The rise of 3rd party restaurant ordering follows the trends for convenience and experience over traditional restaurant options. Today’s customers have access to more information than any other generation, and they expect online ordering. It is clear cut and dry. Instead of fighting to maintain autonomy and working within a rigid business model, successful restaurateurs must embrace omnichannel capabilities, understand their risks, and apply a few tips to make such partnerships realize higher profitability.
Common Misunderstandings About 3rd Party Restaurant Ordering
Several misunderstandings surround 3rd party restaurant ordering. It does not imply a complete takeover of total restaurant operations. Furthermore, 3rd parties are not the customer. Your customers have the power, and 3rd parties serve as an intermediary. It’s no different than the typical process of working with suppliers to secure foods and equipment from manufacturers. Of course, in online ordering, the opportunities for growth are so attractive that it’s easy to assume 3rd party ordering is the cornerstone of success. As noted by a prior Tacit client, “if you can get a consumer to not order through via the phone and instead ordering through a digital device, you will see a higher check size. We’ve seen a pretty considerable check size lift when you compare our call-in orders to our online orders to the tune of 35% or more.”
At the same time, other Tacit clients have expressed grave concerns over the problem with tablet-only options through 3rd party restaurant ordering. So, it all comes down to striking a balance between reality and efficiency.
3rd Party Ordering Comes With Added Risks and Benefits
The value of 3rd party ordering ranges from increased access to more customers to offer online ordering and delivery. Unfortunately, some restaurants mistake 3rd party platforms as the sole means of offering an omnichannel capability. Omnichannel ordering through 3rd parties only represents a portion of the total restaurant traffic. According to PYMNTS.com:
“Online ordering and deliveries no longer represent a small segment of the restaurant experience, as 63% of all restaurant traffic now occurs off-premises. This means a growing number of consumers’ first experiences with restaurants are enabled through mobile apps.
Third-party apps are responsible for a significant portion of this. Spending on apps like Grubhub has increased 200% per year in Atlanta alone, with millennial consumers leading the charge. Partnering with third-party apps thus comes with clear benefits for restaurants, but these shifts also come with drawbacks.”
Obvious risks and benefits exist. But the key outcome is the same. A well-rounded omnichannel approach must include both branded, in-house ordering capabilities and 3rd party services. Even still, it is possible to leverage 3rd party services as white label delivery and ordering capabilities. It all depends on the unique needs of your restaurant and your digital strategy.
How to Improve Use of 3rd Party Ordering in Your Restaurant
The use of 3rd party restaurant ordering platforms must not be a fly-by-night process. Instead, restaurateurs should follow these steps to improve the use and maximize the partnership:
- Recognize that 3rd party restaurant ordering platforms are only a portion of the top ways to enable online food ordering.
- Eliminate the inefficiencies in manual order rekeying by using integration technologies, such as APIs, to connect seamlessly to 3rd party platforms.
- Upgrade your POS to match the capabilities and capacity needed for 3rd party ordering.
- Increase the staff volume in the facility to meet demands.
- Use data to improve the management of kitchen workflows, focusing on serving all customers.
- Connect with customers through 3rd parties after ordering to enable continuous improvement.
- Use automated functions and analytics to gain insights into the performance of 3rd party restaurant ordering partnerships.
Unify Your Restaurant’s Omnichannel Ordering Strategy With the Right Partner
A successful restaurant omnichannel ordering strategy means using technology to improve efficiency, finding ways to better manage staff, working with clear, concise communications. Restaurateurs should know the top challenges in working with a 3rd party restaurant ordering partner, how such partnerships can increase revenue, and what to do to truly maximize their value. Tacit can help achieve those goals. Visit Tacit online to get started.