Which Delivery Service Is Best For Restaurants?

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which delivery service is best for restaurants

Courier delivery services within cities have always existed, however, during the past years they have become more sophisticated allowing fast delivery at a low price or sometimes for free.

This is a real change in the practices of our daily lives. Pickup and delivery have seen significantly increasing in popularity, with more customers opting to dine from home.

Online ordering and delivery grew 300% faster than dine-in sales since 2014.

Time dedicated to the reduced lunch break, modified eating habits, not to mention the recent Covid-19 health crisis which also changed the expectations of the people around the world in terms of food, catering and delivery.

According to statistics, U.S. consumers order delivery or takeout once a week and they do not order only pizza. In the past restaurant-quality meal delivery was still largely limited to foods such as pizza and Chinese. Nowadays, food delivery apps for restaurants allow customers to get a wide variety of just about anything.

From breakfast to dinner, people can even order ice cream or cigarettes online.

As a small business owner, you should never ignore this aspect. The priority for a successful business is to continue to meet the expectations of their customers. Restaurateurs must therefore be attentive to these changes while respecting the identity and positioning of their restaurant as much as possible.

Let's find out together which delivery services can meet your expectations. In this article we will share with you everything you should know in order to choose the best delivery service for restaurants.

Why Using Third Party Delivery Services

First of all, when it comes to delivery, the strategy will not be the same if you are a fast food restaurant in Los Angeles or a pizzeria in the Chicago suburbs. However, each of these businesses can gain a lot of advantages and benefits from restaurant delivery platforms such as:

  • Boost your business by bringing additional sales
  • Gain online visibility and improve your digital presence
  • Better manage your stocks
  • Challenge its teams and more generally its restaurant

Boost Your Business

Making sales using food delivery companies for restaurants can be as simple as reaching out to your friends.

Using 3rd party food delivery companies will make your life easier. Indeed, it is the best way to facilitate end-to-end delivery operations and help promote your business while making more sales.

According to statistics, 60% of customers who order online visit restaurants more frequently than those who don’t.

Multichannel ordering also has benefits to your business and today all best online ordering platforms for restaurants offer delivery and pickup services.

Gain Online Visibility

Nowadays online visibility is really important. How do people find you on the web? Building an online presence for your restaurant business is important. You can spend money hiring a web developer in a freelancer's platform such as Upwork, but this will not always help (especially if you are not good in SEO).

Of course you can create a social media page for your restaurant, using Facebook and Instagram or other online platforms. Social media can be a powerful tool for businesses. Using hashtags such a simple #restaurant in your posts, can help you spread the word about what you do and connect you with customers.

However, if you are a business owner looking to gain your visibility online you should know that customers use one of these famous apps to find local restaurants and get their food delivered wherever they are.

Better Manage Your Stocks

Delivery platforms give access to business owners to metric analytics tools that will help them keep track of:

  • Their business performance
  • Sales
  • Customer ratings
  • Popular item
  • And more

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How to Choose a Restaurant Delivery Service?

When it comes to the delivery process, third party delivery companies such Grubhub, DoorDash or Uber Eats work pretty similarly.

Customers use the delivery service’s website or their app to request to prepare and deliver food from local restaurants. Using modern technology, the order request is sent directly to the restaurant and to the driver for pickup.

However, there are numerous factors to take into consideration when you're choosing the delivery service for your business.

When it comes to selecting the best delivery service, often the cost is the most important factor for many restaurants. But price shouldn’t be the only factor upon which you base your selection.

To help you get a handle on how to choose a 3rd party food delivery app, we break down the key information piece-by-piece.

Availability in Your Area

The first step is to know which delivery services are available in your area.

Third-party delivery services are becoming popular, however they are not available everywhere. Some delivery companies operate only in local areas, others may focus only in larger metropolitan markets or college towns.

If you are a restaurant owner you can contact the delivery company and ask them to add your city in their delivery area, but generally there is not so much you can do to solve this problem.

To give you some statistics:

  • Grubhub is currently available in more than 4,000 cities across the US
  • DoorDash operates in more than 7,000 cities across the US
  • Uber Eats is available in over 6,000 cities across 45 countries

Market Share and Popularity

One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing the best local delivery services for your business is the market share of the delivery company.

Market share is a key indicator of a company's competitiveness and one of the most important factors that can help your business become more profitable.

A delivery service can be available in your area but if no one uses it, this will be a limit for your company's growth.

👀 Related Article: Most Popular States For DoorDash

To help you, we suggest you take a look at the delivery company market share for the main cities in the US.
City DoorDash GrubHub Uber Eats Postmates
New York City 35% 37% 25% -
Los Angeles 38% 13% 14% 34%
Chicago 39% 31% 27% -
Dallas 55% 9% 34% -
Houston 63% 7% 28% -
Philadelphia 54% 30% 14% -
Atlanta 47% 11% 38% 5%
San Francisco 73% 10% 12% 5%
Phoenix 49% 12% 23% 16%

Fees For Business And Profit Margins

When comparing restaurant delivery services to find the best one for your business, you cannot take into account the fees and percentage you have to pay.

However if you want to find out what is the least expensive food delivery app for restaurants the answer is that there is not a cheaper delivery service.

Depending on the plan you choose, apps commonly take between 15% and 30% of commission on every order.

Customer Experience & Support

Some aspects of the deliveries have an impact on the customer’s experience. It is important to choose a delivery service that prioritizes the customer experience and offers customers support.

Did the food arrive on time?

Some apps recently had to face a labor shortage that indirectly impacted the customers’ experience and the business indirectly.

If your food arrives cold, customers are likely to blame the restaurant and not the delivery service and you will not have the opportunity to fix it.

When it comes to customer’s experience and support, DoorDash is the best delivery app for restaurants. You do not have to worry if your food will arrive on time. There are more than 1 million Dashers out there that work hard to provide 24 hours delivery.

What Are The Best Delivery Services For Restaurants?

There are dozens of home delivery apps, but four restaurant delivery service leaders stand out:

DoorDash | Caviar

DoorDash is indisputably the top rated food delivery service in the United States.

The San Francisco headquartered company has a remarkable operating model.

DoorDash officially teamed up with Little Caesars Pizza, Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, and McDonald’s, the biggest fast food chain in the country.

Additionally they offer alcohol delivery services and partner with regional and national convenience stores for the delivery of household essentials. Recently Doordash launched virtual convenience stores that offer 30 minutes delivery.

In August 2019, Doordash acquired high-end delivery app Caviar that is currently available in 11 major U.S. cities. From that point on, they have become a public company. Doordash restaurant partners can have their restaurant listed in both platforms.

If you want to read more about all the different plans and options they offer, you can take a look at our complete article to DoorDash for business fees.

DoorDash was able to increase customers' loyalty. Today more than 10 million users have subscribed to DashPass, the subscription program that offers $0 delivery and allows restaurants to reach DoorDash’s most engaged customers.

Getting started with DoorDash is easy:

  • Sign up for DoorDash
  • Upload your menu using the restaurant delivery software
  • Receive and prepare orders
  • Make money and grow your business

Pricing: Commission starting from 15%

Uber | Postmates

Uber is the second most popular food ordering app in the United States. Uber is growing fast and recently added grocery delivery services.

Using the Uber Eats app customers can order food, groceries, and household items from local grocery stores.

Restaurants on the Uber platform can take advantage of Uber’s existing delivery infrastructure, made by a numerous number of drivers and delivery drivers using the Uber Eats driver app. If you want to learn more you can take a look at our complete guide to Uber Eats for merchants

Postmates is one of the best delivery services in Los Angeles. Recently acquired by Uber, Postmates is so far one of the Uber subsidiaries.

Uber incorporated all of the Postmates fleet and kept separate only the food delivery apps.

Pricing: Commission starting from 15%

GrubHub | Seamless

Grubhub is one of the best delivery-only restaurant platforms.

East 24 and Seamless and Grubhub are subsidiaries of Grubhub. They maintained their different brands for a long time until July 2021 when Just Eat CEO announced that Seamless, one of the oldest online ordering services in the U.S., will soon cease to exist.

You can boost your profit by signing up for GrubHub.

GrubHub has 31 million active diners in 2021 that they try to loyalize with the GH+ membership.

When it comes to GrubHub for merchants you should know that Grubhub doesn’t charge an activation fee, and they provide a complimentary tablet for managing orders.

Unlike other companies that expanded their delivery services to other businesses, GrubHub is focused on food delivery only.

Grubhub is the best ordering app for big cities like Boston, Chicago or New York, but does not have as much great visibility in other major cities.

Pricing: Commission starting from 15%

A Few Tips To Optimize Your Delivery Via Platforms

BestReferralDriver is a community website that offers free support to business owners, side hustlers and apps users. Find below some useful tips to optimize your delivery business via third party restaurant delivery service:

  • Negotiate as much as possible with the delivery platform, whether in terms of commission, visibility of your brand on the app, photo shoot and more
  • Brief your team about pickup and delivery. To ensure smooth operations, you will probably have to re-organize your staff by re attributing a role to each one of them. Get them excited to contribute to ensure more success for your business.
  • Watch your stocks carefully and add value to certain products when you need to or delete them from the app when there is a shortage
  • Determine your gross margins on products and highlight special and popular menus from which you can make the most of
  • Choose your containers carefully, respecting the legislation but also the comfort of customers... and do not forget the sustainability aspect.
  • Try to reduce your packaging as much as possible by reducing packaging and negotiating with your platform (especially to obtain transport bags).

Choose The Best Food Delivery Service For Restaurants And Boost Your Sales

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to delivery services for restaurants; there are multiple different factors that a business owner has to take into consideration when selecting a delivery app.

Since you can sign up for free, you can even have three tablets and work with all three of them.

However looking at statistics and as for our experience, DoorDash is the best delivery option for small businesses. Whether you have a restaurant, a flower shop, an alcohol store or even a pet shop, using the DoorDash platform will help you increase your sales and you will not be disappointed at all.

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