THIS GUEST POST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY OUR FRIENDS AT WEBSTAURANTSTORE

Has your restaurant ever thought about offering delivery? If so, you’re far from alone — food takeout and delivery is responsible for more than $70 billion in sales annually. This number represents a growing trend, with food delivery representing one of the fastest-growing segments within the restaurant industry. Restaurants that offer delivery are faced with a choice: keep delivery service in-house or outsource it to a third-party company. While the latter group has seen huge growth over the last few years, restaurants running their own delivery services enjoy a few huge benefits — without the same serious drawbacks. Here are a few reasons you should consider your own delivery service and why it may make the most sense to do it yourself!

Grow revenue. When you branch out and offer delivery, you’re tapping into a new revenue stream! Off-premise dining is driving restaurant growth, with more than a third of customers opting for delivery or takeout, instead of dine-in. By 2020, it’s estimated that 70% of customers will be ordering food off of the restaurant premise. These dollars are best captured by offering in-house delivery: third-party delivery businesses will often take thirty percent of sales, or more, eating significantly into your profits. With your own online ordering platform, you can handle the business-end of delivery and bring in more orders without the need to outsource.

Develop your brand. Launching your own delivery service can offer your brand a huge boost. Your market presence and visibility will increase exponentially among people looking for options outside of dining-in. If your vehicles are branded (for instance, by using car toppers) and your employees are uniformed, you’ll also benefit from the enhanced visibility among people who may not already be familiar with your restaurant. Branding opportunities don’t stop there — with your logo on boxes, containers, and delivery bags, your delivery service will essentially serve as free advertising! By choosing to offer your own delivery, you can also keep your brand consistent: you won’t have to worry about the delivery person from a third-party misrepresenting you by their appearance or behavior.

Maintain control of your operation. Consider the prior point — by training and equipping your staff, you’ll have a level of quality control over your operation that you simply wouldn’t have if you decided to outsource your delivery service. Furthermore, maintaining a direct line of contact with the customer is a key to repeat business and increasing sales. With a third-party delivery service, you cede control of that all-important contact to an outside platform, effectively reducing your contact with the customer to zero after an order is complete. When you’re in control of every part of the process, from training employees to maintaining the personal touch at the point of delivery, you stand to benefit from the interaction.

Capture more business. There are numerous opportunities for businesses that offer delivery service to capture demographics that dine-in only operations miss out on. Millennial and Generation Y consumers prefer convenience over cost savings and are more likely than older consumers to order delivery. You’ll also have access to consumers who don’t want to travel during inclement weather, when your establishment is less likely to get the foot traffic that it sees on nicer days. If you offer delivery, customers hungry for a bite to eat can order online and have their meal brought straight to their door. In the past few years, delivery operations have significantly expanded beyond pizza — from sushi to spaghetti, people are interested in ordering foods for delivery that weren’t options even a few years ago!

The benefits of running your own delivery service are clear. With the huge potential in revenue growth, the ability to build your brand, and the opportunity to capture new consumers, your restaurant will thrive when you branch out into offering a delivery service all your own.

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