On my phone are 2 apps. One is a big name third party food delivery app with lots of local options in there. The other app is named after the restaurant itself, and while a small chain, it obviously only services its own restaurants. Using these third party delivery apps may seem convenient because you are getting next to any competition, but there is another way that is better. To have your own app for a restaurant to handle both pickup and delivery orders is valuable from a simple sales funnel perspective. On a third party app, those decisions presented to your audience may become sales lost to your completion. I am sure we have all changed our mind in the past when wanting food, why make it easier for your competition to make sales?
The real estate of smartphones has become a cutthroat market. The battle to get apps on your phone has never been bigger. The classical logic behind having one is simple, it serves as an advertisement on the phone itself, and with restaurants specifically, it takes pressure away from phone orders and serves as another front of house for all intents and purposes. Most importantly, the experience the customer has front start to finish is entirely in your hands, under your brand.
Third party delivery apps take away this front of house unique feeling each restaurant should have. They are also unpractical from a simple business model perspective, when taken into account that service fees and other charges will always make that third party delivery app more expensive to your customer. There is a reason few pizza places have either, mostly because they don’t believe they need either, and to use a third party delivery service would only increase their overhead and cost to customer. Those working for the third party delivery apps will often suggest doing so for a restaurant with an already established delivery chain, as one former driver writes on reddit “Even with experience and knowing what to do it is no longer a consistent income.” this shows if anything these businesses are at very least not sustainable long term, given the drivers that do it don’t do it for long and experience high risk in their insurance and vehicle depreciation. In addition to all this, these apps have continuously taken tips customers are meant to think go to the drivers in full and directly. My guess, by 2030 at very least we will have a law surrounding such businesses or a union attempt by the workers.
If you own a restaurant, your own personal app and delivery chain is vital if you want to offer delivery or pickup options. It allows your logo to have staying power with your customers, it takes a load off staff, and it will allow you to have better prices at the end of the day than anyone using the third party delivery apps.