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DIY vs. Outsourcing Your Restaurant’s Food Delivery Service

As we enter 2021, many restaurants are faced with the question: should we continue to pay the exorbitant third-party app fees or take matters into our own hands?

As it turns out, there’s no straightforward answer. However, in this article, we’ll help you make informed decisions by offering both sides and see which among the two fits the bill. Towards the end, we’ll offer a unique solution that covers both do-it-yourself (DIY) and done-for-your (DFY).

Do-It-Yourself: Getting All the Pieces Right and Putting It All Together

You need to have 3 major components working together to successfully do your own food delivery service: food prep, delivery drivers, and a fast and efficient food ordering and delivery system.

First off, food prep. This may sound easy at first but when you get to the actual process of preparing dozens of food orders and making sure they end up close to restaurant quality, you’ll realize it’s not as simple as it seems. You need to optimize your menu for pickup and delivery and you have to package them the right way.

Next, you need drivers to do deliveries at your beck and call. This could mean putting a driver on the payroll or having one of your own staffs to do it for you. You may also hire part-time drivers, but without an efficient way to communicate with delivery drivers and finding which ones are available in your area, you’ll be swamped with pending deliveries – and angry customers.

The third component solves this problem which is having a fast and efficient food ordering and delivery system. Traditional restaurants usually struggle to keep up with new technology. In this day and age, good old phone and paper won’t cut it. But on the other hand, it would also take plenty of time and resource to make even the simplest of apps, especially if you’re not into app development yourself.

We’re talking not just one, but 3 apps, one for each user – the restaurant owner (you), delivery drivers, and food customers.  You need to have your own suite of tools for your restaurant (website, CRM, POS, delivery tracking, etc.), a driver app, and a delivery app. This is basically how food aggregators like UberEats, DoorDash, and Skip The Dishes work.

Nowadays you can build your own restaurant’s food delivery system by combining and integrating different platforms, e.g., WordPress or Wix for your restaurant website, app builders like Gloria Food app and App Institute for your POS, delivery app and online menu, and the list goes on. Just know you’re going to spend many hours learning these things if you’ve never done one yourself. You can read more of it in our Quick Guide on Setting up Your Restaurant Online Ordering System.

Most of the time restaurants will go for turnkey solutions, basically paying all the setup costs and handing it up to them on a silver platter. Or, if they have large enough budget, they can outsource developers to build a fully-customized restaurant food delivery system from the ground up.

When choosing between DIY and outsourcing your restaurant’s food delivery service, you’re actually choosing between time and money. DIY will get you there at the expense of time (slow approach); outsourcing will cost you more but get you up and running in less than a month (fast approach).

Later in this article we’ll introduce some workarounds to jumpstart your restaurant’s food delivery service without spending insane amounts of money on web, app development, third-party delivery apps, and hiring your own delivery drivers.

Done-For-You: Getting the Right People to Do All the Work for You

If you happen to be a big restaurant, say a Michelin-Star restaurant, outsourcing would be a more practical solution than building a system all by yourself. For most traditional small-scale, local restaurants, they could go for one of those budget, cut-and-dried software packages, throw money at third-party delivery apps, or they can do 50/50 where they do their own staff deliveries while taking orders via third-party delivery apps.

Let’s jump over to the delivery driver part since you’d still pretty much do all the food prep by yourself. Your first option would be to use third-party delivery apps. This solves the process of taking online orders and finding delivery drivers in a single stroke. But convenience also comes at a steep cost to the tune of $3,000 to $7,500 a month based on a 30-35% commission fee structure.

We dug into it in one of our blog articles on third-party delivery apps The Numbers Don’t Add Up For Restaurants: Third-party Delivery Apps and was quite shocked to learn just how much these apps are costing the restaurant industry. Here’s a sample of what we found out:

46 Prepaid Order$1,042.63
Commission– $206.51
Delivery Commission– $94.99
Processing Fee– $38.52
Promotions– $231.00
7 Order Adjustment– $131.19
Commission$9.75
Delivery Commission$4.88
Processing Fee$1.49
Promotions$20.00
Pay me now fee0.00
46 Orders in March$376.54

In fairness to these third-party delivery apps, they do help smaller restaurants when it comes to getting more exposure and can work as a customer acquisition tool. But with the $30-$35 commission fees, it becomes a hard pill to swallow. Others weren’t so lucky and were forced to close down for good.

Another way to deal with the 30-35% commission fees is outsourcing skills and talents into building your own food delivery system. With proper execution, you should be able to do a $2-$5 flat fee on all your deliveries in a year or so (ours is actually better at 3.33% delivery cost if you follow our system – in less than a month!).

However, in this approach, you’re going to spend a lot of money first before reaping the benefits of having your very own restaurant food delivery service. You can think of it as putting up an investment in the delivery department of your restaurant business. It costs money but the benefits are well worth it – definitely better than using third-party delivery apps.

Now, you’re going to need a suite of tools for this one, so a driver app should be in order. The big question is how can you get more drivers to use your app? Unless you’re hiring a full-time driver or re-training your staff to do your own deliveries, you’re pretty much stuck with very few drivers or none at all. You’d have to actively market yourself as being your own version of Uber Eats and get more drivers on board.

In our next section, we’ll talk about DeliveryBizConnect and how it solves the dilemma between saving time or money and how to get more delivery drivers for your restaurants.

DeliveryBizConnect: Having It All in One Platform for both DIY, DFY, and Hybrid

If you’ve read this far, congratulations! You’re about to learn how you, the restaurant owner, can take control of both your time and budget and not have to shop around looking for all these different software components and getting more drivers on board.

DeliveryBizConnect is the brainchild of Small Business Dream CRM and Sales and Marketing Automation designed to help as many restaurants as possible at the height of the pandemic. It’s a full-feature restaurant CRM which includes a restaurant website, POS, driver tracking, driver app, online ordering app, and our latest feature the driver matching service. It’s like having your own version of Uber Eats.

So now you might be thinking, with something this good, it will probably cost a ton of money. We’ll give you a little bit of perspective. Hiring offshore teams of app developers to make you just one app will cost you $5,000. Getting a full North American team to do it for you will cost you $50,000 – for just one app! If you’re curious you can check this article for a full list of app development cost.

Watch our video to learn what it takes to have your own restaurant food delivery service.

With DeliveryBizConnect, you have 4 options: you can have it all on a silver platter where we work on everything from your restaurant website, online menu, personalized delivery app, driver app (the whole enchilada); work it all by yourself using our platform; hybrid approach where you choose which ones to have it DIY-ed or DFY-ed; or you can also use it with other third party delivery apps for deliveries and customer acquisition. You’re in full control.

Okay, so now that we have the software component down, how do we get our delivery drivers? DeliveryBizConnect now offers a driver matching service where the system matches a restaurant to available DBC delivery drivers in the area. However, you’ll also have to do your part in spreading DeliveryBizConnect in your place for this to work optimally.

Watch our video to learn how this feature can significantly cut your delivery cost to as low 3.33%.

We’re Here to Help

If you need any help on how to jumpstart your own food delivery service, feel free to book an appointment with us for a 30-minute Complimentary Restaurant Sales Expert Call. We’re on a mission to help restaurant owners get back on their feet and increase sales like never before.