Over the last few years, food delivery apps have become popular in the restaurant industry. In the past, delivery was only expected for parts of the restaurant industry, such as pizza shops. Today, with the rise in companies like UberEats, GrubHub, and OrderUp, delivery service is becoming the norm across the entire restaurant industry. Customers expect it to be an option when they are searching for takeout options
Should your restaurant partner with a food delivery app? How should your restaurant use a food delivery app?
1. Consider if a delivery app is on brand for your restaurant. Partnering with a food delivery app may not be the best option for every restaurant brand. If plating your food, a candlelight dinner experience, and a four-course meal is part of your restaurant experience then having a presence on a food delivery app may not be the right fit for your brand. A small, special delivery menu could be an option. Think about what your restaurant brand stands for before offering delivery through a third-party app.
2. Use food delivery apps to attract new, younger customers. Young foodies like options. They prefer choices. Apps, such as UberEats, have not only created a food delivery service but have created a place to curate all food options in a given area. Younger consumers may go into the app without a clear decision in mind. Your restaurant's presence on the app will help your restaurant be part of their consideration set.
3. Encourage current customers to try food delivery through your app partnership. Your most loyal customers will be the most receptive to your restaurant's presence on a food delivery app. They know and love your food, so a delivery option is just another avenue for them to get access to what they already love. Use marketing promotions and communication to increase the number of monthly orders from your most loyal customers.
4. Leverage events, times, and days where delivery makes the most sense. Weekday nights, sporting events, and even the weather can all affect your restaurant's foot traffic. Promote your food delivery app partnership during times when people are most likely to want to stay home than spend time sitting down to eat at a restaurant.
5. Continue to build your brand even when the food leaves your restaurant. Just because the food leaves your restaurant for delivery and is handed off to the food delivery app driver, doesn't mean your job is over. It's important to continue to build your restaurant's brand in your customers' homes. How can you make sure your brand is still present even though your restaurant isn't making the delivery or creating the dining experience? Create memorable takeout packaging, include postcards and other marketing materials with the delivery, offer portable placemats, and brainstorm other creative tactics to make sure your brand doesn't get lost in the delivery experience.
Food delivery apps will only continue to become more popular. According to Statista, a 2016 survey revealed that 20 percent of respondents use food delivery at least once a week. Is your restaurant prepared to partner with a food delivery app?