More people than ever are ordering food via delivery apps. Off-premise restaurant sales totaled $198 billion last year and represent more than a third (38%) of total food and beverage sales at restaurants 1.
Overall, 54% of consumers are opting to order in because they are more comfortable at home, while 51% say they want to watch TV while eating and 42% say they simply don’t feel like dining in a restaurant 2.
Wanting to capitalize on this trend, restaurant operators may consider ramping up their own delivery operations or their partnerships with third parties that provide online delivery platforms. Yet thanks to recent developments, they may be able to use the best of both worlds.
To reach even more consumers and offer more flexibility for restaurant operations, certain third parties that provide online delivery platforms are giving chains the option to access their application to connect to delivery partners or offering consumers the chance to order directly through their app. Here are two examples of how restaurant chains are customizing how they handle off-premise orders:
Listed on third-party apps, but delivered by restaurant employees
To increase their effectiveness at fulfilling delivery orders, some chains are selecting specific aspects of off-premise operations to either handle themselves or outsource to a third party. For instance, Panera Bread is listed on the Uber Eats platform even though the orders will be delivered by Panera’s own staff.
By appearing in third-party apps like Uber Eats, Panera hopes to reach new customers that only search for restaurants on specific online marketplaces—in fact, 21% of consumers who report using a third-party delivery application to order at least once a month1. Panera will continue to use their own proprietary app for off-site orders as well.
Orders Received via Restaurant Site or App, But Delivered By Third-Parties
Meanwhile, casual-dining chain Red Robin is opting to take advantage of a different aspect of third-party delivery apps. After discovering that 12.5% of its sales were for off-premise business, the chain began allowing customers to place orders via their own website and app. However, third-party delivery partners actually transport the orders. This allows Red Robin to give customers the option of joining their loyalty programs and helps supplement restaurants’ staff by combining forces with Uber Eats’ delivery partner network.
Independent restaurant operators can take a similar a la carte approach to off-site orders by deciding if they want third parties with online delivery platforms to take over some or all of the off-premise order process. They can do this by connecting restaurants to delivery partners or allowing customers to order through third-party delivery applications. This also caters to the 41% of consumers who report ordering from a restaurant directly as opposed to using a third-party app. Every restaurant is different, so thirdparties with online delivery platforms like Uber Eats are making sure they stay flexible.
1 Technomic, 2018 Next-Level Off-Premise
2 Technomic, 2019 Consumer Insights Planning Program, Evolution of Delivery & Takeout
This post is sponsored by Uber Eats