Executing on a delivery strategy means doing everything for takeout with some added complexity. The fastest, easiest, and most common approach is to offer service via a 3rd party provider like Uber Eats, GrubHub, Doordash, or others. This is easy to set-up and provides the experience that guests are familiar with but has some challenges as well.
- Managing multiple iPads and delivery services can add to the chaos for staff.
- Re-entering orders introduces the potential for errors and mistakes.
- Delivery service commissions eat into already thin margins and profits.
- The 3rd party owns the relationship with the guest.
One method of mitigating these challenges is to aggregate all the orders automatically and have them passed into Squirrel to avoid rekeying. This means that your 3rd party orders get scheduled and processed the same as in-person, online, or other order methods. Squirrel and Chowly have a unique offering that helps you simplify operations, save money, and stay informed.
While this omnichannel order management reduces the swivel chair chaos that comes with managing all the 3rd pary orders otherwise, the financial impact is still significant.
Several strategies can be applied to try and minimize the revenue lost when working with 3rd party aggregators:
- Consider first party delivery. This is not appropriate for all brands, but in some cases the commission paid on a large volume of delivery orders could be applied to building out your own delivery capacity, ensuring a consistent guest experience and maintaining the relationship with the customer.
- Establish a robust loyalty program. A loyalty program allows you to engage with your guests and provides a way to communicate incentives for them to do business with you directly via take-out or curbside pickup, bypassing the 3rd party altogether.
- Look at solutions that support delivery rails. By allowing guests to place the order directly with you online or via other methods and have that order fulfilled using the 3rd party as a simple delivery mechanism you can reduce the total commission paid which saves money and keeps your guests engaged with your business.
Delivery is a popular and easy way for guests to enjoy your service, and it’s likely to grow as a percentage of revenue even as dining rooms re-open and the industry returns to on-premise service. Developing a long-term delivery strategy is a key to success.
Squirrel has helped customers implement solutions that address all of these capabilities, from enabling first party delivery in the PoS, to omni-channel order management, loyalty programs, and setting up delivery rails. We can assist you get the right tools in place for your business, quickly, and without up-front costs.