Food delivery has grown rapidly over the last years. Third party delivery platforms like Takeaway.com, GrubHub and UberEats are all serving hungry customers waiting for their food to be delivered. For restaurants, these third party delivery platforms have been a good opportunity to grow your business. It’s a simple and effective way to extend your reach and get more revenue. However, there are also downsides on using these third party delivery platforms. First, it’s the commission fee you need to pay. Some delivery platforms charge you more then 20% on each order. They charge you for each order, also for orders coming from customers that have been eating your food many times. You keep on paying for a customer.
Secondly, there is the lack of data. Working with food delivery platforms will leave you in the blind if it comes down to customer data and insights. Therefore, you will not be able to use insights that will help to further improve your service and menu. You also will miss the relationship with your customer, so you will stay dependent on food delivery platforms for sending promotional messages to trigger more revenue.
The rise of delivery apps and ordering sites
Are there any alternatives for delivery platforms? Yes, there are by building your own delivery app or ordering website. Many restaurants have been building ordering and delivery apps, some more successful than others. The trick here is to make ordering at least as convenient as the third party delivery platform you’re competing with. Downloading an app for one single restaurant is a bigger hurdle than downloading an app for 10.000’s of restaurants.
You also have to incentive your guests to use your direct channels. Think of a free soda or something else that is highly valued by your guests but is relatively cheap for you. Once you have guests ordering via your direct channel, you can start thinking about how you keep them engaged. A loyalty program where guests can save for extra perks can do that trick for you.