In a previous post, we discussed all the different ways you can get your restaurant in front of new customers. But today we’re going to focus on one in particular: food delivery services.
Because food delivery services decreases costs for restaurants, while also increasing revenue. They’re growing in popularity among customers, which means they’ll be searching for your restaurant using them! If you’re not on a food delivery service, then you’re missing out on a potentially large and cost-effective revenue stream.
But there are some risks. Not every food delivery provider offers the same level of service or benefits to the restaurants. Most importantly, they can be very expensive.
So how should you think about this decision? What should you keep in mind? That’s what we’ll cover in this blog post. We discuss:
- What’s driving the consumer shift to food delivery services
- Why restaurants are increasingly going online and mobile
- What are the pros and cons of using a food delivery service, and
- Which food delivery service should you ultimately choose?
Overall, food delivery services are a fantastic way to drive new business as long as you keep a few important things in mind. But even if you use a food delivery service, you may have one remaining question:
How do I drive more online orders and deliveries to my restaurant?
If you read our article on the different ways of marketing your restaurant, you’ll remember one of the most cost-effective ways was Word-of-mouth 2.0 marketing. You get other people to create and share content about your restaurant online, and in return, you pay them in food or cash.
That’s exactly what we do at EarnLocal: we help businesses get more people promoting them online. And using our EarnLocal links, they drive new business directly to your online orders website and develop a new source of revenue for your restaurant.
But what’s driving this new shift in consumer behavior? Why are customers increasingly ordering online and through their phones?
Demand for online orders is driven by consumers
Over the past 10 years, there’s been an explosion in the number of food delivery services. Grubhub came first, but soon after came Seamless, Postmates, Deliveroo, Doordash, Caviar, Uber Eats – and the list goes on and on.
Why did all of these food delivery companies emerge all of a sudden?
As shown by the success of companies like Uber and Amazon, we’re increasingly entering the on-demand economy. Consumers want what they want, now. Heading out to a restaurant, ordering, waiting for food and finally eating has never been the most streamlined process. For many restaurant-goers, this is a good thing. But there’s a huge segment of customers who always simply wanted their food as soon as possible.
The proliferation of all the new food delivery apps has reflected this demand by consumers. In a few presses of the keyboard or taps on their phone, a customer can have food delivered right to their door. No more driving to the restaurant and no more waiting – all for a small fee of $3 to $5.
In other words, customers are paying for convenience. Ordering food on their phone is just as simple as buying something on Amazon or ordering a new piece of clothing online. Food is just the next thing to go digital. And the restaurants which move earliest on this trend have a huge swath of customers waiting to get fed.
But despite how much this benefits the end-customer, food delivery is even better for restaurants. Let’s explore how.
The pros and cons of food delivery for restaurants
Food delivery drives more traffic
If customers want convenience, restaurants want more customers with even lower overhead to get them. So how does food delivery drive new customers while also driving down expenses?
The first reason is that restaurants are now exposed to a new customer audience they otherwise didn’t have access to. In the past, restaurants primarily served those who were in their local neighborhood. But with the rise of delivery apps, restaurants can now serve anyone their couriers will deliver to. That’s an enormously larger market.
Of course, restaurants have to first be seen by those customers, and like every business, that’s accomplished through marketing.
When it comes to reaching customers who want to order food online, the best place to do marketing is on the food delivery websites themselves. This means having a high-ranking listing on the websites. Restaurants can improve their listings by improving their delivery times, food quality, order accuracy and customer ratings.
Restaurants can also drive more orders to their website using social media. If customers find out about your restaurant on Instagram or Facebook, they’re now just a few clicks away to making an online order. As you might guess, this is much easier than driving to your restaurant and picking up food in-person!
Food delivery reduces costs
While getting more customers is always great for restaurants, the biggest benefit of food delivery services is how they affect restaurant costs. When you’re fulfilling an online order, here’s all the things you need less of at your actual restaurant:
- Waitstaff (labor costs)
- Square footage (rent)
- Cleaning services
In other words, transitioning to more food delivery means “thinning out” your non-core operations of running a restaurant. You focus on the kitchen and delivering great food. Everything else becomes a little less necessary, and by extension, less expensive!
As more and more people order online, this means you’re no longer restricted by two common capacity constraints in the restaurant.
First, you have more tables open for people who do want to dine in. This means fewer people waiting in line or making reservations, which often means more people who end up eating elsewhere if they change their mind.
Second, you can service more customers who are dining in. If you were ever limited by the amount of orders you had to ring up at the point-of-sale, with food delivery apps, you no longer have to manage that. The app (or really the customer) rings up the order automatically. This means you can handle more order volume in less time, which is especially important during rush hours.
Food delivery services mean that restaurants can increasingly focus on the things they do best – cooking – and less on all the stuff they don’t. That includes customer service, managing the building, entering orders and picking up the phone. The food delivery services care of the operations while you, the restaurant, take care of the food.
So if you’re considering opening up your restaurant to food delivery services, which options should you choose? There are a lot of choices on the market, with more and more showing up every few months. So if you do a side-by-side comparison, you may want to consider just what you’ll get, and exactly how much it’ll cost.
Here’s a summary of the few major providers in New York City:
If you’re interested in driving more orders to your delivery websites, you should consider a word-of-mouth 2.0 marketing platform like EarnLocal.
We’re the #1 service provider in NYC for getting more people to promote your business on social media. Pay in food or cash, and only for proven results!
If you’re interested, give us a call at 1 855 944 0105 or create your free account by clicking here.