Restaurants across the country are closing their dining rooms to protect public health as well as to comply with government mandates. One tactic many restaurants are working to shift towards is third-party delivery. Third-party delivery can potentially keep your restaurant operational during this time; however, it can seem overwhelming to those who are just getting started.
The following article will cover steps restaurant operators need to take to make third-party delivery successful.
Step 1: Understand what will and won’t work with your POS system
Third-party delivery can create operational bottlenecks since different providers integrate with POS systems. This lack of integration may create an additional need for manual work to consolidate your sales. It can also mean you might have to run your business through a variety of tablets and tools, which can make streamlining your processes a little more complicated. If you feel overwhelmed, your best bet is to start with one third-party provider and expand once your team gets the hang of things.
Step 2: Choose your vendors
When it comes to third-party delivery, there are a ton of players out there right now. The top three players are Grubhub, UberEats, and DoorDash. Critical considerations for choosing a third party delivery provider will be understanding:
- How orders will interact with your POS system.
- What the average sale is on each of the core platforms. Different apps appeal to different demographics of users with varying levels of disposable income.
- Commissions and monthly subscription fees.
- Geographic popularity.
In light of the Covid-19 crisis, GrubHub, DoorDash, UberEats, and Postmates are temporarily waiving commissions and fees for independent restaurants. Some of them only apply to the harder-hit regions, so be sure to check recent promotions.
- Grubhub – Grubhub takes the cake when it comes to third party delivery market-share. To get started with Grubhub, visit https://get.grubhub.com/#main. GrubHub currently integrates well with five core POS providers. Those are NCR, Oracle, Upserve- Breadcrumb POS, Toast, and rPower POS.
- Uber Eats – Uber Eats is the second-largest delivery provider. Set up time for Uber eats can vary based on the number of locations your restaurant services, you can get started with Uber Eats in one to two weeks. To sign up visit https://www.ubereats.com/restaurant/en-US/signup#
- DoorDash – Doordash is the third-largest third-party delivery provider nationwide. You can get started with Doordash by visiting their website here. https://get.doordash.com/
- Postmates – Postmates is one of the more recent third-party delivery platforms, They deliver a wide variety of things throughout cities and is not only limited to restaurants. It typically takes 2-3 weeks from the date of signing up to get started. Postmates has started waiving commission fees, but so far, it just applies to San Francisco.
Step 3: Offer a limited menu of high-profit items that travel well.
In order for your online menu to be successful, it needs to consist of high-profit items that travel well. If you are a fine dining establishment that might mean you need to pair down your menu to include more basic offerings to online customers.
If you are a current Compeat Advantage customer, you can view the profitability of your menu items through the Menu Engineering report. You will want to select all of your stars that can withstand a 30-minute delivery window and still taste delicious when they arrive.
Step 4: Advertise your offerings everywhere you can
Getting set up on third-party apps will help you start to get the word out there about your offerings, but that alone is not enough to ensure your success. To ensure everyone knows about your new partnership, be sure to post a notice on the door advertising possible take-out and delivery options. Post on your website and on social media about what apps and platforms you partner with. Post frequently to keep conversations going, and work to optimize your online listings as the business progresses. Remove listings that are not getting ordered, add beautiful photographs of dishes to entice users further, and improve online purchase rates by offering amazing deals for add-ons to increase the size of your orders.
We also recommend that you carefully study your data to ensure that third-party delivery makes sense for your business. While running a delivery-only operation might be forced on you now, it is important to track your data and determine if delivery is profitable for you or not. There is no denying that delivery is here to stay, but is it right for your business once your city returns back to “normal”?
We wish you long-term success and prosperity!