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Melanie Bradley, product marketing specialist for PAR's POS Restaurant Technology talks about how the POS system pairs well with executing delivery.
Editor's note: This is part 5 in a multi-part series of commentaries and blogs called "Delivering on Delivery." Click here for part 1-4.
By Melanie Bradley, Product Marketing Specialist for PAR’s POS Restaurant Technology
Delivery is one of the hottest topics in the restaurant industry; a feature that was once an optional way to receive your pizza has manifested rapidly alongside the cultural shift that now centers around the overzealous consumer's need for convenience. This generation expects to enjoy their cuisine whenever and wherever their heart's desire, all with the simple click of a button.
While some restaurants may build delivery into their operations, the majority of eateries do not have the infrastructure, ability or resources to offer this popular feature. The ability to remain competitive in the market is now more essential than ever, and in many cases, the survival of brands depends on their willingness to adapt to the latest trends.
Incorporating proprietary delivery into your restaurant can be a costly and daunting task, and it isn't an option for every business owner. While keeping up with competitors to maximize profit is a primary goal of any restaurant operator, many restaurants seek other avenues to incorporate consumer demands. Building an extensive ecosystem and establishing valuable partnerships with third-party vendors is a viable and beneficial alternative.
Leveraging existing point-of-sale technology to bring delivery into your restaurant is a prevalent strategy in the industry. By expanding and extending your restaurant POS platform through integrations, you can offer your customer an optimal guest experience, which includes delivery options. Third-party delivery services have now become major marketplace competitors. Although they don't cook or prepare the food themselves, these companies act as middlemen between the consumer and the restaurant; ultimately providing speed, convenience and ease of use to the customer.
While many restaurants seek direct integrations between the third-party delivery platforms and the point-of-sale providers, integrations are often expensive and timely. With a multitude of third-party delivery companies to choose from, this would potentially amount to a substantial number of direct integrations for the restaurant owner.
POS providers have begun to strategically establish partnerships with aggregators as an alternate route.
"Aggregators build on the traditional model for food delivery, offering access to multiple restaurants through a single online portal. The aggregators collect a fixed margin of the order, which is paid by the restaurant, and the restaurant handles the actual delivery. There is no additional cost to the consumer."
These companies are becoming more established in the industry and have existing relationships with the third-party marketplaces. This provides an avenue for the POS provider to establish one integration with an aggregator, where that partner then performs the heavy lifting of the development work needed with each marketplace provider.
Opting to add delivery to your restaurant's portfolio by means of integration partners has a multitude of benefits. These relationships eliminate the need for restaurant operators to manually enter orders into their POS system; enabling all orders to automatically flow directly to the point of sale, and in the kitchen, resulting in increased efficiency for the kitchen staff, and freeing up front- of-house employees to spend more time with guests.
Vishal Agarwal, founder and CEO of Checkmate said they provide a very valuable contribution in the entire ecosystem — distribution.
"Typically, there is capacity available in the kitchen to prepare additional food, but the restaurants are bottlenecked at the front of the house," he said. "We automate the entry of orders from these third-party platforms directly into the POS, and have it print directly in the kitchen printer — thus freeing up the bottleneck and increasing the revenue of the restaurants at a fixed cost. What is even more important for speed & accuracy is all these tickets print out in the kitchen printer in the exact same format."
Third-party delivery companies typically have an app for mobile devices and a website where consumers can place orders from participating restaurant partners. Once the order is prepared, they will then deliver the food to the consumer in a timely fashion. Taking advantage of delivery integrations through your POS can help attract new customers and increase customer retention by granting people easy access to your menu options. This can be an easy and effective way to grow your customer base as well.
Since convenience is key to today's consumer, third-party delivery services allow the ordering process to be effortless. Most apps typically allow guests to repeat previous orders, save their credit card information, and suggest menu options based on past order history. Ordering food via this platform has literally become as easy as clicking a button and is then brought right to your doorstep.
With revenue from food delivery projected to reach $75 billion by 2020, delivery service is one of the fastest growing segments in the restaurant industry, with 40 percent of that total revenue predicted to come from third-party delivery. Boosting sales, augmenting profits, and distinguishing your brand from the competition are all benefits of incorporating delivery into your operation.