Although the option of dining in has returned in many restaurants around the world, the convenience of food delivery services continues to appeal to consumers. According to reports, the global food delivery service industry is estimated to generate over £124 billion (about $162 USD) by 2025.

This kind of growth has seen food delivery service providers enjoying massive value spikes over the last few years. Last year alone for instance, the food delivery firm Deliveroo saw shares climb by 10%.

And trends such as this are only expected to rise as more consumers and businesses sign up with food delivery firms, despite the return of in-person dining. With all of that said, engaging the services of a food delivery firm is not as straightforward as one might think for restaurants.

Not all food delivery services are alike, and some may be a better fit for your needs and preferences. Thus, before you enlist the services of a food delivery firm, here are some considerations to bear in mind:

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1. Online Accessibility

Most of your consumers start their food delivery journey online. To this point, surveys from 2021 reveal that 90% of all consumers first research online before ordering. At the same time, food delivery app statistics on Business of Apps show that upwards of 26 million people downloaded a food delivery app just last year.

In China, which has the largest consumer base internationally, food delivery apps reach over 650 million people! All of this underscores the importance of choosing a service with a strong online medium.

Food Delivery Service

As highlighted above, it’s best that this online presence revolve around an app, since this also taps into the smartphone market. Ultimately, by signing up with a service that has an online component, you are boosting your own market penetration and increasing the chances of conversions.

2. Overall Costs

Restaurants that join up with food delivery services can increase sales by up to 16%. However, it’s important to note that there are many significant costs involved as well. According to a report on food delivery services by AskMoney, the majority of delivery services charge restaurants a premium fee.

In most cases, this can be up to 30% of the overall order. On top of this, some companies also require restaurants to pay for delivery equipment and sign-up fees. These amounts aren’t necessarily going to be one-time payments either, since some services require “partner restaurants” to cover all update-related expenses.

This means if they’re changing their logo or switching to new software, your business will be expected to help pay for these new tools. Over time, this sort of thing can become very costly, especially for small businesses and/or those already struggling.

3. Customer Service

Customer service can make or break your business. In fact, one in three customers surveyed say they’ll abandon a brand after a single bad experience. Unfortunately, though, you cannot control the customer service of a third-party food delivery service.

Instead, the next best thing you can do is ask how actively you can participate in customer service yourself. For instance, to accommodate consumers who might inquire about allergens in their food, you can offer allergy warnings to your partner delivery service ahead of time.

Considerations For Restaurants

In this way, you can still be part of the active problem-solving that reflects on your brand. Playing a bigger role in customer service also better aligns your restaurant with consumer preferences. As mentioned in Hospitality Tech’s consumer report, 64% of delivery customers prefer to order directly from the restaurant.

This is large because ordering directly from restaurants puts customers more at ease that they’ll be assisted should a problem arise. Thus, by helping to shape customer service responses in relation to your restaurant, you’ll be working to accommodate consumer preferences.

4. Quality Control

Unfortunately, the simple truth is that food delivery services can often miss the mark. As a matter of fact, new delivery research shared on Restaurant Business (Using data from the U.S.) states that about one in four delivery orders placed on third-party services are botched. Sadly, blame for these instances is often placed on the restaurant.

To prevent this sort of issue, make sure to assess a company’s claims and performance before partnering up. Important aspects to review are hygiene, timeliness, and accuracy. Do they sanitise the bags they use in between orders?

Are orders delivered on time? Do the orders tend to arrive intact and complete? For full accuracy in your assessments, you can even do your own research online or inquire with other restaurant owners who have signed up before you.

Food delivery services are undeniably a part of contemporary restaurant culture. However, in order to truly capitalise on their benefits for your restaurant, it’s important to do your research and due diligence. In doing so you can increase the likelihood of a strong partnership, and actually enjoy (and profit from) the emergence of the food delivery era.