Food delivery has dramatically changed the way the world eats. Whether your restaurant offers casual comfort fare or more upscale cuisine, consumers are craving delivery more than ever before—a trend that has continued to rise rapidly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic—and one that isn’t slowing down any time soon. According to research by McKinsey, food delivery has become a global market worth more than $150 billion, having more than tripled since 2017.
Whether your business has been pumping out delivery orders for over a decade or you’re newer to the delivery scene, a delivery segment enables your business to reach a wider customer base and increase your bottom line. We live in an age where convenience matters, so it’s no surprise that food delivery is gaining popularity these days. It gives people the convenience of having their meals delivered to a location of their choice, which can be especially appealing for those who are unable to leave their homes or prefer to dine in the comfort of their own home. Additionally, offering delivery can help your business stand out in a saturated market and attract consumers who may not have otherwise dined at your restaurant.
While having a successful delivery segment can help operators stay competitive and, ultimately, thrive in today’s market, operating one can have several pain points.
When it comes to food delivery, restaurant operators and management can face unique challenges, such as two-way traffic, delivery volume fluctuation, assembling and managing a fleet, and investment, to name a few.
Let’s take a look at these pain points in more detail and consider some solutions.
As a restaurant operator with an established delivery segment, you know too well that traffic around the pickup counter can create unnecessary commotion—not only for the delivery couriers, but your staff and dine-in patrons as well. A chaotic situation with too many people in cramped quarters can lead to order mishaps and negative reviews, which no one needs when there’s enough on your plate.
Delivery volume fluctuation
One of the things about delivery is that some days you may feel like you can’t keep up with the volume and need more staff, and some days there’s a lull. Many businesses may not have the resources or infrastructure to handle the varying volume of deliveries, which can lead to delays, missed deadlines and quality control issues.
Assembling and managing a fleet
Managing a delivery fleet can be expensive, especially if your business needs to purchase or rent vehicles and hire qualified drivers who you need to train and manage—all while continuing to run your business. Coordinating the scheduling and routing of deliveries can be complex and time-consuming as well, especially if your business does a high volume of delivery.
Integrating delivery can be an expensive undertaking for restaurants, as there are additional costs that can add up quickly and affect your business’s bottom line—from implementing a delivery fleet and hiring more staff to investing in specific supplies, such as takeout packaging. Businesses may also be liable for damages or losses incurred during delivery, and may need to obtain additional insurance coverage to protect against these risks, which is something to consider when doing your research. Integrating a delivery platform to streamline it all can be a massive investment as well.
While many operators use a marketplace for delivery, there can be downsides with this model due to the ongoing costs associated with high commissions. One option that many businesses consider instead is an on-demand delivery solution, also known as “Delivery-as-a-Service” (DaaS), fulfilled by a third party. Customers simply visit your app or website to order delivery directly from you and pay a flat per-delivery fee with no signup, subscription, or hidden fees.
So, what are some benefits of having a DaaS partner, as part of your all-in-one digital platform?
Firstly, with DaaS, you can eliminate the need to build and maintain a fleet of drivers and cars―which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. You simply request an on-demand driver when you need one, without paying the high commissions of a marketplace and see a quicker return on investment. You can have peace of mind knowing that your customers will receive their delivery when and where they want it.
Having a dedicated on-demand delivery partner can be more cost-effective as well since you save on labour costs of additional in-house staff and instead pay a flat delivery fee for each order.
And finally, logistics are covered—from order customizations to customer ETAs—making it a seamless experience for them from the second they place their order to the moment they dig in. DaaS seamlessly integrates with Smooth Commerce, making it a seamless all in one digital solution that customers crave for their delivery experience.