When was the last time you thought about the various ways your customers interact with your restaurant brand? These interactions, when combined, are referred to as the customer journey.
Pre-pandemic, the typical restaurant customer journey looked a lot like this:
- Look up restaurants nearby
- Check out the restaurant’s website and social media
- Drive over
- Walk in
- Order favorite food
- Enjoy food
- Post a good review
But when the Coronavirus pandemic hit, all traditional restaurant norms were tossed out the window.
With the pandemic forcing the closure of thousands of restaurants, food delivery skyrocketed 13%, according to Statista.
Because of the pandemic, many operators gladly handed the delivery reins over to third-party delivery marketplaces that were happy to save the day. It was a win-win for operators and third-party providers, helping both sides survive a tumultuous time for the restaurant industry.
Now, as the pandemic storm subsides, and food delivery is forecast to grow to 21% of restaurant sales by 2025, operators are discovering new ways to work with delivery companies while simultaneously retaining control of their customer data and taking back the customer journey.
Yes, You Can Manage Your Own Deliveries!
The thought of managing your own food delivery can be scary. It may be the reason you weren’t delivering before the pandemic, and the reason you signed on with third-party marketplace apps during the pandemic.
But delivery doesn’t have to be scary when you have easy-to-integrate technology that helps automate delivery management.
Imagine using your own in-house drivers, or a small, local delivery service to deliver most of your orders, helping you keep a better handle on your customer service, branding, and data.
It’s a fact that 44% of consumers prefer to place delivery orders directly through a restaurant’s website or app. This is your chance to give them what they want.
On busy weekends, if you get overwhelmed or want to deliver outside your delivery radius, the system will automatically assist you by alerting a driver from a third-party delivery company that you need help. Everything always remains under your brand and in your control.
It may sound impossible, or like another confusing technology that won’t integrate with your existing systems. But the technology is simpler to integrate and use than you may think. Restaurant operators around the world are already using a hybrid delivery approach to take back control of the customer journey.
Benefits of a Hybrid Delivery Solution
When you bring delivery in-house and work with third-party delivery on an as-needed basis, you retain your customers and get the perks afforded by third-party apps.
- Control every aspect of the customer journey
- Prioritize self-delivery based on distance from the restaurant (did you know that the sweet spot for self-delivery is 2.14 miles?)
- Work with third-party providers to handle overflow and out-of-area orders
- Own your customer data
- Prioritize and personalize your promotions
- Deliver messaging to customers based on location, time of day, and preferences
- Reduce or eliminate revenue/customer loss from rejected orders
- Provide a tracking link that shows customers where their order is in real time alongside branded videos, images, coupons, and more
The pandemic opened everyone’s eyes to food delivery’s possibilities. At the time, it was more about business survival than profits.
As we continue the journey, a growing number of new and seasoned operators will make the decision to bring delivery in-house. Many will need help.
A hybrid delivery approach that allows operators and third-party providers to work together while restaurants control the customer journey is a natural evolution and one that will only grow into the future.
Are you ready to transform your delivery operations? Book a demo with VROMO today.