, instead of going out to find food in the area, wait in a line or stand outside in the cold; they can order food from the comfort of their home.
As seen in this example, there are many advantages and disadvantages to going with takeout and delivery only. It is a trend that needs more time before being fully assessed but it does offer opportunities for restaurants to reach out to wider customer bases while also growing as business ventures.
To sum up, there's a market for food delivery that has been around for some time now. It started as an alternative to those who didn't want to cook but then it became so much more than just take-out or pizza deliveries! The convenience and the increase in sales are what make restaurant deliver services worth investing in.
Food delivery and the restaurant market improve the food experience, which is different than traditional sit-down dining. Opportunities for wider customer bases motivate restaurants to offer their customers the ability to get deliveries. The pros and cons of restaurant delivery services offer businesses with a definite choice as to whether or not they want their business to be taking part in this trend.