3rd Party - Lead Generation with Delivery Integrated

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 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?


  • 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.


  • 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.

3 Options of Ordering for Food Delivery


Online White Label, Offline, and Online Lead Generation

There are three main ordering options. Below I will break it down and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Here are the categories: Lead Generation, White Label or Restaurant Website, and Offline or Call-In.

Online White Label

I genuinely believe this should be a mandatory online ordering system for every restaurant. Why? It’s how diners connect directly with your brand. They will order directly through your website, custom mobile app, or social media pages (Facebook or Instagram). You can capture the data and use it on marketing campaigns to promote brand loyalty and generate repeat business.


  • Promote brand loyalty – the consumers can order directly from your ordering channels. They can search for your brand without scrolling through several other restaurants on a lead generation website (marketplace).

  • Higher profitability – avoid marketing commission on repeat business. With little upfront investment, you can drive more business to your website and phone lines without paying a commission every time a consumer orders directly from your restaurant.

  • Access to consumer data – you own the consumer data. Take action and use the consumer behavior insights and email addresses to communicate directly with your customers. Send promotions that will motivate them to order through your website.

  • Flexibility to change service providers – if your clients order directly from your domain then you can change online ordering provider without losing any volume of delivery and take-out business. You will have more control over the overall parameters of the operation (promotions, pricing, service coverage, delivery, etc.).


  • Doesn’t always provide “one-stop shopping” – these services often require the restaurant to provide their own customer service or delivery. That’s not true for all e-commerce apps in the market. Some online ordering companies offer live customer service for consumers & restaurants, and partnerships with local delivery companies.

  • Some services lack integrations – often the restaurants will want integrations with POS and third-party delivery companies. Though the industry has been making efforts to fill this gap, there only a couple companies already providing integration solutions.

  • Requires marketing efforts – desired brands usually get a significant amount of organic delivery, but if your restaurant is not gaining enough traction, then you will have to execute marketing campaigns to promote your brand. A few e-commerce apps have powerful tools and services that can assist you with this subject.

Offline Ordering

These type of transactions consist of orders taken by phone, email or in-person (often for catering as well), which are then processed by credit card (through the POS) or paid by cash (for small orders) during the drop-off.

Though offline ordering has become less popular over the years, it is still a significant part of the food delivery market. It is estimated to account for $22.7 billion of total delivery sales (48% of U.S. food delivery market) in 2018. By 2022 it is forecasted to represent 27% of the entire delivery market.


  • Customer loyalty – consumers that call your restaurant directly are hardly strangers. They are more likely to be customers which have already dined in or picked up food from your restaurant before. Often they search your restaurant by the name and don’t use marketplace apps. Who does not like loyal/repeat business?

  • Higher average tickets - the ticket amounts for orders placed offline tend to be at least 33% higher on average compared to lead generation. Most clients ordering catering prefer to order directly from the restaurant or a specialized catering lead generation company. Due to the level of responsibility and details, the customers prefer to speak with someone of trust.   

  • Higher profit margins & personalized ordering experience  - a well-trained cashier or catering manager will always have a chance to up sell a delivery order. Wouldn't you want to tell your customers about the catering specials not available online, advise on portions, details of new menu items and remind the diner to order drinks, appetizers, and desserts? What about the fact you wouldn’t have to pay commissions to lead generation websites? I think that is awesome. An excellent opportunity to maintain higher profitability and strengthen the relationship with your customers.

  • An alternative source - survey your customers. Have you identified people who don’t like to place orders online? If you have, then offline ordering might be a reliable source of business.  Recent surveys have indicated that at least 33% of the U.S. consumers have not used online food delivery systems and are not interested in switching from the phone orders.


  • Labor intensive - accepting orders over the phone means answering it every time it rings. Unanswered calls, busy lines, or long hold times can jeopardize the consumer experience and consequently your brand. You have the cost of labor associated with this ordering source differently than online ordering.

  • Chargebacks - recently credit card companies have been implementing rules and systems to avoid credit card fraud. It happens more often when the restaurants take the credit card number over the phone and type into the POS. Restaurants using in-house drivers can avoid chargebacks by adopting a system that allows drivers to swipe the credit card upon the drop-off. Unfortunately, that’s is not a reality when using third-party delivery companies. If you choose this option, I recommend informing your clients that they must present the credit card and photo identification upon receiving the food.

  • Miscommunications - the conversation between the consumer and your staff can be hectic at times. Especially in larger cities with a more substantial cultural diversity. Accents, menu items which can be hard to spell (ethnic food), the loud buzz from a busy dining room can turn the ordering experience into a nightmare for the customer and your staff. The most common issues here are incorrect addresses, phone numbers, phone tagging, invalid credit card information, and wrong order.

Online Lead Generation

These online ordering companies are great at pursuing direct relationships with the diners. They profit from commissions, as well as service fees they charge the restaurant or consumer directly. Many restaurants pay an average of 15% commission in exchange for the volume of sales and brand exposure to the diners shopping for delivery through the lead generation app.

They have a significant marketing budget, which enables them to promote user engagement and loyalty to their brand. Often this is what accounts for their success in generating leads for their restaurant partners.


  • Easiest and fastest way to expose your brand to the masses.

  • Immediate sales traction with a large number of orders for individual diners.

  • Customer service and delivery can be integrated.

  • Often, well-established restaurant brands can negotiate deals with small operational costs. Usually, these deals come with a mandatory “order online” buttons on the restaurant’s website and a low-cost delivery to the consumer but, there is a catch! See below.


  • Control of data- the lead generation companies have control over diners’ data and can utilize that information to promote other restaurant brands; the restaurant does not get access to this information. The lead generation industry’s average cost to gain a new diner is about $80, so gathering consumer data from your website instead can be a great deal for them. Allowing a lead generation ordering button on your domain can cost you in the long run.

  • Customer service- the customer service experience provided by the lead generation companies often does not meet the restaurant’s service standards, especially if they mandate that your restaurant use their delivery service (some restaurants opt to use in-house delivery drivers or local companies that offer delivery only instead).
    Often the lines are extremely busy or the only option for customer is online in which case you might not get an immediate answer for a live problem.

  • Low profitability- the restaurants pay commission for every repeat customer, so you might have to pay higher commissions to get more brand exposure and sales volume through their website. You are not in control.

  • Smaller average tickets- the overall average is about $30. That means more work for less money.

    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 Customer Service and Delivery options.

Components of Restaurant Delivery

food delivery.jpeg

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.


-        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)


-        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.