Restaurant delivery has become a more significant part of operations for many restaurants, and central to a restaurant’s ability to assist the decision-making process for many customers. According to a recent article by NetWaiter in the Huffington Post, “74% of millennials said they would order delivery from a table-service restaurant if available,” while 56% of overall adults surveyed would do so.

But with great opportunity, also comes significant risks. Third-party delivery services have expanded into many major markets, and while they can provide some benefits, they may also be a risk for some restaurants.

As with other portals, it’s easy for restaurants that use these services to fall into the role of a faceless vendor, with no meaningful connection to their customers, which is easy for your customers to perceive.  In addition, some restaurants are concerned these third-party companies will reflect poorly on them if service is bad.

Here are some ways you can take control of your restaurant’s delivery:

Choose Delivery Partners Wisely. Some companies deliver anything, from prescriptions to dog food. Choose a courier that specializes in food delivery and uses insulated bags to protect the food.

Don’t Over-Extend. Offering delivery every hour you’re open can cause a lot of stress on a restaurant. Consider only offering delivery during the hours you know you can provide great service, so customers get their food on-time and hot.

Limit Your Delivery Menu. Some foods don’t survive the trip well. Customers don’t want their food arriving soggy or in a huge mess.  The best items for delivery are those that look and taste like what a customer would get in your restaurant.

Online Ordering. In addition to customizing delivery zones, NetWaiter allows you to select a delivery company in your area to make your deliveries.  If you don’t use your own drivers, a copy of each delivery order can be sent to your preferred delivery company to complete the delivery. This allows you to maintain the relationship with your customers and lets the delivery company do what it does best.

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