CUSTOMER SERVICE

3rd Party - Lead Generation with Delivery Integrated

In-house, third-party companies, lead generation

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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 insight about 3rd Party companies offering lead generation with delivery integrated:

Third-Party Lead Generation with Integrated Delivery  

I consider this the easiest and fastest way to start a delivery business. I wouldn’t say it is the best long-term and profitable solution. Nowadays restaurants owners are still learning how to leverage these services in a positive and symbiotic relationship. I have noticed love and hate relationships. Here is why?

Advantages:

  • One-Stop Shop – marketing, online ordering, customer service and delivery are all integrated. Just sign one contract, receive a tablet and start taking orders. You may get a significant volume of online orders without any marketing efforts depending on the commission percentage on your agreement. Some companies will even offer a free online ordering widget for your website, free of any commission. There is a catch. See the disadvantages.

  • Immediate Brand Exposure, No Up Front Cost - lead generation apps are designed to attract hungry delivery diners. With large marketing budgets backed by billions of dollars in venture capital. These services have a more significant advantage over the restaurant's brands when competing for exposure. Often your restaurant can get free service if you own a famous brand. In exchange, your brand attracts more diners to the lead generation domain. The less popular brands will most likely have to pay a hefty commission (15% to 30%) to gain some traction through the platform.

  • Worry-Free Customer Service - because the customers identify more with the lead generation brand and not your restaurant. You don’t have to worry as much about the customer service aspect of the delivery orders they have sold and brought to your restaurant. Those are their customers, and they will handle the customer service, refunds, and comps. Your responsibilities are to make sure the food is of excellent quality upon the driver pick-up and ready on time. They will take it from there. All the calls and complaints will be directed to their customer service team.

  • Easy to Use Technology, Scalability and Larger Coverage - lead generation companies are investing heavily in technology, some may provide POS integrations and nationwide coverage which can be attractive for large restaurant chains.

    Delivery can be available to hundreds of U.S. markets and international markets as well covering thousands of locations.


Disadvantages:

  • Data Hungry -  The lead generation companies want the data from your loyal customers so they can convert the diner to order through their app and promote the discovery of other restaurant brands. They offer discount coupons, marketing signs and free online ordering widget (orders free of commission) for your website. All in exchange for gaining and collecting the information/behavior of your loyal clientele (a new user for their platform).

  • Driver Behavior -  most companies sign up drivers online, with little to no onboarding training and insufficient driver support. The turnover is much higher than in-house drivers or local delivery only services. There is hardly an in-person orientation. Have you ever noticed those drivers at your restaurants who seem not to know what is going on? That’s the result. Though delivery can be a simple task, it still requires some level of knowledge from the delivery drivers. Navigation skills, proper food handling, customer service, professional appearance, and equipment (bags and cart) are mandatory. Insufficient compensation and unresponsive online driver support could also play a significant role in the quality and motivation of drivers.

  • Unpredictability - their potential to subsidize promotions and drive volume can quickly overload your kitchen without warning. Often it becomes a queuing issue, surprising your staff and slowing down the dine-in service.

    Since you are not in control of the consumer demand, a slight change in the commission percentage can determine a significant volume variation.

    In other words, if you don’t agree with a commission price increase, you will lose brand exposure and access to most of their users.

  • The True Cost of Delivery - there is not such a thing as free delivery. The cost of marketing, technology, driver labor, mileage (car depreciation and gas), insurance, workers compensation and legal services is the same for everyone.

    Nowadays, data is more valuable than it has ever been. It is estimated that the cost to acquire a new delivery diner through a lead generation platform averages about $80 per person.

    When your restaurant receives a great deal on lead generation and delivery service, be conscious that your delivery partner is monetizing it somehow.

    Often passing the entire cost of delivery to the consumer by increasing the delivery fee, up marking menu items, adding extra service fees (sometimes hidden as taxes & fees), or by merely collecting customer information from your website.

    For those restaurants paying a higher commission, the cost of delivery for the consumer will be super low through the lead generation platform. That can motivate the diner to order through the led generation app instead of using your website.

If you would like chat more about your delivery options then contact our sales team. Though Jolt Delivery is not a lead generation company we can still advise and refer some of these services to you. Also, take the opportunity to check out the pros and cons of using In-House Drivers (Employees) and a 3rd Party Delivery Only company.

Follow our post Components of Restaurant Delivery to find out more about Customer Service and Ordering options for food delivery.

Customer Service for Online Ordering and Delivery

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Below you will find what I believe to be the top pillars of customer service for food delivery.

Ordering and delivery go hand in hand. The experience starts with the consumer placing the order, waiting a reasonable amount of time, interacting with the delivery drivers of a couple of seconds and finally tasting the food.

Technology can get pretty hectic if it does not work correctly. You might have experienced challenging situations with your POS system, phone, or email inbox in the past.

The same is true for your online ordering partner. Will they provide reliable customer support to the consumer and to your staff?

Delivery drivers deal with traffic, difficult parking, loading and unloading of items which can be super stressful. How can you make sure there are no conflicts between the customer and the diner?

The more control you have over the diner’s experience, the best your customer retention will be.

Here are the 3 most important aspects of generating repeat delivery business:

  1. Impeccable food quality – the diners often expect the same taste, temperature, and presentation that they would typically get from dine-in and pick-up experiences. Make sure your delivery menu contain only items that can travel well.


  2. Proper packaging and delivery gear play a significant role in maintaining the food quality. Research and test packing that will help keeping the food fresh. Make sure your delivery drivers or partners are using appropriate food delivery bags. We recommend using flatbed carts for large catering deliveries.


  3. On-time delivery – if your customers love your food, they will order again for delivery but only if they trust your delivery times. It is okay if the food takes longer to be prepared and delivered, as long as you can set the correct delivery time expectation.

    Your customers must know what to expect up front. Keep in mind that your total delivery time equals food preparation plus transit time.


Here are some tips about Restaurant Staff, Online Ordering Support and Delivery Driver Behavior:

Restaurant Staff - No one knows your food and company culture better than your staff. If a person who appreciates your food attempts to make contact with a member of your team, then do not direct the customer somewhere else. Make sure the client gets the deserved attention.

If the customer ordered though a marketplace (lead generation app) and can’t resolve the problem directly with them, then it is the perfect opportunity to invite that loyal client to order directly from your website or call your restaurant to place the order.

Online Ordering Support - I advise choosing an online ordering partner with super efficient customer service. Don’t judge the service just for its price. One quick tip is attempting to place an order for yourself and experience the ordering process and check-out.

Some of the most common challenges with e-commerce apps are: orders get lost due to integration failure, app crashes during rush time, the live phone support is hard to get through during busy hours, menu items which are no longer available or missing, incorrect prices, etc.

Live call centers usually are more effective than apps that offer online support only.

If the online ordering partner has delivery integrated then assess the quality of delivery times, driver appearance, and behavior.

Delivery Driver Behavior – you may find yourself choosing to manage in-house delivery drivers or allowing third-party drivers to deliver your food. Or more often, both. Regardless of your work relationship with the driver, they will be carrying your food to someone who appreciates your recipes.

Make sure you offer the client ways to report their experience directly to your staff/brand. Otherwise bad experiences might go unnoticed, and your customer won’t order again.

Ask your delivery provider what actions do they take when the driver’s service is not up to your expectations.

Would like further clarification or referral to some of our e-commerce partners? Don’t hesitate to contact our sales team.

Follow our post Components of Restaurant Delivery to find out more about Ordering and Delivery options.

Components of Restaurant Delivery

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When it comes to food delivery, there have never been more choices for restaurants and their customers. While exciting, this means it is also more crucial than ever to understand the differences between those choices.

This blog is intended for anyone who is interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the components that go into a restaurant’s successful delivery operation.

A successful delivery operation is comprised of three main parts:

  1. Ordering (customers need to be able to place an order)

  2. Customer service (interaction with those customers)

  3. Delivery (the food needs to get to the customer)

Some companies offer all three to restaurants as a “one-stop shop” solution, which can be very appealing. (“You send me customers, provide customer service for them and then deliver food?! Great!”) However, we encourage restaurants to consider each component individually to make sure their true needs are met. We also have seen that using one company as the sole source for all three can pose a long-term threat to the restaurant.

To understand why, it’s important to take a closer look at each component and especially understand what you are trying to accomplish with each.

Ordering

-        Online - Restaurant Website/App

-        Online – Lead Generation Website/App

-        Offline - Call-In (Phone)     

Customer Service

-        Restaurant Staff

-        Online Ordering – Live Call Center or Online Support

-        Delivery Driver Interaction

-        Delivery Provider Customer Service (if 3rd party)

Delivery

-        In-House Drivers (Employees)

-        3rd Party Drivers (Delivery Only)

-        3rd Party Drivers (Lead Generation with Integrated Delivery)


Click the highlighted links above to explore more details about each one of your options.