As explained by Restaurant Dive, the overall restaurant market is not expected to grow significantly in 2019, but that does not mean demand will stay stagnant. According to QSR magazine, the notion of third-party delivery is rising to become its own market, relying heavily on the ability of the restaurant industry to provide its products. Think of the traditional supply chain. When online ordering surges, brick-and-mortars may remain stagnant and reap the rewards of an overhead-less establishment. The same applies to the rise of third-party restaurant delivery. To maintain competitive advantage, restaurant operators need to understand the top trends in third-party restaurant delivery apps and build their operations around them. 

The debate over whether to use a branding mobile restaurant app or outsource online ordering exclusively to third-party apps has heated up in the last few months with Uber Eats now available at a whopping 9,000 of fast-food giant McDonald’s 14,000-plus U.S. locations and DoorDash receiving a new investment pushing the company's valuation over $12 Billon. Restaurants across the country strive for an ever-changing way to achieve lower operating costs and higher profitability. A branding mobile restaurant app offers this promise, but the rise of third-party delivery apps makes choosing the right path for online ordering more difficult. Restaurant operators need to carefully consider the differences between a branded digital ordering experience and third-party app to make the most strategic choice. 

Branded digital ordering is often described as the final frontier of restaurants. Unfortunately, it barely scratches the surface of possibilities in the industry. Despite the challenges of standing out among the hundreds of competitors listed in third-party apps, more companies are turning to these services to gain a more significant piece of the market. Meanwhile, the value of restaurant branded digital ordering continues to increase, presenting a delicate question; “does a business need a branded digital ordering experience?” To answer that question, restaurant operators need to understand the definition of Restaurant branded digital ordering, its various channels, and the benefits it offers. 

The term, omnichannel, is at the center of the retail and manufacturing world. A company can provide a seamless customer experience that goes beyond a single-channel approach. Customers enjoy the benefits of visiting brick-and-mortar stores; they can order online and pick up in-store. Customers have the power to broaden or narrow their experience to their preference, and the same concept exists in restaurants. Unfortunately, businesses still face significant challenges for restaurants to go omnichannel, even as the number of online orders soars to 6.6% of total orders, reports PYMNTS.com. Understanding how to overcome these challenges will be crucial to success. 

The use of digital ordering by restaurants comes as an expected evolution of the industry. For decades, brick-and-mortar retailers have worked to revise and define the best practices for embracing an omnichannel experience for customers. Since the rise of the internet, customers have enjoyed the flexibility to order their favorite products from online platforms, by telephone, and by visiting a brick-and-mortar location. However, retailers had overlooked a grand opportunity to collect data and improve customer experiences; they sought to blend the experiences into one shopping journey. The same evolution is now occurring within the restaurant industry, and digital ordering by restaurants is contributing to the implementation of an omnichannel effect that will create a unified dining experience, regardless of where customers eat.

All industries face uncertainty as new processes and capabilities become evident. In the restaurant industry, the challenges of digital ordering are expanding. Restaurants cannot merely begin offering delivery service without detracting from existing operations, at least not without hiring additional staff reflecting an increased cost for the company, but it would be impractical to eliminate online ordering. Instead of throwing in the towel, especially as the industry accelerates in growth, as reported by QSR magazine, restaurant operators need to understand the challenges of digital ordering for restaurants and how to overcome them.

Digital ordering for restaurants allows restaurant managers to collect more data about their customers and continuously improve. While big players were first in the game, the demand for digital ordering for restaurants has grown to encompass every brand and entity. It is not enough to simply want to embrace digital ordering for restaurants; restaurants must implement the processes and practices necessary to offer digital ordering capabilities fully. Meanwhile, digital experiences are rapidly replacing traditional brick-and-mortar, and those that fail to recognize the potential and value in digital ordering will face the uncertainty of an Internet-driven world.