Turning the Tables: How to Capitalize on Restaurant Aggregators

Aggregators add convenience and profits.
Aggregators add convenience and profits. Thickstock

Tips for managing profit with restaurant aggregators

The argument is over, right? Restaurant aggregators like Grubhub/Seamless and Eat24 are here to stay. Now we can focus on how to use these tools as revenue generating engines for your restaurant. It is common knowledge that the percentage of profit withheld by restaurant aggregators can make it difficult to find an upside, but the positive is there. You just have to look a little harder.

Following these three steps will increase revenue from restaurant aggregators and eliminate the headaches that come with restaurant delivery logistics:

1. Understand your restaurant aggregator’s pricing model

It may seem like the pricing models that aggregators come up with require a finance degree in order to understand how your restaurant will make money. Grasping these pricing models is the most important piece to understanding how your restaurant is going to profit. In most cases, restaurant aggregators charge a premium for an establishment to show up on the first page of a search. This can be an expensive, yet valuable tool to drive new customers to your restaurant and introduce them to your products.

Most restaurants seek extra business on slower days during the week and those odd hours between lunch and dinner, so why not only pay for premium placement during your slow times? Page placement is not a permanent decision and can be adjusted at any time. Monitoring page placement allows the restaurant to pay for premium visibility on delivery and pick up business when empty, and when the restaurant is full, by settling for a less desirable placement to help save money. When choosing an aggregator, be sure that they allow this type of flexibility with page placements. It could mean the difference of 10 percent to your top line revenue.

2. Use multiple restaurant aggregators

Online ordering tools are an acquired taste. Each individual customer believes the aggregator they use offers the best user experience, the most restaurant options, and realistic delivery times. In reality, there is not much separating one aggregator from another.

So why not just take them all?

The argument has always been that managing multiple tablets and fax machines is a recipe for disaster. Now there are companies who integrate all restaurant aggregators directly into the point of sale system, eliminating the need for any extra hardware. Also, having multiple aggregators allows the restaurant to reach a larger audience and, in some cases, allow leverage to negotiate a better price.

3. Do you need delivery drivers?

This is when it can get a little tricky. Companies like Postmates, Door Dash, and Uber Eats provide a restaurant aggregator tool, as well as drivers, to pick up the food and deliver it to the final destination. This can be very useful because it saves on cost, risk, and logistical headaches that come with managing a fleet of delivery drivers.

But beware. These services come with a premium price and, in some cases, as much as 30 percent per delivery. Be sure to understand the cost of managing delivery yourself as opposed to outsourcing to one of the aforementioned aggregators. You also want to make sure they will take deliveries that don’t originate from their aggregators. Last, there are third-party companies, like Zoomer, whose focus is only on food delivery. These types of businesses will assume the risk, manage multiple locations, and often do a good job for a more affordable price.


Brian Duncan

Brian Duncan has over 12 years in the restaurant industry beginning his career in college working every job from dishwasher to server. After graduating from Perdue University, Brian went on to work in food and beverage consulting, focusing on international chains and consumer products manufacturing for such companies as Hilton and Revolution Foods. During his time consulting Brain focused on creating efficiencies by utilizing technology. Brian’s background paved the way for multiple tech startups including Chowly. He now serves as co-founder and board member for Chowly Inc. and is primarily focused on business development, sales, and marketing. For more tips on how to manage restaurant delivery technology, follow him on Twitter @Chowly_inc.

Add new comment