The Big Do’s and Don’ts of Restaurant Delivery

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resturant delivery

“It seems like everybody’s jumping into the (food) delivery game.”
May 7, 2015 article in

Four months after writer Noah Glass began to observe the beginnings of a delivery trend among major restaurant chains in his May 7 article “Are you doing delivery right?”Entrepreneur Magazine dutifully listed 11 restaurant concepts that “recently revealed plans to start testing delivery.”

The list reads like a “who’s who” of some of the nation’s most prominent restaurant chains – with Dunkin’ Donuts, Chipotle, Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzky’s, Panera Bread, and even Starbucks among the number. How are so many restaurant concepts becoming able to deliver food to customers’ homes in what seems like rapid succession?

The primary answer is the emergence of third-party delivery services. With companies like Postmates, DoorDash, Uber Eats on the scene, restaurant franchises are enjoying substantially lower costs than those associated with company-operated delivery services. Additionally, they are able to take exceptional customer service to the next level – satisfying the growing demand for convenience by delivering fresh food expeditiously.

But, everything that glitters isn’t gold, and evaluating the ROI for a delivery service of any kind can be tricky. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for those who may be calculating the cost of convenience:

DO some number crunching and account for all costs associated with offering this service. How much will a third-party company charge? Is that an expense your business can reasonably afford?

Franchise businesses that choose to implement a company-operated service often find themselves in unfamiliar territory. All of a sudden, they’re in the delivery business, where they must consider gratuity, service charges, and more as they’ll impact the bottom line.

DON’T forget about what matters most to your business. If your business prioritizes personalized service or a one-of-a-kind dining experience, perhaps incorporating delivery is not the best option for you. While the ability to meet demand is paramount for any growing business, staying true to your brand is just as important.

DO understand the conditions of your partnership. Choosing a third-party delivery service is just as meaningful as any other business partnership. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of your agreement.

DON’T pass on an opportunity to be honest with yourself. As with any new offering, make sure you give ample thought to your business’ objectives, values, and budget. By taking a moment to consider who will pick up the cost and how it will impact your business, you can ensure that delivery truly is a viable – and gainful – option for your franchise.

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