Over the past month and several weeks, we’ve been discussing strategies for restaurants to beat the “summer slump,” as it were. Granted, not all restaurants slow down in the summer, but pretty much every restaurant has slower months than others, and 100 percent of the owners of those restaurants, if asked, would say they wish they could do something to increase profits during the slow season, whenever it may happen to be.
The past few posts, however, have seen us take a relatively deep dive into a particular topic — where the industry of restaurant food delivery is headed. We’ve taken the opportunity to take what some experts are projecting on the matter (“40% of total restaurant sales—or $220 billion could be up for grabs by 2020, compared with current sales of around $30 billion”), which should give restaurant owners of all kinds all kinds of good feelings.
What Restaurant Owners Need To Know
Beyond the exciting prospects of more and more people using delivery services to eat at home, restaurant owners need to be aware that they find themselves in a market that is uniquely sensitive. There is a window of opportunity that exists right now; third-party delivery aggregators have yet to take a firm foothold in the market in the sense that there is no “Amazon” or “Facebook” of the industry that blows everyone else out of the water with consumer loyalty. And while using a third-party delivery service for your restaurant might seem like a decent way to save yourself a bit of stress and time, the costs are often exorbitant.
As Software Advice explains:
“Restaurants are signing up with third-party providers as a way to gain exposure and reach new customers. But as they continue to rely on third-parties—and as commission fees grow alongside increasing food orders—restaurants are forfeiting a significant chunk of their revenue and hurting their bottom line, instead of growing their business.”
With that in mind, restaurant decision makers are presented with a window. But taking advantage of this window of opportunity requires a sense of urgency. As most of us know, consumers behave in predictable ways, and it’s only a matter of time before the vast majority of people use the same third-party delivery app, or perhaps one of a few. But before this happens, and restaurants are obligated to pay unfair commission fees, you have a chance carve out your own niche by building a loyal customer base that is comfortable ordering from your dynamic website (or perhaps even your own mobile web app).
This is where Online Orders Now comes into play. We don’t charge commissions per order, we don’t put caps on monthly order volume to make you pay more if you are more successful, and we don’t make you use us an exclusive provider.
On the contrary, we offer a wealth of benefits, with some of them being highlighted below:
- A custom, mobile-optimized website that captures the essence of your restaurant. We make sure that making changes to your menu is a quick and easy process, while also ensuring that your website has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a modern, sophisticated restaurant with a food ordering system.
- POS integration is key for the vast majority of our clients. While we give you the ability to choose semi or non-integrated options, one of the most attractive aspects of choosing Online Orders Now is that we put each order into your POS. It prints out the tickets while the customer is still online, and all orders and customer information are automatically uploaded to your POS system. What’s more, it never makes a mistake and will even send you notifications via text, email, or fax if there happens to be an internet outage! It’s like having an invisible, mistake-free cashier taking orders.
- Customers who use an online ordering system have tickets that are 30 percent larger than when they might order from the counter or over the phone. They have more time to browse and are offered add-ons during the purchase process, so it makes sense. It’s just one more reason to add Online Orders Now!
There are plenty of other benefits and features that Online Orders Now offers in our suite of products, but we want to spend the rest of today’s post highlighting the benefits of going with an in-house food delivery system, i.e. not using a delivery aggregate. For a full list of our features, check out our dedicated resource!
Why Going In-House Makes Sense
It’s obvious that big fish like Domino’s have a different business model than most of our clients, but we think it’s worthwhile to take a look at what their CEOs have been quoted as saying about the idea of utilizing a third-party delivery service.
Patrick Doyle, CEO of Domino’s, said: “The efficiency of the delivery process is something we know and understand very, very well. That’s not something you’re ever going to see us outsource. The only way to bring a long-term competitive advantage is to do it yourself.”
Russell Bendel, CEO of burger chain Habit Restaurants, said: “We’ve met with all of the third-party delivery companies,” he says. “People want convenience, but we’re not willing to give 30-plus percent of proceeds to a third-party delivery company.”
Indeed, some third-party vendors charge upwards of 35 percent per order! It’s necessary to count the cost. Sure, it will save you a bit of stress and time, but is it even worthwhile when your profits are gutted to that extent?
We’d argue no. There are so many benefits to not outsourcing your delivery service. Doing so improves customer loyalty, gives you valuable marketing data (especially when your online ordering software syncs with your POS system automatically) on your customers, and your customers will feel valued when they see their custom preferences are saved from their previous order.
Is It Realistic?
Here’s the crux of the issue. Most restaurant owners aren’t programmers, website designers, or digital marketing specialists. Most restaurant owners are passionate about great food and hospitality. That’s the way it should be, too. So you might be reading this article and agreeing with the point that you don’t want to pay 20 to 35 percent for food delivery, but you also understand there’s a reason why other restaurants are willing to do that — what other choice do they have in this novel, digital landscape?
Between attempting to figure something like that out yourself and giving a third of each sale to an aggregator, there’s a third option. If you can handle the delivery side of things, we can set you up for success with our mobile food ordering system. We’ve already listed a few of the many features and benefits we offer, so we won’t belabour the point.