There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has challenged us all to think outside of the box to keep our daily activities going on. For restaurants, offering food delivery has become extremely important to avoid going out of business.
Strict lockdown will end, but life as we know it might not come back, the changes have been so profound, that they might permanently stick. That’s why investing in food delivery can be the best you can do to adapt to the situation.
If you don’t have the staff or resources to offer food delivery on your own, don’t worry!
There are always solutions, and a food delivery app can be just what you need to overcome the challenges post-pandemic.
The importance of food delivery apps
Food delivery apps are not new. By 2019 there were 38 million food delivery app users in the U.S., 21% more than in 2018. It is expected that by 2023, this number will go up to 60 million users. A staggering amount!
Not only that, but 86% of diners were also already ordering takeaway or food delivery services at least once a month, according to Melissa Wilson from Technomic. According to a survey made by the same site, 60% of restaurants offering food delivery reported incremental sales.
The opportunity of reaching new customers is also there, DoorDash reports that 92% of the orders in their platform are from customers ordering for the first time from their partner restaurants.
According to a survey run in the United States during March 2020 in light of COVID-19, 41% of American consumers were more likely to purchase restaurant food through an online delivery service. It is also expected that the long-term behavior of consumers will change making food delivery services a revenue generator for restaurants across the U.S., says American news website, Axios.
With these numbers increasing, it is smart to give it a try to online food delivery for your restaurant.
What food delivery app should I use?
There are a handful of food delivery apps already in the market, with apps like DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Postdates leading the race.
So, which one is the best option?
We have a few points you can take into consideration to choose the app that is most convenient for your restaurant:
The most important aspect to look at is if it’s popular in the area of your restaurant. This will help you get more visibility and have new customers ordering from your restaurant. Different apps have different market share according to the city.
In the graph below, you can see the share of sales in the major cities in the U.S. per app only during March 2020.
Source: Second Measure
Working with a third party delivery service means you will need to share part of the profit with the platform. All apps have commissions and fees, depending on the features you want to use from their service.
Make an in-depth analysis of the costs of the app you want to use if it will benefit your business as it is or if you would need some changes for it to work without damaging the preference of your consumers.
With every new technology, comes a learning curve. Researching the steps you need to follow to start using a third party delivery app is important.
Moreover, analyze if there would be any changes in your current operation process and how long it would take your staff to get the hang of it. Using a food delivery app should make things easier for you, not complicate them more.
Keep an eye on the reputation of the service you want to choose. Going through customer reviews from users and partner restaurants can give you a good idea if the platform is the right one for you. You should partner with a food delivery service that won’t affect your image or your customer service. You could even ask your current customers what app they prefer.
Our pick: DoorDash
Putting everything together in the balance, at Camino Financial we believe that DoorDash is the best option to get started in the online food delivery service.
Since 2019, DoorDash owns 27% of the market share for food delivery apps in the U.S. by working with over 245,000 restaurants, located in +3000 cities. No wonder why it’s the most popular food delivery app in the U.S.
But let’s dig further into this application.
How the DoorDash App works
Before we tell you how you can register for this food delivery application, we want to give you a quick overview of how the app works.
- You register to the app, upload your restaurant information, and menu.
- A customer places an order in your restaurant using the app.
- You will receive a notification via email, fax, or the order manager app.
- There are two types of orders, ASAP or scheduled. If the order is ASAP, the driver will pick up the order within 20 minutes after it was placed. If it’s scheduled, you will receive the notification a few hours or even a few days before it needs to be prepared.
- The customer will pay for the order through DoorDash. The order will be prepaid, so there won’t be a money exchange with the driver.
- The driver will pick up the order from your restaurant and take it to the customer’s door.
- DoorDash will deduct the fees and send the payment to your restaurant on a weekly basis.
It is just as simple as that.
Keep in mind the costs that you will have to cover by using a food delivery app. You can contact DoorDash for more details, but here we have a small overview for you:
- Commission: 30% fee
- Tablet fee: this is optional if you happen to use the tablet order manager, it ranges from $6 to $9.15 a week.
- Sales tax: it varies by state.
- Error charge: this may apply if there is a missing or wrong item in the order.
Not convinced yet? You can try all DoorDash features for free during a month.
How to register your restaurant on the DoorDash app?
1. Go to get.doordash.com and you will find the form right away. Fill it.
2. You will be redirected to another page where you will need to provide more information about your business.
3. Upload your menu and working hours by writing your website or uploading your menu in PDF or image.
4. Select the way you would like to receive the order notifications. The app offers four different possibilities: Tablet, Tablet + Printer, E-mail + Phone Confirmation, and Fax + Phone Confirmation. Select the one that suits your restaurant the best, there are different fees for each one of the services.
5. Add the bank account you want to use to receive payments and hit submit.
During all the process, you will have a help button in the lower right of the screen that will connect you with a customer service representative if you need it.
6. Once you submit your application, the app team will review your application and approve it.
7. When your application is approved, you will receive a text message notifying you to begin your self-activation.
8. Also, you will receive an email from a @doordash.com account with your login credentials to the Merchant Portal, information about the onboarding process, and a link to schedule a call with one of the Activation Agents in case you need help or don’t want to go through the self-activation process alone.
9. Log in to your Merchant Portal and verify that all the information is accurate. We recommend you to watch this demo video to get an idea of what you can find in the Merchant Portal.
10. Once you are sure that all the information is correct and your staff is prepared for the new service, click Activate Store to start receiving orders.
And that’s it!
Your restaurant is live on the DoorDash site ready for you to start accepting orders.
How to make the best out of the DoorDash app
Activation is quite easy, and it can already help your business, especially during these challenging times. But, you can always make the best out of your restaurant’s new service with the following tips:
- Optimize your menu by creating menu categories inside the app and uploading high-quality pictures of your dishes.
- Modify your prices for the app, so your customers absorb part of the fees from the service. In many cases, customers don’t mind paying a bit extra to get their favorite food quickly at their doorstep.
- Using the tablet app may be more efficient to manage the orders, track your inventory, and modify your menu. It can simplify your business processes.
- Use the Merchant Portal to get more insights about your customers. This can help you create offers that will attract more customers and keep the old ones coming for more.
Are you ready to offer top-notch food delivery?
There’s no question that if you’re not ready to reopen your restaurant according to the new measures, online delivery can be the savor of your business. The process to get started is not complicated and it can give your restaurant the push it needs.
DoorDash is for sure one of the best options you can find, and they’re committed to helping local restaurants through the pandemic and further.
At Camino Financial, we are also working hard to help small businesses during these rough times. Staying true to our motto, no business left behind, we are keeping small business owners like you, informed about the pandemic. Subscribe to our COVID-19 newsletter and receive all you need to know in your inbox: