Should you outsource delivery or keep it in-house?
One of the biggest decisions you have to make when you begin offering delivery, or even building a delivery-only brand, is whether you're going to outsource delivery or keep it in-house. There are, of course, pros and cons to both, so it really just depends on your needs. We're going to go over some of those pros and cons to help you make the decision that's best for you.
Outsourcing to Third Parties
First, it's worth mentioning that depending how and where you're operating your business, you may not have a choice but to outsource delivery. For example, if you open a delivery-only kitchen in a cloud kitchen facility, you probably can't have your own team of drivers on site anyway. So, if you haven't even decided where your brand will be operating yet, you'll want to do that first. Now that we've cleared that up, let's get into the real pros and cons of outsourcing delivery.
There are many great delivery partners to choose from, and we've compared them more in-depth in other blogs. So, for our purposes right now, we'll look at this from a more general perspective rather than discuss specific services.
- Less work for you
- If you've got deep enough pockets, this might be all you need to hear. Once you've taken the initial time to select a good partner, you don't have to worry too much about delivery after that.
- Most respected delivery services have just about perfected their processes, so you can be sure that they'll get your food to the customer on time, almost every time.
- Customers are more familiar with ordering from delivery services rather than directly from restaurants, so you'll get more visibility on their platforms. This is especially important if you're just offering delivery for the first time or starting an entirely new delivery-only brand. Of course, some platforms, such as DoorDash, do offer partnerships in which you use their platform for orders but still deliver yourself, but this requires a lot more organization on your part and sort of defeats the purpose.
- No matter who you partner with, you're in for some fees. Many restaurateurs criticize popular delivery services for the fees they charge.
- Lack of control
- You lose a lot of control when you hand your food off to someone who works for another company. If they mess it up, it will reflect poorly on you, even though it's not your fault.
Unless you have some sort of teleportation powers, your only other option is to hire a team of delivery drivers yourself. This, of course, comes with pros and cons as well.
- Less expensive in the long run
- While the initial costs of building a delivery team and paying many new employees are high, you save in the long run by avoiding delivery fees that partners charge.
- Increased control
- You control the entire delivery process from start to finish. If there's an issue, you can handle customer service and make it right, which some delivery services are known to do poorly.
- Better brand identity
- Having someone wearing your restaurant's logo show up to the door helps customers recognize and remember your brand. If they drop off great food with a smile, those customers are much more likely to remember you next time they get hungry at home.
- Nobody likes paperwork, and the simple reality is hiring more employees means more time spent managing them.
- Delivery logistics are hard. Pizza places might make it look easy, but they've been doing this for literal decades. There's definitely a learning curve, and you'll need to be prepared for that.
As with most of the things we discuss on our blog, choosing how to deliver all depends on your unique situation. It's a big decision, but hopefully this article helped you organize your thoughts and get a better idea of what you should do.
If you're thinking of starting your own virtual restaurant, we here at Forward Kitchens can help you with delivery decisions and everything else along the way. With the help of our team, you can use your existing operation, however big or small, to launch a virtual restaurant with multiple brands. This means you'll have even more chances to reach consumers, with even less investment.
Streamline Your Process with Forward Kitchens Today
We'll handle branding, website and menu design, and everything else needed to get you going. All you have to do is what you're best at: make great food (just for more people). If this sounds more like what you need, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out this form to talk with a team expert!