The restaurant industry is at the forefront of adopting new technology that helps manage the demand for food service. Many restaurants are expanding rapidly into using independent food delivery apps that help tap into more market share and sales volume.
Let’s explore some of the benefits that restaurant owners should consider, if they are evaluating independent food delivery app services. If your food delivery volume is starting to become unmanageable for your staff, this may be a viable option for your business.
Increased Sales from Consumers Who Would Rather Dine at Home
No matter how great the restaurant décor and service experience, there are some customers that would prefer to eat at home. And that’s absolutely okay for restaurant owners, who can expand sales of take-out or delivery items beyond the capacity that their dining room can hold.
But did you know that several studies have concluded that your customers will actually order more food online, with a higher sale value, than they would while dining in the restaurant? Behaviorally during peak service hours, a customer will hasten to put their order in because they are hungry and want their food as quickly as possible.
By comparison, someone ordering from a delivery app is likely to pre-order when they have a quiet moment and schedule the delivery exactly when they want to eat. That gives them more time to browse the menu, and order what they really want (without feeling rushed).
Effective Management of Peak Delivery Periods
Your restaurant is lined up out the door! Exciting, right? Except that you know customers will only wait so long for a table, before they leave and find another option nearby. And if your customers find that the popularity of your restaurant means they can almost never walk-in and get a table within a reasonable wait time, they may stop coming altogether.
Dealing with that flow of customers during peak times is a nightmare for restaurant management. You want to fulfill the demand, but you have a limitation in terms of seating and wait staff that can serve your customers. Many restaurants that have adopted one or more delivery apps, find that their sales volume increases, because they are not turning away customers during the busiest days and service times of the week.
Subscribing to More Than One App Means More Customers
If you are a restaurant manager or owner, you have probably been approached several times by different delivery apps available in your community. Have you tried one yet? Did you know that many restaurants are adopting at least two different apps (where possible by contract) to leverage their delivery sales potential?
Encourages Diners to Explore More Menu Options
Think about the service experience that the average customer has at their favorite (but busy) restaurant. They wait for a table and sit down to note that other customers are order or receiving their food. They are hungry and seeing all the delicious plates coming hot out of the kitchen doesn’t help that hunger.
Restaurant diners are prone to feeling a little bit of stress when they open the menu. Whether they have a limited amount of time before they have to leave or have a suspicion that they may be waiting a longer time for their food, they are prompted to order quickly. From a production flow this is a good thing; customer in, served and customer out methodology for freeing up tables for the next diner. But this stress and fast pace can also lower the value of every sale.
In a busy restaurant environment, diners feel pressured to order quickly. They may not have enough time to evaluate the whole menu and choose some of their favorites instead. They may not have enough time to evaluate appetizers, or desserts either (given the fast pace expectation at the table).
Encouraging customers to order with an easy-to-use app at home, not only provides the convenience that most customers are looking for, but it gives them ample time to try new things, add things to their meal order that they may not have, if they were dining in and pressed for time. This is another great advantage of adopting one or more delivery apps for your restaurant business.
It Can Be More Affordable Than Operating Your Own In-House Delivery Service
There is a presumption by some outside of the food service industry, that home delivery is actually easier and more profitable for a restaurant business. But when you consider the cost of employing multiple drivers, their hourly pay, and dealing with the administrative aspects of late orders, or missing deliveries, how much time are you spending managing your delivery team?
We think it’s prudent to always have at least one driver available to run orders locally, for the average small to medium sized restaurant. But if you are currently employing several delivery drivers, do the math carefully and consider what each professionally delivered order will cost you with an app, versus the time and effort to deliver with your own staff. Many restaurants find that using the apps saves them a great deal of expense.
Choosing the Right Delivery App for Your Business
Profitability depends on constantly calculating the cost of product and service in the restaurant industry. As a restaurant owner, you have to weigh the benefits of adding regional app delivery services with the costs and fees that come with them.
Some of the biggest players in the restaurant food delivery app market are:
Surge fees are one thing that restaurants have to watch carefully. Naturally, you want to increase your food service orders during peak times when your establishment can’t deal with additional foot traffic. That’s when you are truly expanding your sales potential, beyond what your staff and facility can accommodate on the premises.
Many apps charge what is called a ‘surge fee’ as a premium charge for deliveries during peak meal hours. This generally includes from the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for the lunch crowd, and then 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for dinner delivery. These fees are charged in addition to the service rates by the delivery app provider, so when you are deciding on the right app, try to choose one that does not stack fees on your peak delivery times, to prevent profit margins from being eroded.
Our team at Miami Beef® would like to hear from you. Are you already using an independent food delivery app service in your restaurant? What do you think about the services in terms of growing your sales volume? Leave us a comment below.