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Reaching customers takes more than simply opening your restaurant’s doors to the public — you need to get your brand in front of people who are actively searching for places to eat. That’s why so many restaurants are partnering with third-party delivery service providers like Grubhub. Listing your restaurant on a trusted delivery platform is an effective way to boost brand exposure, increase revenue, and build a large, loyal customer base.

What is a third-party delivery service?

A third-party delivery service is a company that handles order processing and delivery for your restaurant’s online orders. The company provides the technology infrastructure and manages delivery logistics so your staff can focus on preparing food. It’s a cost-effective way to offer the app-based ordering and driver tracking customers expect.

Here’s a quick overview of what third-party food delivery services offer:

  • Lists your restaurant in an online marketplace
  • Accepts orders and processes payments
  • Assigns a delivery driver and schedules pickup
  • Displays GPS tracking to customers
  • Handles customer service

Why are restaurants partnering with third-party delivery service providers?

Demand for food delivery is rising quickly; there’s a reason it’s one of the top 8 restaurant technology trends in 2024. Fundera by NerdWallet reports that 31% of American consumers use third-party food delivery services at least twice a week. Delivery apps are likely to become even more popular; online ordering is growing 300% faster than in-house dining.

To handle the increase in delivery orders — and create a sustainable and scalable operation — restaurants are partnering with third-party delivery providers. Outsourcing deliveries can simplify your workflow, boost customer satisfaction, and reduce the logistics burden for your in-house team.

Experts expect that the U.S. online food delivery sector will be worth $500 billion by 2027. Delivery services help you gain a larger share of that market. If you list your restaurant on Grubhub, for example, you automatically gain access to the platform’s 33+ million customers. It’s a powerful, low-effort way to boost brand awareness among consumers who have a demonstrated interest in online ordering and delivery.

Working with a delivery provider can also give you an edge in the notoriously competitive restaurant industry. When you list your restaurant on a food-delivery app, you get instant access to valuable customer data. With that information, you can track your restaurant’s performance, identify consumer trends, and capitalize on opportunities to boost order volume.

Exploring the necessity of third-party delivery services

Today’s consumers are accustomed to convenience and instant gratification. With a few taps of a smartphone, they can order almost anything for lightning-fast delivery. Third-party delivery apps help your restaurant keep up with these evolving customer expectations — without the need to invest in an on-site technology infrastructure.

How does it work? A customer places and pays for a delivery or takeout order using the service’s delivery app. The platform alerts you when an order comes in so the kitchen can start preparing the food. Meanwhile, the system finds and schedules a nearby delivery driver; they pick up the food, and your staff moves on to the next order.

While all this is happening, the app is handling one of the most important parts of the process: keeping customers updated. It lets them know the status of their order at every step. Guests stay happy and informed, and your restaurant doesn’t need to spend time fielding calls and answering questions — everyone wins.

As technology advances, a third-party delivery service can help your restaurant keep pace. Companies like Grubhub are always exploring and implementing new features, empowering you to capitalize on the latest trends in food delivery and meet customers’ needs.

Maximizing restaurant success with third-party delivery platforms

Third-party food delivery services reshape how you engage with customers and expand your presence in a competitive market. Key advantages of partnering with a reputable delivery service include:

  • Expanded reach. Listing your restaurant on food delivery apps is a great way to get in front of a wider audience. 
  • Increased sales. By offering delivery, you can increase orders from people who prefer to dine at home. 
  • Higher revenue. Increased order volume leads to a boost in revenue. The technology also exposes you to new opportunities that might fuel your restaurant revenue even further.
  • Convenience. A food delivery service eliminates the need to install an ordering system, hire and manage delivery drivers, and handle logistics.
  • Marketing opportunities. Delivery apps like Grubhub offer marketing tools to help you attract new customers. This can be especially beneficial as you figure out how to avoid the slow season.
  • Operational flexibility. With a delivery service, you can expand your operations quickly and scale them effectively as the business grows.
  • A competitive edge. Customers expect convenient delivery; by offering it, you can gain an advantage over other local restaurants that don’t.
  • Access to customer insights. The data from delivery services provides valuable information about popular dishes and delivery times, making it easier to adjust staffing and inventory to accommodate demand.

How to create an effective third-party delivery strategy

Before you can use third-party delivery services to grow your business and streamline restaurant operations for success, you need a strategy. Here are a few ways to adjust your workflows to ensure a high-quality delivery experience:

  1. Set the right delivery boundaries. A reasonable delivery area ensures your food arrives quickly and in good condition. As you choose boundaries, consider your location, traffic, and population density. If you partner with Grubhub, our algorithm can automatically create delivery boundaries for you based on the latest data. 
  2. Tailor your delivery menu for success. Populate your delivery menu with dishes that hold up well during transit. Eliminate ingredients that tend to melt or crumble en route to customers’ homes, or swap them out for more durable alternatives. By offering delivery-friendly meals, you can boost customer satisfaction and increase your chances of repeat business.
  3. Use the right delivery packaging. Choose containers that are strong enough to protect your food during the delivery process. Plastic and cardboard are ideal for larger warm dishes, while aluminum foil is great for burgers and sandwiches. For wet items, ensure your containers have lids that close tightly to prevent spills. Keep in mind that customers value sustainability; whenever possible, choose sustainable to-go containers.
  4. Determine a competitive pricing strategy. As you set delivery prices, look to competitors for a reference point. Factor in the cost of the food delivery service, and run profit margin calculations to ensure your prices benefit the bottom line.
  5. Utilize the platform’s marketing tools. Take advantage of delivery app features such as promotions and customer loyalty programs — they’re an effective way to reach more customers and give them an incentive to order from your restaurant. Because these tools are integrated with the platform, they’re typically easy to set up and deploy. In-app marketing can have a particularly powerful effect when paired with external efforts to promote your restaurant’s online ordering website and delivery services.
  6. Track key performance indicators. To determine if your delivery strategy is working, track metrics such as delivery order volume, average order value, delivery revenue, and delivery profit margins. Regular monitoring makes it easier to identify opportunities and areas for improvement.

How much does Grubhub Delivery cost?

With Grubhub Delivery, customers can place orders from your restaurant in just a few clicks. All you have to do is accept the order and prepare the food; we do the rest.

Grubhub charges a 10%* fee for restaurant delivery services. This fee gives you access to:

  • Professional on-demand delivery drivers
  • Real-time order tracking
  • Payment processing

We empower your small business to expand its service offerings, all while reducing your administrative workload. Our built-in operational organization is an important benefit of partnering with Grubhub — it enables you to process delivery orders more than 50% faster. At the same time, it increases order accuracy and ensures food reaches hungry customers quickly.

Don’t have the bandwidth to bring on your own delivery drivers? Grubhub takes care of it. Our drivers enable you to scale efficiently without spending time and money on hiring, training, managing, and scheduling additional employees. If you already have drivers, you can use Grubhub to accept orders and handle delivery yourself.

How to get started with Grubhub Delivery

If your restaurant is ready for a fast, professional food delivery service, Grubhub is ready to help. When you sign up, you can opt for Grubhub delivery or self-delivery. You’ll also have the ability to accept pickup orders, giving customers another way to personalize their experience.

Ready to get started? Sign up with Grubhub for Restaurants today.

*Pricing in select markets may differ