I’ll be honest, there’s been so much juicy news in the restaurant industry this week, it’s been especially hard to choose what to talk about. So how do I choose? I’m glad you asked. Basically, I choose based on what’s going to be of the most value to you.
So, it might not be so crucial to know that Red Robin is testing out a delivery-only location in Chicago (which they are). But you might want to know that…
IHOP is rolling out delivery, just like most major restaurant chains, but notably, they’re keeping their eye on consistency. “IHOP also created a Meals to Go Specialist Certification program to train restaurant staff in every aspect of off-premises dining.” By having one person trained in every restaurant in charge of maintaining the standards of this big rollout, I love how they’re applying systems to ensuring that food gets to customers hot and in the condition they’re meant to be.
If you decide to offer delivery, how will you ensure your brand’s quality in-store and in your customer’s home?
“One of the largest mystery shopping agencies in the country, had 1,400 of its sleuth shoppers order from four different delivery services – UberEats, Grubhub, DoorDash and Postmates – in five major cities (Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Dallas).” This study shows how the decisions you make affect the end result, from whether you use a service that provides drivers or use your own, to how a delivery service quotes wait times. It may be worth doing a study in your own area, when choosing an option that works for your restaurant.
From a customer POV, the only thing missing from ordering ahead is having someone bring my food to my car. This option is great for restaurants that don’t have or aren’t meant to have drive-thrus and is a great compromise on the spectrum of convenience. Remember, delivery isn’t the only way to offer the convenience your customers are asking for.
Like in the US, Australia is also dealing with a huge boom in desired convenience. Hear from Australian restauranteurs about how they deal with the logistics of delivery orders. “We would like them to enjoy the full dining experience in our restaurants whenever possible. However, if they choose to order a meal to be delivered to their home, we’d like our restaurants and menus to be front of mind.”
Now, for the bigger picture in TWID – delivery seems like a tough but necessary call, especially when having to pay out a third-party delivery service, BUT one big way to make it work for you is to strategize like Google and Amazon: offer the convenience your customer wants in exchange for the data your business needs. More ahead…
Whether the ordering data is sent directly to restaurant companies for input into their own databases or the data is sent to their Google Analytics account, marketers can analyze that information to determine everything from what menu items sell best online, what promotions are working, which day part has the highest online ordering rate and more.
This article makes a great point that surveys are expensive in time and money. Offering delivery, online ordering, or even just restaurant analytics can give you faster and richer data that can help you find the efficiencies your restaurant needs to stay open and competitive. “The data is becoming a reality thanks to the emergence of behavioral data – data that comes from observing and tracking consumers rather than asking them to reply to surveys.”
Finally, if you get a little extra reading time over this holiday weekend (i.e., not working the FOH or BOH for people who don’t want to fry their own turkey), here’s a little peek into the future of feeding the masses.