In-house, third-party companies, lead generation
There are three main options for restaurant delivery: in-house delivery drivers (employees), third-party companies offering delivery only and lead generation companies with integrated delivery. See our insights about 3rd party companies that offer Delivery only.
Third-Party Delivery Only
If you have determined that in-house drivers are not the best option for your business then this might be a mandatory option for your operation. Even though you might also choose to work with lead generation companies, do not solely rely on these type of services as you may lose a direct connection with your clientele. You can use a 3rd party company that offers delivery only to transport the orders of those consumers ordering directly from your website or calling the restaurant phone line.
Simple, Scalable, Cost-Effective – On-demand delivery services eliminate the need to build and manage an in-house delivery staff. The huge benefit is restaurants do not need to look for, hire, screen, train, and schedule a driver pool and also avoid the time and effort of payroll, insurance concerns, etc. 3rd party delivery companies handle this so there is no cumulative work for restaurant owners and their management teams. Good delivery companies should be able to understand the restaurant's volume and schedule the appropriate number of drivers for each shift. The best delivery companies will be also able to do add drivers in real-time to meet unexpected demands.
Often these companies charge a flat fee per order, and the restaurant owner chooses how much to pass on to the diner. This flexibility allows the restaurant owner total control over their consumer pricing, and can help the restaurant to avoid paying for driver’s labor while they are sitting idle, as well as incurring bad delivery times as a result of under-staffing in an effort to cut costs.
Zero Liability for your restaurant – The right delivery partner will assume indemnification for driver management. Often the company contracts drivers directly under the status of Independent Contractors who accept the terms of work on their platform. Some delivery companies manage a team of drivers as employees, but often those services are only available for catering jobs. Be sure to check the company’s insurance coverage before utilizing their services. Often these services are local. Raise a red flag if you suspect the company is not compensating the drivers adequately.
Delivery Times and Mileage Coverage – Thriving delivery services optimize their resources by providing efficient and consistent routes to the drivers. You can take advantage of excellent delivery times from the companies working with a high concentration of other restaurants inside your restaurant’s geographical coverage. Often you can extend your mileage reach without compromising the orders for customers living closer to your establishment.
Dispatching and Customer Service – the delivery company is responsible for providing accurate dispatching and customer service related to the delivery times, driver behavior and food quality during transportation. Often estimated arrival times are available through the company’s technology or live restaurant support.
Price – The bottom line is that it is almost certain to be more cost-effective for your business to use a third-party service. Insurance costs, taxes, and mileage are reduced as well as the management time of your staff.
Unfamiliar Drivers – third-party companies often have a much higher turnover compared to your employees. This means that the drivers will not be as familiar with your company culture, and won’t be specifically trained by your staff. This can lead to miscommunication with smaller details like packing drinks, napkins, and utensils, etc.
The quality of the driver will likely be very similar to employees, but make sure to ask your new delivery partner what are the terms of their driver vetting process and compensation before you trust them with your business.
Less Branding Exposure - though delivery only companies can help you protect your brand by not utilizing your data to convert diners to order through their app instead of your website, the restaurant still misses on the opportunity to take full advantage of offline brand exposure when comparing to in-house drivers.
By employing drivers, the restaurateur can mandate uniforms, branded car toppers, have drivers distribute paper menus while dropping off the food, etc. Most third-party companies will not be able to offer those branding perks.
Communication - The restaurant and delivery company staff are subject to making mistakes. The most common are missing/wrong items which may require a re-delivery, food damaged before or after picked up by the driver, incorrect address or phone number. When these happen, it is crucial that your staff understands how to proceed to solve the problem. Choose delivery partners who can provide excellent quality of live customer service.
Limited Location Coverage - often delivery only companies are available locally, have a better knowledge of the market and more experienced drivers. The downside is that we haven’t come across companies operating nationwide. This might not be a scalable solution for chain restaurants operating in several markets, but it can help maintain a better quality of service and protect consumer data when compared to delivery provided by lead generation companies.
If you have determined that 3rd Party Delivery Only is the best option for your business then Jolt Delivery might be able to help. Contact our sales team if you would like further clarification.
You can also check other Restaurant Delivery Options to see what fits your needs.
Follow our post Components of Restaurant Delivery to find out more about Ordering and Customer Service options for food delivery.