Of Jimmy’s John’s brand promises, speed is, undoubtedly, the most recognizable. That bears the question: How will third-party delivery factor into the equation? Simple answer. It won’t.
The company announced Thursday that “it will never authorize third-party companies like Uber Eats, DoorDash or Grubhub to deliver its sandwiches to its customers.”
Jimmy’s John’s is electing instead to stick to its own in-house program, as it always has.
“We are, faster, fresher, better value, and more consistent at delivery than the third-party services,” James North, CEO of Jimmy John’s, said in a statement. “We have a relentless focus on the entire process, from the moment we start slicing fresh produce and baking bread at 6 a.m. to the moment we hand a sandwich to a customer. We want to control the experience from the fresh prep to the hand off to the customer.”
Jimmy’s John’s commissioned a study, it said, conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, to discover whether the service was really worth pursuing. The $13 billion third-party food delivery market is projected to grow at a blazing 13.5 percent annual rate, according to Pentallect. It found that 13 percent of consumers have used a third-party restaurant meal delivery service and 6 percent a grocery delivery service in the past 30 days. So the delivery segment is, essentially, mainstream now. Third-party food delivery service revenues are expected to effectively double in the next five years. That 13.5 percent rate is almost five times the total food industry mark.
It seems natural than that Jimmy John’s would consider diving in. But the company said studies show customers are becoming “increasingly dissatisfied with third-party delivery services.” And Jimmy John’s didn’t want to absorb the customer experience tradeoff.
According to the data, 35 percent of customers who have used third-party delivery say they have experienced a problem with their orders. Seventy-six said the restaurant was, at least partially, to blame for the errors. Ninety-two percent said they expect food deliveries within 15–30 minutes of placing an order. Jimmy John’s added the largest delivery services average close to a 50-minute delivery time.
The sandwich chain has offered delivery since first opening in 1983. As a company, Jimmy John’s employs about 45,000 drivers at its 2,800 or so locations. It has a systemwide policy of limiting deliveries to locations no more than 5 minutes from its restaurants.
“Fast, fresh delivery has been central to Jimmy John’s business since we opened in 1983,” CMO John Shea said in an email to QSR. “We have built the best sandwich delivery system in the world. Delivery is now among the fastest growing areas in the restaurant industry, but third parties are not up to the Jimmy John’s delivery standard. We are faster, fresher, a better value, and more consistent. For these reasons and more, we will never use third party delivery services.”
“It’s great to get your favorite local restaurant delivered to your door, but at what cost? We want our customers to end up with a perfect sandwich, so we’ll continue to hold ourselves accountable to our own high standards,” North added. “We currently do it better than anyone else and we’re going to continue to improve on that.”
Jimmy John’s plans to launch a national marketing campaign around the news. It will include giant billboards highlighting the delivery promise and a video showcasing tweets from dissatisfied customers of third-party food delivery companies