2020 Third-Party Restaurant Delivery Trends

The following third-party restaurant delivery trends reflect the growing importance of convenience and faster service for consumers. Unfortunately, the debate still rages over whether third-party delivery or in-house delivery is the best option, and restaurateurs are struggling to keep with demand for more diverse and enjoyable online ordering sales figures. 

As noted by a Tacit client:

“The one big trend is that it’s [digital ordering] growing. All the time it’s growing, and it’s kind of here to stay. It’s on the up every month, every year. The percentage grows and the numbers grow.”

To stay successful, restaurateurs need to know what to expect from the industry and adapt their organizations to meet these changes.

Ghost Restaurants Will Mature and Benefit Third-Party Services 

Ghost restaurants refer to the idea of dark kitchens and facilities that service third-party food delivery or in-house branded delivery customers only. This is different from the Pizza industry’s use of carryout versus delivery options. Instead, customers cannot visit a store themselves; they must place an order for delivery via a digital channel. The rise of dark kitchens will dominate the coming year, and according to Restaurant Dive

“While 2019 was marked by startups expanding their ghost kitchen spaces, 2020 will see further expansion and new partnerships, especially as these spaces create an avenue to grow a restaurant’s delivery channel without disrupting in-store operations. You’re going to continue to see exploration around this idea of the virtual kitchen and ghost restaurant. […] We’re thinking about how to create a different brick-and-mortar model that better facilitates the economics of delivery.”

Third-Party Restaurant Delivery Trends Will Reflect a Larger Concern for Food Safety 

Third-party restaurant delivery trends will also evolve to focus more on safe, healthy food deliveries. The past year saw numerous instances of drivers contaminating foods. 2020 will see an infusion of both new products, such as tamper-evident containers, that will reduce risk. Furthermore, more restaurateurs will look to add more health-conscious menu options to target a wider market. 

Consider this fact. Seven of 10 of Grubhub’s top 10 items are vegan and vegetarian dishes. More astonishingly, spicy brussels sprouts are the most ordered item. 

Restaurateurs Will Look to Prioritize Delivery Data Tracking

Restaurateurs know value lies in the data, but third-party delivery service providers have remained largely reluctant to share such data. Instead of simply hoping a provider shares data, restaurateurs will take the matter into their hands, collecting and analyzing data on the fly with POS integrated to the major third-party delivery platforms to allow for seamless dataflows. 

Rapid Online Growth Will Continue to Stimulate the Industry

The continued online growth of foodservice delivery will serve to further stimulate the industry. As a result, more innovation, and opportunities to reach more customers, will increase. For example, restaurateurs will move into the food delivery subscription space and work to make their distinction apart from Blue Apron, Whole Foods, and other alternative meal options. 

Deliveries Will Shave Down the Options and Simplify Menus 

Another irony of the 2020 third-party restaurant delivery trends involves menu diversity. Restaurants will work to offer more options, but at the same time, they will work to pare down menus and simplify operations. Smaller menus amount to less work. Of course, knowing which items to remove or replace will again depend on access to data and staying informed of what customers want from the restaurant. This move will ease the tension between third-party delivery service providers and restaurateurs, but it will not replace the need to keep an eye on the overall prize—the balance between dine-in and delivery customers. 

Follow These Third-Party Trends in Your Restaurants to Improve Profitability

Finding the right path through the third-party restaurant delivery trends of 2020 will not be easy. It requires restaurateurs to do the heavy lifting and hard work necessary to understand their company’s internal trends and align their organizations with customers’ expectations. One thing is clear; the food-service delivery market is still segmented. Up to 25% of all online orders have a disappointing characteristic, says Restaurant Business. However, those that take the time to understand what is and is not going right will have the power to correct those issues and retain customers. Boost profitability in your restaurant by applying these trends and working with Tacit to achieve success. Connect with Tacit online to get started. 

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