We all know that the success of any eatery is sometimes solely based on the quality of food but another key and important factor is, consistency. In order to keep customers satisfied and loyal, food outlets need to be able to supply the same great product their customer base have come to know and love, each and every time, without exception.
According to the NPD Group, food delivery sales have grown 20% while the overall number of deliveries increased 10% over the last five years. Consumers appreciate the ability to shop for food from their favorite eateries and the convenience of restaurant-quality food delivered straight to their door. As a result, the last few years has seen a dramatic increase in contemporary food-delivery services. Restaurants are now being approached by a number of start-up delivery services who promise increased business and decreased delivery management overhead. But while delivery partners like UberEats, DoorDash, and Grubhub have their advantages, they also come with a set of challenges.
When you outsource your delivery service and work with a third-party vendor, you relinquish significant control over this part of your operation. You essentially hand over the reins of your brand to an outsider, and once the food leaves your restaurant, you really can’t control what happens to it. If something does go wrong with a third-party delivery order — if the driver is late or the food is cold, or even give lousy service — many customers won’t distinguish between companies — and the customers will typically blame the restaurant. In fact, according to Off-Premise Insights’ 2018 Takeout, Delivery and Catering study, a whopping 82% of consumers will blame the restaurant, not the delivery service, regardless of the issue.
How to ensure service consistency? If you are working with a third-party delivery company or are considering signing up:
- Evaluate the entire process from the order placement to delivery; how long does an average delivery take and how do they deal with obstacles or if something doesn’t go quite right.
- Understand their employment requirements and how they train their staff. What systems do they have in place to make sure their employees are doing the right thing? How do they maintain a professional appearance? How will they represent your brand appropriately?
- What assurances can they give that your food won’t lose anything in translation, such as the quality being maintained during the entire process, from your kitchen to the customer’s table, and that food items are handled in a manner that is consistent with your restaurant’s standards of food safety. Similarly, how are temperatures maintained for both hot and cold foods and will containers arrive intact?
If all else fails, own the process. A top-quality POS will be able to manage and even optimize your delivery business. Improved social, web and e-mail marketing will drive more direct business to you and increase your restaurant’s breadth of visibility. If you embrace delivery management, you may find it a less expensive and more reliable alternative to third party delivery companies.
There is no doubt about it. Food delivery is big business. Consumers demand convenience and choice when it comes to takeout. While delivery can be great it can also hurt the restaurant’s reputation if it isn’t done properly. Before partnering with a third-party delivery service, its critical to do your homework; be diligent and understand the risks and rewards.