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Pros and Cons of Offering Restaurant Delivery Services
January 08, 2019
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Pros and Cons of Offering Restaurant Delivery Services

As a restaurant owner in the U.S., you’re one of over 1 million restaurants nationwide. With this much competition, you must ensure that you keep up with customer demands. In addition to customer service, delicious food, and a nice interior, customers will also appreciate having the option of restaurant delivery services.

These services are becoming more important to consumers, especially with the widespread use of online food delivery services such as Yelp and Seamless. Although restaurant delivery services can be beneficial for both your customers and your bottom line, there are a few downsides to consider as well.

In this post, we’ll highlight both the pros and cons associated with implementing delivery services at your restaurant.

Should Your Restaurant Offer Delivery Services?

Pro: Increased Sales

An obvious benefit to restauranteurs in offering food delivery is the increased revenue you’ll likely earn. Your restaurant has a limited number of seats, so offering delivery services during peak times allows you to ensure that you aren’t turning away any hungry customers.

Con: More Expenses

No matter how you look at it, there are costs associated with implementing delivery services. These costs could include buying food containers, hiring drivers, producing special delivery-only menus, and purchasing delivery vehicles. If you don’t have the cash flow available to pay for these costs, consider applying for a restaurant loan. By having business financing on-hand, you can to unveil your delivery services.

Once you launch your delivery services, you’ll hopefully reap the rewards of increased revenues from the additional orders placed. One fast food establishment in Chicago claims that by offering delivery their sales have increased so much that now 25 percent of their overall revenues come from delivery orders. Still, it’s important to remember that adding delivery services could be a big investment. If it isn’t going to be useful to your customers, and won’t increase sales, then it might not be a worthwhile addition.

Pro: Convenience for Customers

Another reason to implement delivery services is to keep up with restaurant industry trends. The way Americans order takeout has dramatically changed from calling to place an order with a live person to ordering on a smartphone. Today, customers can easily access hundreds of restaurants online and place delivery orders for their favorite dishes. Ordering online is quick and convenient for consumers and minimizes the risks of restaurants getting order details wrong through phone call orders. By offering online delivery, you’ll ensure customer satisfaction!

Con: Overworked Employees

A downside to adding restaurant delivery services is that it could slow your kitchen down. With the influx in orders, your existing staff may struggle to keep up with creating fresh, quality meals in a timely manner for both in-house patrons and delivery customers. Of course, you don’t want to disappoint customers with long wait times or worse, receiving mediocre, cold food.

To combat this, you could limit your takeout orders to a shorter menu or consider hiring additional kitchen staff to focus on preparing delivery orders.

Pro: Ability to Outsource Delivery

If you’re worried about the time and resources it’ll take to set up food delivery for your restaurant, there’s a solution. Third-party organizations such as Seamless and Grubhub specialize in setting up online delivery services for restaurants across the country. There are even organizations that manage the delivery process as well, including Doordash and Caviar. Although there are fees that come with being a partner of these organizations, you’ll gain access to the thousands of customers already using these services to find restaurants that deliver in their area.

Cons: These Services Come with a Cost

As stated earlier, utilizing a third-party platform to manage your online food delivery can be valuable. However, there are downsides that come with using these services. Outsourcing delivery to a third-party takes away some of your control; such as the quality of the meal that arrives at your customer’s doorstep. As Gourmet Marketing puts it, “even though the third-party service delivers the food, your customers will tend to hold you responsible for errors, omissions and poor service.”

Conclusion

If you’re considering adding delivery to your list of services, there’s a lot to consider. All restaurant food delivery ideas have pros and cons that should be examined before you decide if it’s right for your business – so don’t rush your decision!

Does your restaurant offer delivery services? Let us know in the comment section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in January 2019.

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Fora Financial is a working capital provider to small business owners nationwide. In addition, the Fora Financial team provides educational information to the small business community through their blog, which covers topics such as business financing, marketing, technology, and much more. If you’d like to see a topic covered on the Fora Financial blog, or want to submit a guest post, please email us at [email protected].