It’s hard to deny that online food delivery is booming business. Around 60% of all dining experiences are off-premises today - a number that reflects consumers’ evolving eating habits. The biggest driver behind this off-premise movement, which favors delivery, takeaway and drive-throughs, is convenience. One thing is certain: the delivery revolution is here to stay.
Gone are the days where you could only order pizza and Chinese food online. Restaurants, coffee shops, quick-service and chain restaurants, as well as eateries of all sizes are getting into delivery, hoping to get a piece of the pie. So, should your restaurant follow suit? Here are 3 reasons why you shouldn’t miss out on using delivery services.
1. You’ll reach more customers
In 2020, 186.2 million people are expected to use online food delivery services - both platform and restaurant to consumer - in Europe alone. Evidently, expanding your business online will help you reach more customers than you ever could with your brick-and-mortar restaurant.
Offering online ordering as an option can get your foot in the door when it comes to target groups that prefer delivery food, like millennials, singles, families with younger children, students, office workers looking to have lunch with colleagues, etc. Some of these audiences may not yet have had any interaction with your brand, up until the moment you start selling meals online.
While in-house delivery has several advantages, having a listing on third-party platforms like Uber Eats, Just Eat and Deliveroo will greatly increase your discoverability online, as these apps are used by billions of hungry consumers worldwide. The more platforms your restaurant is available on, the bigger the chances of expanding your customer base are.
2. You’ll have more business opportunities
Meal delivery is a perfect opportunity to sell dishes even if you no longer have tables available. A physical restaurant is limited by its maximum number of covers, but you can “hack the system” with delivery. Additionally, having an online offer is a good way to sell during off-peak moments - when your restaurant might not be that busy. In 2019, delivery consumers ordered more breakfast items, snack-sized meals and sides than ever before, so you may as well take advantage of the increase in demand.
A good delivery menu encourages cross-selling, as well. Your online customers have all the time in the world to go through your entire menu - which should be concise, clear and categorized - before making a decision. If you make it attractive to order a drink, dessert or appetizer along with a main dish, these consumers are very likely to add more items to their basket. Incentives like discounts for package deals or free delivery over a specific order amount can do the trick.
Moreover, setting up delivery also gives you more room to experiment. You can easily segment your business into different virtual brands to increase findability when people are looking for a specific type of food. It’s also quite simple and risk-free to introduce new menu items, special deals and limited offers to your online offering.
3. You’ll have increased profits
An obvious benefit of getting into the food delivery business is the increased revenues you’ll make by serving more customers than you have tables. But more than that, delivery is often more profitable than traditional restaurant sales.
When you streamline your delivery services by integrating your delivery channels into your (Trivec) POS system, you don’t need to hire additional staff to handle incoming online orders, as your entire order flow will be automated. Therefore, you can start selling meals online without having to hire extra employees to do it - and without paying more labor costs.
Additionally, you don’t need to rent a new location to serve online ordering customers or furnish a restaurant or buy new kitchen equipment and tools. On top of that, your food cost remains the same. It’s safe to say that opting out of delivery will leave you with the same basic costs but keep you from enjoying the additional returns delivery can bring.
While it is true that you should also take into account the monthly commission fees taken by third-party food services, you shouldn’t forget that the average consumer ordering food online is highly willing to pay a premium for the convenience of restaurant-quality food delivered just minutes after cooking. The most important argument to be made in favor of delivery is therefore perhaps that you are simply giving today’s customer what they want: a convenient, quick and personalized way of experiencing tasty food, without having to sacrifice their own time to do so.