Delivery Services for Fast Casual Restaurants: Why It’s Crucial for Your Bottom Line
The popularity of both fast casual restaurants and restaurant delivery services continues to rise. We have entered an age where customers want convenience over all else, which is an area where fast casual restaurants thrive.
Much to the customers’ benefit, the most competitive restaurant owners combine the two to get the best of both worlds. They do this with food delivery software that integrates seamlessly with their fast casual point of sale (POS). This combination streamlines food delivery operations and helps to increase profits for fast casual restaurants.
Not convinced? Here’s what your fast casual restaurant could achieve by offering delivery services:
Reach a Wider Customer Base
According to QSR Magazine, digital delivery sales are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of over 22% through 2023. Implementing delivery services not only gives your fast casual restaurant a seat at the table when it comes to business growth, but also allows it to reach customers who otherwise may not have come into your restaurant.
Some people prefer to have food delivered to their home or office instead of picking it up or dining in-house. Others are house-bound and physically cannot pick food up themselves. Offering delivery services not only opens your fast casual restaurant up to a broader customer base, but it also provides options for teenagers or elderly customers who cannot drive, customers that are sick, or people who are busy at work.
Reaching a wider customer base doesn’t just mean more customers, it also means more brand exposure. Word-of-mouth marketing and online reviews are priceless. By offering customer conveniences like delivery services, you strengthen your customer relationships and gain the opportunity for more loyal customers.
Expand Your Restaurant’s Geographic Service Area
In addition to making your restaurant appeal to more people, you can also expand your geographic service area with both in-house and third-party delivery services. In order to handle the increased demand, pair in-house delivery services with on-demand delivery services, such as DoorDash or other partners.
Before, you may have just been able to service a smaller radius around your restaurant’s location with your own delivery drivers, but the rise of on-demand delivery services has significantly increased the reach with which restaurants can serve customers. In fact, the number of food delivery app downloads is up 380% compared to three years ago. These services are often willing to drive farther to pick up orders and deliver them than what you may have been able to offer through your own drivers. You can also cut back on the delivery staff you keep on-hand, which means you can stretch your resources farther.
In order to accomplish this successfully, ensure your on-demand delivery services are integrated into your restaurant’s POS software, so you can see how much of your business is coming through third party delivery.
Turn Slow Season into Grow Season
It’s normal to have slow periods in the restaurant business. Sometimes these are measured in hours—like from 2:00pm to 4:00pm—and others are entire days, like weekdays, snowy, rainy, or especially cold days. Even entire seasons can be off-peak. It’s not abnormal, but it is unfortunate. Luckily, there are ways to encourage more sales during these periods. Offering delivery services allow you to serve customers during times that would normally be slower.
If you have times where you experience a dip in foot traffic because customers don’t want to leave their homes to visit your restaurant, it’s safe to assume they don’t want to leave their homes to go grocery shopping, either. These times are when delivery is more appealing to customers than ever.
Fast casual restaurants can encourage slow period sales even more by offering special deals or promotions for delivery customers, like $5 burgers on Tuesdays or an exclusive winter menu special. Tie these promotions in with loyalty rewards, and you can encourage even more sales.
Increase Customer Satisfaction by Offering Food Delivery
Delivery services provide convenient, flexible dining options to your customers. They can enjoy their favorite meals in the comfort of their own homes, while working at their offices, or at get-togethers with loved ones, all without being interrupted or having to leave to go get food.
Offering the convenience of delivery expands the options for customers to order however they choose, improving their customer experience with your brand. They can order over the phone, online, or with their mobile devices. They can get food delivered wherever they want, and at whatever time of day works best for them. They can even order ahead to have food delivered later.
When you offer these conveniences to your customers, you are letting them know that you respect their lives, time, and preferences. You are essentially telling them that you understand what they want and are willing to provide it. When people find brands that prove this, they reward them with their loyalty.
How Delivery Grows Your Fast Casual Restaurant’s Profit Margins
Increased Average Ticket Size
Delivery orders tend to have a higher ticket value than in-store orders. Over 20% of consumers say they spend more on off-premises food orders than when dining in. This occurs for many reasons—people are enticed by upselling prompts on mobile apps and online ordering platforms, they are able to take more time to browse the menu before ordering, or they feel more comfortable placing larger orders when there is nobody around to pass judgment.
Reduced Labor Costs
When it comes to delivery orders, you don’t need nearly as much labor in order to fulfill them. You save on hosts, servers, dishwashers, and with on-demand delivery services, you don’t always need a delivery driver. All of these areas lead to reduced labor costs, which, in turn, leads to a higher profit margin for your business.
More Repeat Customers
You can also increase sales for your fast casual restaurant by encouraging delivery customers to come in when they’re interested in a dine-in experience. 76% of consumers said they were likely to dine at a restaurant that they previously enjoyed delivery from. Use your fast casual restaurant POS software to regularly follow up with these customers with both dine-in and delivery specials.
More satisfied customers means more sales, higher ticket prices, and a wider customer base—all which lead to more profit and success for your fast casual restaurant. It’s a smart idea for fast casual restaurants to leverage delivery services and capitalize on the growing demand for convenience.
HungerRush offers an industry-leading fast casual POS system that includes food delivery management that works to improve profits for fast casual restaurants. For more information on our game-changing restaurant technology, with HungerRush today!