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Blog | Industry News and Trends | Operations

The 4 Things You Need to Know About Third-Party Delivery

Third-party delivery services are on the rise because consumers crave convenience more than ever. Is the third-party delivery trend right for your restaurant?

Today’s consumer expectations have changed, and nowadays people want more convenience from restaurants than ever before. Ordering food for delivery through third-party apps like GrubHub or UberEats has become incredibly popular, causing restaurants to scramble as they begin to adapt to these new consumer demands.

Many restaurant operators are wondering if they should jump on the third-party delivery train. Here are a few things to consider:

1. The Demand for Delivery isn’t Going Away

As so many trends these days seem to go as quickly as they came, some restaurant operators still aren’t adopting third-party delivery because they believe it’s another fad that will quickly die out. But according to Nation’s Restaurant News, digital ordering has grown rapidly in the last five years. In fact, digital ordering represents 53%  of all delivery orders, up from 33% in 2013. That dramatic growth makes it clear that delivery won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Furthermore, according to a report from Service Management Group (SMG), third-party delivery is growing at breakneck speed. In a study of 60,000 restaurants, SMG found that 1 in 4 restaurants has used a third-party delivery service and that 62% of restaurants were aware of these services.

2. Delivery Can Help Your Brand Collect Data

Restaurants have always tried to collect data from customers through in-store surveys or email campaigns, but third-party delivery apps offer an entirely new way for restaurants to gather data. Huge brands like Starbucks, Panera Bread, and Domino’s are all using their digital orders and deliveries to collect customer data that can help them create better online offers and better satisfy their customers.

3. Delivery Puts Your Reputation at Stake

One thing restaurant operators need to be aware of is that if something goes wrong with a third-party delivery order (if the driver is late or the food is cold) then customers typically blame the restaurant. SMG found that 44% of consumers who encountered a problem with a delivery service ultimately blamed the restaurant. That’s why operators should do their homework before signing up for a delivery service. Figure out whether it’s right for your business and which of the many services you want to make your partner.

And finally, operators should decide if they have the systems to support the increased complexities that third-party delivery brings into their business.

4. Restaurants can Easily Adapt to Delivery with Advanced Forecasting

It may seem daunting to some restaurants, but thankfully, capitalizing on the third-party delivery trend isn’t so overwhelming when you have a system that features activity-based forecasting capabilities.

Knowing where the transactions are taking place within your restaurant and how that demand affects staffing both front and back-of-house is a key concern for operators today. With advanced forecasts, restaurants can gain visibility into labor drivers by category, plus start forecasting by revenue centers to ensure that their locations are properly staffed to leverage a third-party delivery service effectively. This will allow managers to optimize labor costs and ultimately increase sales.


 Learn how HotSchedules advanced forecasting can help you adapt to the demand for delivery.

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