How Should Your Restaurant Offer Delivery – In-House or Third Party?

Experts predict that the online food delivery market will reach $24 billion by 2023 and that it will make up 40% of total restaurant sales by 2020. As your guests increasingly demand the convenience of delivery, it is imperative to decide how to offer delivery in your restaurant. There are two options to choose from – you could partner with one of the leading third-party delivery services or tackle delivery on your own with an in-house fleet. Depending on the size and scale of your operations, either choice could be the right one to allow your brand to compete in a shifting industry.

There are several reasons why you would choose to use a leading aggregate delivery service like GrubHub, DoorDash, UberEats, or Postmates:

  • Exposure: For small brands, being listed alongside industry leaders makes their cuisine more visible to prospective delivery customers who have never heard of their restaurant before. For large brands, it also creates awareness about the availability of delivery service. Getting the food they crave without having to change out of their pajamas will thrill your guests and strengthen their relationship with your brand.
  • Convenience: Not only is it convenient for guests, but it’s also convenient for the restaurant operators using these third parties. Partnering with brands that are the best in their field lets you focus on what you do well without stretching your team too thin.
  • Expense: Launching an in-house fleet won’t come cheaply if you have many locations for which to provide vehicles and delivery drivers. Employees could be designated for a delivery role, but that can be a drain on resources during times when orders aren’t coming in.

On the other hand, there are also reasons to keep delivery in-house as part of overseeing the entire guest journey from start to finish:

  • Guest Experience: When guests order delivery and something goes wrong, 44% blame the restaurant – as compared to the 25% who blame the delivery company. Once it leaves your restaurant doors, the food also leaves your control. Making sure branded cars and uniformed employees deliver meals to customers is a priority for some brands that want to leave a positive impression.
  • Control of Data: Your customer ordering data is one of your most valuable assets. When using third-party delivery, you are prevented from making important connections between how guests behave when ordering delivery versus when visiting your brick-and-mortar locations because their data sits with the third parties and doesn’t link back to your loyalty programs.
  • Margins and Commission Fees: Profit margins in the industry are already slim, so giving a percentage of each order as commission to a delivery company might be unpopular among managers and franchisees. While there’s a larger upfront expense to finance an in-house fleet, keeping more of each purchase may prove advantageous in the long run.

What does the future hold for restaurant delivery? It’s clear that diners want to be able to enjoy their favorite cuisine at home in the most convenient manner possible. To learn more about these two delivery options, check out a webinar on this topic, “Delivery Wars: Third Party vs. In-House.”

New Email Marketing Tools to Make Building Emails Easier

Creating an email from scratch can be tiresome and time-consuming if you don’t have the right tools in place. But by leveraging the new Email Builder, you can quickly complete the task and enjoy a great user experience in the process.

Email Builder is a drag-and-drop email design tool that is crafted for ease of use and flexibility. With this new tool, you can start with a blank slate or choose from a variety of design templates.

Here are the three biggest benefits of this exciting new tool:

Design: The new user interface makes it easy to drag and drop content into the preview pane and then determine whether you like the look of your email. And since most guests tend to read emails on a mobile device, you can preview how your email will look in a mobile view as well.

Efficiency: Do you find that you waste time searching for and uploading creative files each time you craft a new email? That won’t be the case with Email Builder, which is equipped with a shared content library so you can upload the creative assets (images, logos, etc.) needed to design and build your emails. Saved assets can be accessed again in the future, and if you need any additional images, you can search through thousands of ready-to-use, royalty-free ones. Collaboration is also easy, as emails can be saved and reviewed with your team before being sent.

Brand Management: If you have a specific style guide for your brand, you can create and save style templates to set brand colors, fonts, logos, and images. By creating a style template in Email Builder, you will ensure that all of your emails are on brand, regardless of who creates them.

Don’t wait to make email building a breeze! Access Email Builder by logging into https://pxsweb.com > “Marketing Tools” > “Email Tool” > “Create New Email.” You will see the new Email Builder and can get started right away.

Increase Restaurant Loyalty & Reach More Guests with Coupons

 

woman with the word coupon behind her

Guest engagement programs allow you to learn about and engage with the customers who participate. But what about the guests you don’t know – the ones who haven’t yet enrolled? Even with a loyalty program that has reached a 30-40% penetration rate, over half of your guests are still unknown to your restaurant. How can you communicate with those guests to offer them promotions, drive visits, and gain insight into their purchasing behavior?

One way is through coupons. By using coupons to complement your existing one-to-one loyalty program, you can improve your ability to market to all of your guests.

Here are three key benefits of introducing coupons into your restaurant’s marketing strategy:

  • Engage with unknown guests through offers. People are more willing to try new restaurants when they can receive a discount, so posting coupon codes on your website or on social media gives you a way to acquire new customers. Once you get them through the door the first time, you can rely on your existing guest engagement strategy to motivate repeat visits.
  • Drive enrollment into your restaurant loyalty program. Another way to use coupons is to promote enrollment and transition guests from unknown to known. For example, coffee sleeves or tabletop signage could carry a message encouraging guests to sign up and enter a code like “WELCOME” to receive a future discount.
  • Measure engagement across channels. With coupons, you have the ability to issue distinct codes for each channel and then evaluate how each code performs based on redemption. This can inform future decisions on where to focus marketing efforts for maximum effectiveness. You may not know all of your guests as individuals yet, but you are able to assess which coupons drive visits, as well as the purchase behavior of the guests who redeem them.

You can also use insights from your loyalty program to enhance your coupon strategy. If you know that certain messaging or promotions have been successful with the segments that visit less frequently, those same promotions are likely to work on your unknown customers as well.

Coupons can be a powerful tool when used correctly.   

To learn more about how to make coupons part of your marketing strategy, check out our on-demand webinar, “Not Your Grandma’s Coupons – Using Coupons to Reach More Guests.”

The Keys to High ROI for Grab-and-Go Food and Beverages

For some people, the news that both Target and Whole Foods are moving into the grab-and-go segment might feel like a threat. But for savvy c-store owners, it’s something else entirely: an opportunity.

When big players like Target and Whole Foods make a move, it behooves everyone in the food-sales industry to take notice. After all, they wouldn’t be doing so unless it’s likely to be highly profitable. And that certainly looks to be the case, as there’s been a 15% increase in prepared meals and snacks since 2010 and 25% of millennials eat in their cars on a daily basis.

Fortunately, convenience stores are perfectly positioned to take advantage of this opportunity. Nearly half of their customers are already purchasing food or beverage items.

And because c-store customers tend to make multiple visits per month, grab-and-go food is a prime way to increase their spend each time and encourage even more visits.

Convenience stores also have ample opportunity to promote their grab-and-go food options. Simple signage in the store can motivate customers to add food to their purchases, and signage in the forecourt may entice fuel-only customers to pick up a meal or snack. Video ads at the pump can serve the same purpose.

Although getting customers interested in grab-and-go options seems simple enough, getting them to actually make purchases is another matter. A long checkout line will send 74% of shoppers to a competitor, while 41% of them will change their minds about a purchase if the line is too long.

A grab-and-go program needs to deliver both a high ROI and an increase in visits. For maximum effectiveness, special attention should be paid to the “Four P’s” – product, price, place, and promotion.

Each of these four elements plays a crucial role in the success of a grab-and-go program. To highlight their importance, we’ve created an on-demand video containing details and ideas on how to implement your own program.

This free, streaming webinar, “Grab-and-Go: How to Maximize Your Foodservice Options” will take you through the key recommendations we give our c-store clients, as well as help you create an effective grab-and-go segment plan.

Click here to watch this free, on-demand video and learn how adding or improving your own grab-and-go program can boost your bottom line and help you compete with even the biggest industry players.