4 Things to Consider Before Adding Delivery to Your Restaurant
Food delivery is projected to grow 12% per year over the next 3 years1. Aside from the sales opportunity, there are other clear benefits to incorporating food delivery at your restaurant, such as giving the restaurant increased visibility, exposure to new customers and gaining of valuable insights on purchasing trends2,3. That said, incorporating delivery to an existing restaurant isn’t something that happens overnight. Factoring in the new technology, menu development, staff training and additional costs that goes into the whole ordeal, it may be a good idea to first consider these four important aspects of food delivery first:
Do you have a delivery menu? There are foods that just don’t travel well, like cheesy nachos that are meant to be eaten right away or a raw seafood plate that is sensitive to temperature fluctuations. And while everything is technically deliverable, sometimes it’s not worth the trouble to have to invest in a packaging solution that would let you deliver them. So yes, you can deliver anything, but you shouldn’t try to deliver everything.
A few tips here4 offer solutions to keeping delivery foods fresh, like separating the sauces and separating hot and cold in separate bags. Insider also gives a few examples of foods that don’t travel well, like avocado toast and salads that aren’t packaged properly5.
It also goes without saying that your food won’t be deliverable without proper packaging. A well packaged food is not only durable, but also leak-proof. A badly packaged food can leave you with negative reviews and hurt your restaurant’s reputation for food quality.
Investing in a POS system that includes delivery function is a must. There are a number of systems you can choose but you need to make sure that your POS system offer apps that will let your customers place orders on their tablets or smartphones6. It should also be able to handle things like delivery, online ordering, customer information and operation control7.
According to an Online Ordering Platform company, Orders2me, one advantage of updating your POS so that it covers online services is that it handles the problem of chain restaurants having issues with poorly integrated and non-uniform POS systems across restaurants. Meanwhile, “online ordering systems are situated above the POS, [so] they can easily integrate themselves into multiple POS providers at once”8.
Don’t want to enter the information from all those delivery tablets? There are solutions including Chowly that integrate those orders into your POS. This helps with labor, speed of service and accuracy and are typically worth the extra cost.
Space and Staff
s there a dedicated staff member who will be in charge of the delivery? You should have an employee who can take care of receiving orders, prep, expediting and checking orders before they leave for delivery9. This is important because delivery orders can negatively influence a restaurant efficiency, especially if this task is added to your front-of-house staffs’ duties. According a Olo’s “Want to Scale Delivery?” report, “once your restaurant is processing 30 or more delivery orders per day you can justify dedicating an employee to this role”10.
Likewise, operators should have extra workspace for preparing and packaging delivery food and storing big bags and boxes11.
You can decide to deliver yourself or leave it to a third-party service like Doordash, UberEats, Grubhub, among many others. The advantage of outsourcing delivery is that smaller, local restaurants can get started quickly12. Restaurants can also take advantage of the software and support they offer and use these popular apps as a way to attract new customers and gain brand recognition13. Sometimes, it’s just the matter of capacity. As Jersey Mike’s president Hoyt Jones said, “It’s hard to manage an in-house business, a carry-out business, and then a delivery business”14.
Still, the problem with third-party delivery companies is the fees ranging from 25 to 30 percent of sales14. More restaurants are developing their own delivery service models instead of struggling with the tight margins15. An in-house delivery route would require you to pay upfront costs to hire drivers to deliver your food, but it may be worth the investment if it will bring higher returns in the long run16, 17.
About Goliath Consulting Group
Goliath Consulting Group with headquarters in Norcross, Georgia offers a dynamic array of business development solutions, tailored to meet the needs of each individual client – in addition to a full suite of knowledge and tools that help make restaurants more profitable, including strategic planning, menu development, project management, new restaurant development, branding, marketing, franchising, equipment, technology, evaluations, outsourcing, and more. The company also has a management division that manages full-service restaurants. Goliath Consulting enjoys a ten-year track record of creating client success among local, regional and multi-unit national restaurant chains.
Goliath Consulting Group is actively involved in the Foodservice Consultants Society International and is an allied partner of the Georgia Restaurant Association.