I would argue that it has always been the right time to ditch delivery apps, but if you haven’t considered it before, CONSIDER IT NOW. We are in the midst of a pandemic and every dollar over the next few months or year could be the difference between open and closed. It sounds dramatic, but when you’re pinching pennies in every other aspect of your business, why would you toss away 30% to a tech company? I’ll give 5 reasons why you should transition away from delivery apps and I’ll even tell you how to do it in a profitable way.

Commissions Suck

Giving away commissions to apps has always been a drain on restaurants. But now, when restaurants are solely depending on pickup and delivery you’re giving away 30% of your entire profits. That’s NOT OK. Third party delivery apps are posing as the heroes of the industry, to OUR customers.  If you’re in the industry you know it’s BS. They’re not giving us a break on commissions or helping us in any way. Grubhub offered to defer commissions, yet those will still be due when this is all over (in full I’m sure).

Who owns my customer?

Do you think that because people are patronizing your restaurant that they’re your customer? Well, that would be false. If they were your customer you would be able to collect their info and market to them directly. In the case of delivery apps, THEY OWN YOUR CUSTOMER, which means they also own the lifetime value of that customer. Is that worth 30% on every single order? Trust me you could spend way less on in house marketing and make a profit instead of losing money.

Customer Service

Do you ever get calls complaining about the quality or temperature of the food after it’s been delivered? Do you get people asking for refunds and you spend hours trying to coordinate those refunds with postmates or grubhub? What you quickly learn is that you have to end up telling your customer you CAN’T actually help them.  It’s frustrating because the poor or non-existant customer service reflects badly on your restaurant. When people review their orders on the apps they’re often reviewing the delivery service, not the actual food, but potential new customers don’t know that.

What do I do now?

Now you take back your customers! With everything that is going on in the world people are wising up to the fact that all these 3rd party apps are not good for restaurants. Your customers want to support you, they want to help get you through this time.  They also want simple ordering options for pickup and delivery, because let’s face it, people want convenience. So how do you reconcile both those things? WITH YOUR OWN ORDERING SYTEM. You can easily install your own ordering system in FB messenger for only a few hundred dollars and you own it, forever and the time to do it is now. Restaurants who start thinking outside the box during these difficult times will be the ones who bounce back quickly. If you get creative with your marketing and ordering options, do your own delivery, put new exciting items in front of your customers, they will SUPPORT YOU!

The lesson we as restaurant owners should learn from this global nightmare is this…we need to ditch delivery apps ASAP. Why not use this tragedy to educate ourselves and our customers. We can easily train them to order from us and slowly phase out apps that aren’t doing us any favors. We can take back our 30% and more importantly take back our customers. This way when this pandemic is just a memory we will have stronger, more excited groups of customers there to support us no matter what we’re up against in the future.