Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Delivery apps - pick the one you want to work with

In this new age of the gig economy there has been a proliferation of new businesses built around delivery and transportation. Where Uber and Lyft have commanded the tops spots for ridesharing, there are several companies battling it out in the food delivery field. The key for restaurants is to be proactive as this new market expands.

As of this writing there are at least half a dozen new food delivery services that have sprung up. Perhaps you've encountered some already — PostmatesCaviarFoodjetsDoorDash. Even the bigger, established companies are jumping on board, including UberEats and Amazon (via Prime Now). Gone are the days of restaurants having their own delivery drivers (pizza, for example). 

Delivery is easy revenue

Your restaurant might have only offered dine-in or take-out for years. Offering delivery via a service is now easy, convenient, and costs you nothing. The new delivery companies take care of the transportation and charges the customer a fee. Meanwhile it is an extra revenue stream for restaurants without the costs associated with dine-in customers. 

Know the issues

Some restaurants have chosen not to have their food delivered by these services. Before you decide, understand some of the issues:

Food safety - is the food transported at safe temperatures to ensure they remain free of pathogens?

Are the drivers food handler certified?

Is your food transportable?  Would cakes or cupcakes arrive looking beautiful or would their icing have melted off? A dish might be plated a certain way for specific reasons only to arrive as a mixed, melted mess at the other end.

Do they have the correct menu? Some delivery app sites have cut and pasted menus onto their sites that are incorrect or obsolete. Restaurants often have menus that change by meal or by day/season and so items may no longer be offered. A diner could order a dinner item during lunch when it is only prepared by the restaurant at dinner. There's also been many cases of delivery apps using the logos and branded materials of restaurants without their permission.

Solution - choose the delivery app yourself

The key to being happy with a delivery app service is to choose them instead of all of them choosing you. Spend some time to find out which service has temperature control pouches and/or food handling certified drivers. After you've chosen an app that will work with you, give them the menu of items that you are willing to have delivered. Finally, put their logo and link on your website saying that you only allow food delivery through their app. 

Restaurants and delivery apps can work out mutually beneficial arrangements if you take the initiative to find the one that best suits your requirements. 

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