On-demand food services are essential to restaurant success.

Consumer habits are changing quickly as technology continues to provide ever more options for how they can purchase food. Delivery is now a fact of life for full-service restaurant customers who want options beyond the basics of pizza and Chinese food.

“We are in the age of convenience in which smartphones and efficient logistics have enabled effective delivery across industry segments,” says Kevin Huang, director of sales operations for DoorDash. “Delivery is now viewed as an expectation rather than a nice-to-have benefit. Consumers and operators alike are demanding more convenience in order to connect hungry customers to great food.”

As millennial and Gen Z diners in particular seek healthier foods and a greater variety of available-for-delivery meals, operators are challenged to keep up with demand while still ensuring consistency and quality of food. In addition, staffing in-house delivery drivers creates additional challenges due to high employee turnover and the cost of insurance requirements.

“Delivery demand throughout the day often spikes and troughs unexpectedly, which makes it difficult for operators to predict staffing requirements,” Huang says. “Additionally, in-house drivers don’t have access to logistics technology and therefore don’t always take the best routes to a delivery destination.”

On the other hand, third-party servicers can provide drivers to meet real-time demands at every daypart. Because third-party delivery providers assume the responsibility—and liability—of delivering a customer’s order quickly, operators can focus on managing their staff, serving in-house guests, and cooking up a great product without compromising front or back of house efficiency.

“In order to stay competitive, restaurants need to be partnered with a on-demand food platform,” Huang says. “DoorDash, for example, has a built-in set of products to ensure the highest quality delivery, every single time, including insulated carriers to keep food at the correct temperature.”

In addition, partnering with a on-demand food platform is a great way for full-service operators to share brand messaging with a new audience. Many successful restaurants are incorporating on-demand food platform into their restaurants despite misconceptions that these programs cannibalize the customer base, according to Huang.

“On the contrary, DoorDash introduces new customers to our partners,” Huang says. “Diners who order on DoorDash are 80 to 92 percent more likely to visit a restaurant as an on-premise guest on a different occasion, and there is otherwise little overlap between the restaurant’s on-premise customers and DoorDash.”

By partnering with an on-demand food platform, operators can meet customer demands for delivery, and market to new customers who may discover a restaurant for the first time by searching for delivery options in their area.

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