The covid-19 pandemic hit us hard. Many people were ultimately forced to stay and work from home. Measures to counter the spread of the virus, such as social distancing and lockdowns, meant restaurants would have to close down their operations. The only viable solution for the restaurants was delivering food to customers.
Even today, restaurants still struggle with practical ways to reach their target customers. The biggest dilemma they have to face is using a third party or in-house delivery. Food delivery is becoming a norm today and a big trend in the food and beverages industry.
The majority of the restaurants and food joints go for the ready online food aggregators systems due to convenience. The cost of technical delivery staff and the technology required is high, so they would instead use a third party to do that. However, other restaurants prefer having their in-house food delivery system to determine the customer experience.
Sometimes back, food delivery was only for the fast food. With changing technology on delivery and packaging, customers can receive any meal they wish. By 2025, Forbes estimates that the food delivery market will be around $200 Billion. Getting this decision right on the delivery system to use is very critical to many restaurant owners.
That is why this guide is here; to give you the good and the bad sides of both delivery systems. You will then have to choose which one suits your business better.
In-House Delivery Fleet
The restaurant hires food delivery executives and trains them on food delivery. With this fleet, you have to control the services, activities outside the hotel, and management of the entire fleet. These executives require vigorous training to maintain the professionalism of your restaurant. Today, there is high competition in this industry which means your executives have to be professional and know how to keep time in deliveries.
Advantages of In-house delivery system
- Better services for the customers
With an in-house delivery system, your customers will enjoy better services. For example, an in-house delivery agent will add more ketchup or seasonings for the customer, but a third-party delivery agent would not do that. Such gestures bring the customer closer to your business as they are satisfied.
With this system, you will also have restaurant management software to keep records of the delivery executives, such as attendance, time taken for deliveries, and much more.
- Staff control
It is among the most significant advantages of in-house delivery systems. Here you have complete control over these delivery executives. You can easily dictate how deliveries will be done according to your specifications, how they interact with customers, and everything else.
- Reduced delivery time
An in-house delivery system is faster. The delivery executives will take less time compared to the third-party delivery executives. In-house executives will only have food to deliver from one restaurant. Third-party executives may take a long time since they have several orders to deliver and could be picking them up from various restaurants.
Disadvantages of in-house delivery
- Extensive training required
These delivery executives require extensive training to know the ins and outs of food delivery. They have to know how to interact with customers, carry the package, and even store it. That will require a lot of resources and time.
- Management of staff
You have to manage these delivery executives. That means you have to inquire how they behave towards customers, whether they carry the food in the right way, etc. You will even have to assess the time taken to get the order to the customer. This evaluation time could be used to find other ways to make the business more profitable.
- Valid driving license
These delivery agents should also have valid driving licenses to get the orders to customers via the company vehicles or motorbikes.
Third-Party Delivery Services
With third-party agencies, you work with a complete and trained staff. You do not have to train the staff or even follow them around to know how they work. Another firm manages the delivery executives. These may include firms such as UberEats and Zomato.
Benefits of Third-Party Services
- Trained staff
You do not use your resources and time to train the delivery executives with these third-party services. The staff will take good care of the food until it gets to the customers since they are highly trained.
- No staff management
Collaborating with third-party delivery executives means you do not have to manage the delivery staff. Managing the restaurant is already hectic, so the burden of not managing this staff is a relief. All you have to worry about is preparing the food and handing it over to them in time.
- Online discovery
Working with a third-party delivery fleet increases your online presence and attracts more customers to your restaurant. Many customers love using third-party delivery executives, which could be a great advantage if you collaborate with them.
Cons of third-party delivery services
- Lack of data
There is no customer data if you decide to use third-party delivery services. Lack of data means there is minimal customer retention because you don't know how the customers perceive your food.
- High Margins
Third-party firms will have a high margin on the restaurants. Some restaurant owners have to pay a considerable chunk, such as 20-30%, for every order sent to the customer.
- Lack of accountability for order journey
The restaurant does not follow the order, so in case of anything, the customer will have a pretty bad impression about the restaurant, whereas it had nothing to do with a wrong delivery address. Here the restaurant is bound to lose the customer.
Which is the right choice for you?
If you are a well-known restaurant in your community, having an in-house delivery system is better. However, if your restaurant is not prominent and does not have the staff to deliver food to customers, you could consider third-party delivery services.
Overall, it is crucial first to assess your business goals, market, and budget to decide which food delivery system will work best for your restaurant.