In an era when convenience is king, it’s no wonder that third-party delivery services such as Grubhub and UberEats have gained such popularity. For consumers, they provide an ever-broadening range of eating choices delivered right to their door. However, restaurant owners should carefully look at the pros and cons of these services since they can be a mixed blessing.
Third-party services stand out because they are seen by many customers as cool and cutting-edge. Including your eatery on the list of one of these services can make you seem up with the times and the modern trends, particularly with your millennial customers. You don’t even need to employ your point of sale software in order to use one of these services; most do not integrate with POS systems and require you to process the transactions manually.
What’s more, third-party services can actually do some of your marketing for you. Potential customers who may never have heard of you will see your name and menu on the service’s app or website. If the customer has already had a positive experience with the company, they may attach it to your restaurant as well. That adds up to free advertising and quite a few potential loyal customers for you.
Finally, allying yourself with one of these companies can take some of the hassle off your shoulders. While you may have had to hire delivery staff in the past, you can now delegate the job to people whose salaries you don’t even pay. You will also save on gas, insurance and the cost of a vehicle. All you will need to do is to pay the service company a fee for each order they handle for you.
Before you jump on the third-party delivery service bandwagon, however, there are some negative points to consider. First of all, the fees that you will be charged can be quite hefty. Depending on your location, the popularity of your restaurant and whether you pay for a sponsored listing, you might be asked to fork over as much as a whopping 30 percent of the cost of an order.
In addition, you don’t have all that much control over the drivers the company sends to deliver your food. Should the food arrive two hours late or cold, for instance, chances are good that it will not be the third-party meal deliverer that the customer will blame. In the end, your brand might take the hit.
Another consideration is that there is room for a variety of brand-damaging errors when you work with a third-party company. You might not be open or you may have stopped taking delivery orders, yet a customer is still able to order from you on the third-party company’s website or app. Or maybe your menu changed in-house but not on the company’s platform. What do you do then? These difficulties can lead to aggravation for you and disenchantment for your customers.
When faced with the question of whether to pay for a third-party delivery company or not, you should think about your business’s unique features. If you believe that every delivery order will increase your profits and add to your customer base, this may be a terrific option for your establishment. Take the time to select the third-party vendor that best meets your needs. Once you do, you can enhance your customers’ experiences and pad your profit margin in the process.