That unrelenting focus on delivery has enabled Jimmy John’s to achieve average delivery times of 18 minutes. By contrast, a Boston Consulting Group study reported that the average delivery time from four of the most popular third-party delivery services—Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates, and DoorDash—were 49 minutes, nearly three times as long as Jimmy John’s.
“There are big gaps between consumer expectations and what they get,” Shea says. “It’s clear customers care about speed of delivery, cost, and quality, and we win on all of these.”
Like Jimmy John’s, Domino’s, too, has committed itself to in-house delivery, bypassing the surge of third-party delivery agents to leverage some 60 years of putting its pizzas directly into customers’ hands. Domino’s executive vice president of communications, legislative affairs, and investor relations Tim McIntyre says it is imperative that the Michigan-based brand control the service, quality, and safety around its product as opposed to relinquishing that oversight to a third-party agent.
“We want our customers to have the best experience possible, and that means making sure we have control of our product when it’s being made, put in the oven, and when it’s out on delivery,” McIntyre says, adding that maintaining in-house delivery also allows Domino’s to retain ownership of its delivery data rather than handing that valuable information off to an outsider capable of using it competitively.
To provide consistent and reliable service to its customers, and to do so in a cost-effective way that enables Domino’s to battle a growing set of competitors, Domino’s employs a fortressing strategy. Delivery zones max out at about nine minutes, and Domino’s has constructed additional stores to tighten up delivery areas and reduce drive times, moves that also improve the economics around the number of runs the chain’s delivery drivers can handle per hour.
“In some of the high-wage labor markets, it’s especially difficult to take $20 worth of food nine minutes away from your store and make money on that order,” McIntyre says.
But it’s not only the legacy players shunning third-party delivery in favor of their own delivery teams.
While growing fast-casual chain Dig (nee Dig Inn) had previously worked with a variety of third-party delivery partners, each carrying its own advantages and limitations, company leadership began investigating an in-house solution as delivery emerged as a bigger part of the business.
“It became clear that we needed to put significantly more intention into this part of the business than just putting a lid on the food and throwing it in a bag,” Dig founder and CEO Adam Eskin says.
Eager to better reflect the thoughtful nature of Dig’s dine-in experience, the New York–based company launched a revamped delivery model earlier this year called Room Service. A ground-up rebuild of its delivery program, Room Service prioritizes the guest experience with a retooled online ordering experience that prizes accuracy and a delivery-only menu that fosters speedy delivery.