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Small Restaurants Need to Own Their Takeout & Delivery

January 13, 2021

Delivery was big business in 2020 and helped many restaurants navigate the loss of revenue due to COVID-19. In 2021, delivery is expected to be a driving force in the culinary world. However, local independent restaurants are seeing profit loss because of third-party delivery fees. If you want to stand strong in this new year while giving your customers what they want, it might be time to start your own in-house delivery operation. 

Want to maximize your restaurant takeout profits? Our restaurant supply and wholesale food store provides information and tips.

How Does the Food Delivery Industry Impact Local Independent Restaurants?

With many establishments unable to open because of COVID-19 restrictions, customers turned to takeout. Some studies reveal that 42 percent of open restaurants added delivery to their operation in 2020. Consumers also increased their overall to-go spending by roughly 20 percent, averaging about $39.00 per ticket. 

On paper, these numbers look promising. However, small restaurants aren’t as well equipped for an in-house delivery pivot in the same way as larger chains. As a solution, small restaurants partner with third-party delivery companies to get food into the hands of hungry customers. While this remedy is working out for some establishments, it’s not ideal as a long term business strategy:

  • Some delivery platforms charge participating establishments a fee between 15 and 25 percent of sales.
  • Marketing through a third-party app will also add extra fees.
  • Restaurant owners have little to no quality control once the food is on the way to the consumer.

All these potential problems can result in reduced profits for small restaurants. With delivery being a trend that is sure to stick around for quite some time, turning over crucial revenue to third-party companies will continue to have financial consequences. One potential resolution is to invest some time and money into developing your own in-house delivery service. 

Independent restaurant delivery stat

How Can Owners Benefit From In-House Restaurant Delivery?

A recent study suggests that customers prefer to order directly from their favorite establishments. That’s great news for small independent restaurants! Not only will owners be able to capitalize on the delivery trend, but they might also gain more loyal business as a result. In addition to this added benefit, in-house delivery also:

  • Guarantees quality control through the whole process, from order to drop off.
  • Increases employee retention through keeping staff more consistently employed.
  • Preserves the customer experience.
  • Allows restaurants to keep 100 percent of the earnings.

5 Tips for Establishing Your Restaurant Takeout and Delivery Services

Implementing a food delivery service can seem daunting. There are various components to take into consideration before launching your program. Luckily, our wholesale restaurant supply warehouse has some tips to get you started:

  1. Train existing staff in new roles: Rely on your trained staff to help with the delivery process. Establish a crew of drivers, create quality and brand ambassadors, and train everyone on any new technology.
  2. Invest in user-friendly tech: Communication with your customer throughout the entire delivery process is essential. Look into user-friendly delivery apps that update the consumer on their order in real time. Some platforms allow you to set up a rewards program that can be applied toward future orders.
  3. Offer unique add-ons: Consider adding other options to boost sales and interest. Meal kits, take-and-bake items, branded merchandise, and to-go cocktails are innovative ways to bring in more revenue.
  4. Create a food subscription program: One way to guarantee sales is to develop a monthly meal subscription. Is your establishment famous for its hot sauce? Do you bake the best bread in town? Highlight your best sellers with every order. 
  5. Work with industry partners to keep costs in check: Keeping costs down is key to maximizing profits. You might want to review your vendorsto ensure you are getting high-quality commercial restaurant supplies at competitive prices. 

Restaurant monthly subscription meal kids can guarantee sales.

The Industry’s Choice for Quality Restaurant Supplies and Wholesale Food

We know how important it is for restaurant owners to manage costs. That’s why we’ve been offering wholesale meat and seafood, bulk beverage supplies, and other exceptional products for over 65 years to the community. Take advantage of our affordable price points with easy online ordering and pickup or delivery. Visit our locations page to find a store near you!

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