Don't add delivery until you ask these 5 questions
By Tammy Smith, director of marketing, Omnivore
As delivery becomes increasingly popular in the restaurant space with strong third-party options like Grubhub and DoorDash, restaurant operators across the board are forced to think about delivery as it relates to their concept. It's no surprise that today's consumer likes convenience. In fact, investment firm Cowen is forecasting a massive 79 percent surge in the total U.S. food home delivery market over the next five years according to an article from CNBC.
While delivery is becoming a must-have for restaurants, there are five things operators should ask themselves before rolling out a new delivery program.
1. How many delivery services can be utilized?
As more third-party delivery services become available, restaurants have their pick when choosing a partner. With a concrete plan in place, determining who and how many delivery companies to kick-off with is essential. Operators can download different delivery apps to determine which ones have the best service and availability in the market. Restaurants can also look into which services are the most popular in their geographic area.
2. Is there space in the restaurant to place delivery kiosks?
Is there enough counter space to fit a separate tablet for each delivery service installed? To eliminate the counter chaos, restaurant owners can opt for a universal API that will allow all of the delivery programs to communicate through the POS. However, if this is not the choice, it is important to find the necessary space for each individual device before offering delivery to customers.
3. Will additional staff need to be hired to handle the influx of orders?
Delivery may require a major change in staffing. Is there a dedicated employee to input new orders from a delivery kiosk into the POS system? During peak hours, is there adequate coverage in the kitchen to make sure the influx of orders can be met? Restaurant owners should forecast sales that will come in from third-party delivery apps and ensure all of their staffing needs will be met.
4. How will delivery impact the POS system?
The POS system is the core of the restaurant as it tracks sales and sends orders to the kitchen. When restaurant owners contemplate adding a delivery option to their offering, it's important to think about how each program will affect the POS. Will the system lag and result in delay of orders and slower service? Restaurants can opt for a universal API to accommodate multiple delivery options and eliminate the chaos that comes from multiple kiosks.
5. Will the ROI be worth it?
Most importantly, the question to answer is whether adding delivery to a restaurant's operations is worth it. Do the extra costs of labor and commission make delivery more of a hassle than a win? Keep an eye out for ROI by considering the cost of an in-house driver versus the costs associated with each third-party delivery service. Can existing delivery resources be maximized? Should online ordering and takeout only be an option?
Asking the right questions before rolling out delivery throughout a restaurant concept could be just what the restaurant owner needs to do to avoid making a big mistake down the line.