Your Pie was able to pivot early on during the pandemic by shifting one of our top operations performers into a new position as our off-premises marketing manager, serving as a direct liaison to partnered delivery platforms. Many of these providers have grown so fast that there has been rapid personnel turnover. Restaurants are wise to elect someone internally to oversee that relationship with the brand’s message in mind. Developing the relationship between restaurant and delivery service providers presents broader marketing opportunities, delivery specials, promotions, etc.
Fostering open and direct lines of communication between restaurant and delivery service is mutually beneficial and essential to maintaining revenue, particularly during a time when dine-in options have been limited. Early on with delivery service, any problems or customer complaints focused squarely on the restaurant, regardless of if the problem had transpired after the food left the premises. Operators had little control over the customers’ experience which, if negative, could negatively impact their business. But lately, third-party services are realizing that they need to be part of the solution. There is an effort and realization with all the providers that they need to take a more active role in being supportive and helping resolve problems when they arise.
Integrating delivery service providers directly into point-of-sale systems is a feature that was sped up due to the pandemic. Aside from avoiding premiums tacked onto orders placed through third-party apps and websites, restaurants are able to accumulate customer data that will help inform marketing strategies. They can now receive direct feedback on team members’ performance from guests and drivers as well as customer thoughts on menu items. They can also examine successful marketing strategies and benchmark numbers from other restaurant partners. Many of us have experienced the chaos of having several tablets on the counter, interfacing with multiple services during peak dining hours. Now a streamlined system will vastly improve kitchen operations, particularly during delivery rush hours.
There is no question that third-party delivery services are here to stay. The main focus at this point will be the continued effort to improve the customer experience so it is seamless for both the customer and the restaurant operator. Moving forward, we need to focus on how to make these partnerships equitable for both parties and the customer.
Dave McDougall is the CEO of Your Pie.