Third-Party Delivery Service – Threat or Opportunity
There are two constants in a business—time is precious and competitors abound. Some days, it is so busy that it’s difficult to get the next day’s order in the system while ensuring that all of tomorrow’s orders are properly prepped and ready to go. Therefore, as important as it is, it may be difficult to spend significant daily time analyzing exactly which companies are a threat and what should be done about them.
This brings us to the companies labelled as middlemen or thirdparty delivery services. Some of these may act as pure alternative delivery services for those individuals looking for a sandwich from their favorite restaurant, and others present themselves as a varied menu-intense portal where an office manager can easily order a meal for a small meeting or a large presentation.
Ofcourse, these services come with a price. While charges vary, both the customer and you as the caterer may have to pay. In fact, it is common for these services to bill caterers up to 10% to deliver your order.
Although using third-party services means additional orders, it could also mean additional complaints as well. In-house delivery staff can be closely monitored to ensure that delivery times stay low, orders arrive in good condition, and, when they don’t, replacements can be sent immediately with an apology. In comparison, some third-party drivers work for more than one service, so if an order is guaranteed in an hour, it could mean your customers are waiting a full 60 minutes. When an order arrives wrong, spilled, or cold and soggy, the restaurant is the one that bears the brunt of the customer’s anger, eats the cost of the replacement (plus the delivery fee) and risks a bad review.
All these third-party service companies accept orders online, they don’t provide the customer information they collect in the process to the restaurant, so you don’t have access to this for future marketing campaigns. In addition, these services can be expensive — most charge a sign-up fee, monthly fee, additional fees for extra locations and commission for every order, including repeat guests. Combined, some of these fees can add up to 30% or more.
Restaurant owners should evaluate the pros and cons of employing third-party online ordering and delivery services before signing up. While they can help increase brand awareness and reach a wider market, they can also be expensive and risky when it comes to customer service and satisfaction. Weigh your choices carefully and evaluate whether a third-party delivery service is truly worth it for your restaurant.
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