In a time of social distancing, forced restaurant closings and required face masks, how is a local restaurant able to retain its customers when their customers are concerned about making a trip out of their homes? While going out to a restaurant with friends and family for a nice night may seem like something from a distant time, online catering has been rapidly expanded and designed around ensuring COVID guidelines are met. From restaurants to grocery stores, it seems that everyone is now having their food delivered. Could this be the beginning of a major shift from going to the store to the store coming to your front door?
Amazon has seen wide success in the digital industry. We have already seen the shift from buying necessities in person to buying them online. With a $3,000 stock price, it's no surprise that Amazon is on to something. So how can restaurants capitalize on this trend? How can they perfect their delivery methods during this current pandemic and in turn expand their delivery reach for the future? The first step is for restaurants to decide whether their business would benefit more from using a pre-established delivery system such as DoorDash, Postmates, Ubereats, and Favor, or creating their own delivery system. Services such as UberEats have obvious benefits but also a few downsides as well. For example, UberEats is a great service with a huge database of customers who not only are familiar with the brand, but have an established relationship with the rideshare company allowing the customer to feel secure that the delivery will come in a timely manner and that their credit card information is safe within their system. While these features may be nice, restaurant owners also have to consider the fact that UberEats will take 25% of the sale. Since the delivery driver is not an employee of the local restaurant they have no control over the individual so quality of the delivery may be a concern. On the alternative if a restaurant creates their own delivery system, a whole set of different hurdles may arise. For starters if your brand is not well established, you might see less profits since your brand is not in the public eye as much as it would be on a site such as UberEats or Grubhub. Another concern is the concern about giving credit card information out over the phone. Being a reputable and community involved brand can help suede public opinion to feel secure in any transaction made with your business. While there may be a few cons, benefits can include higher degree of control over delivery staff, 100% of the profits and ensured quality of food delivered.
With more and more consumers shifting to online orders, just like any other business restaurants will have to adapt to survive. While change may be scary it is not always bad. With expanding online operations, opportunities such as catering to large groups and perfecting your website will arise. By increasing your rank on Google will in turn will put you higher on the search quarry for, “restaurants near me” will help drive online and in person business. While many businesses may be hesitant to expand operations to deliver, Forbes reported that the restaurant delivery industry will soon be a 200 billion dollar market.
With all of this being said, how can we turn the COVID restrictions and no contact catering into a positive that can better serve not only our community but our industry alike. By implementing strict cleaning measures into our businesses we are not only able to stop the spread of virus, but we are able to reduce the spread of food borne illnesses. By enabling proper hygiene practices not only will your business look as good as the food you serve, but maintaining kitchen appliances will help increase the longevity of appliances saving you money down the road.
While the road ahead may be uncertain as we enter the third wave of COVID, one thing is for sure. The delivery industry will continue to expand allowing for new opportunities for restaurants all over the country. As a restaurant you provide more to your community than you may know. You provide a meal to someone who may be sick, someone who is too tired from work to cook for the family, a meal to those who work on the frontlines ensuring the well being of those in your community. With each meal we deliver we can ensure that there's one happy and well fed person ready to take on whatever may lie ahead of them for that day.