You, as a restaurant owner, must truly understand the disappointment of customers when wrong, cold, or delayed food is delivered. Such delivery failures reflect negatively on restaurants even when subpar food delivery services are at fault. Now that online ordering is a never-ending trend, streamlining deliveries successfully requires partnering with a specialized and reliable food delivery service. You need delivery partners who can offer real-time visibility, deliver your orders promptly, and have enough riders to fulfill your demand.
This article by uEngage discusses How to Choose the Right Food Delivery Partner for your restaurant. But, before we do that, let’s understand in-depth about food delivery partners.
Who are Food Delivery Partners?
Food Delivery Partners are online platforms or apps that bridge the gap between restaurants and customers to speed up food ordering and delivery. These partners help restaurants to reach a broad customer base and provide reliable deliveries. They aim to equip restaurants with the right infrastructure and resources that are crucial to grow in the online food delivery market.
There are different types of food delivery platforms available and the major platforms are as follows:
Aggregator Food Delivery Platforms
Aggregators, like Zomato and Swiggy, are delivery apps that work on aggregator models and aggregate restaurants onto one single platform. They offer vast reach to restaurants and access to an extensive customer base. The primary revenue of such aggregator food delivery platforms comes from commissions they charge from restaurants on every order. Commissions often range from 10-30% on the total food order value.
Independent Food Delivery Platforms
Independent Delivery Platforms manage end-to-end delivery processes for restaurants. They own their rider fleet and delivery resources and do not rely on third-party logistics. Such independent platforms allow you to connect directly with your customers by eliminating the involvement of middlemen. Restaurants can retain great control over their brand, menu, and pricing by partnering with such platforms to deliver a more tailored experience.
Niche Food Delivery Platforms
Niche delivery platforms are specialized apps or websites that create exclusivity by focusing on a specific cuisine or specific customer segments. Check whether partnering with a niche food delivery platform can help you reach customers who are actively looking for your type of cuisine and improve your offers.
Major Food Delivery Partners in India
Have a look at major food delivery partners operating in India:
An AI-powered food delivery platform in India, Flash is primarily focused on empowering restaurants with prompt and smart deliveries. The platform has coverage across PAN India and offers complete control over delivery operations to 7,000 businesses. Flash provides robust features to restaurant owners for efficiently managing on-demand deliveries, which include real-time order tracking (via WhatsApp, SMS, Web URLs, etc.), POS integrations, rider KYC and attendance management, OTP-based order delivery marking, and much more.
Zomato is a popular food discovery and delivery platform with more than 80 million active users, a presence in more than 500 Indian cities, and a listing of over 1.5 million restaurants across different cuisines. It evolved into a complete food ordering and delivery app in 2015, with the acquisition of last-mile delivery players. Zomato is now considered a stable platform for F&B businesses because of its prominence, brand equity, and operational integration. A few major features of Zomato include menu management, activity dashboard, GPS tracking, app analytics, etc.
Swiggy is another prominent food delivery aggregator operating in more than 500 Indian cities. It owns one of the largest delivery fleets with over 3 lakh delivery partners across India that assure prompt deliveries. The app gained immediate traction due to its no minimum order policy. Some of the unique features of Swiggy include Live Activity, Generative AI, Personalized Homepage, Smart Push Notifications, etc.
Headquartered in Mumbai, EatSure is another leading food delivery platform that provides services in over 35 Indian cities. It constantly improves the delivery experience for both restaurants and users. EatSure serves a dynamic integrated platform beneficial for operational merchants who aim to take complete ownership of their customer data, market reach, branding, and more.
How to Choose the Right Food Delivery Partners?
As a restaurant owner, choosing the right food delivery partner that can scale your business would be one of the most challenging tasks. Thus, it is important to evaluate certain crucial factors while making a choice. Following are the major factors that you must consider while choosing the Right Food Delivery Partners:
Delivery Commission Fees
Considering the commission fee structure is the foremost step when selecting a delivery partner for your restaurant. Different delivery platforms have different commission rates that usually range from 15-30%. Choose a partner who can help you generate orders and support smooth deliveries without imposing hefty commissions and eating out your profit margins.
Compare and understand the delivery commissions charged by different platforms, both for long distances and small orders. Make sure to also analyze if there are any additional fees charged by the platform, including onboarding costs, integration costs, upfront fees, etc.
Average Delivery Time
Prompt and reliable delivery times should be highly prioritized in your evaluation criteria when choosing a food delivery partner. Analyze the average delivery times and on-time delivery rates quoted by different services in your operational locations. Factors such as order volume, foot traffic, efficiency of the delivery fleet, etc., contribute to analyzing the delivery times.
Visibility and Promotion of Restaurants on the App
Merely having a listing on the food delivery platform is not enough. It is important for you as a restaurant owner to look into how your brand is positioned at the delivery platform across the vital aspects of app discoverability such as search rankings, recommendation algorithms, sponsored visibility, etc. Talk about ways how to rank higher organically through content and reviews, or consider negotiating for sponsored listings to be positioned more prominently to catch the attention of potential customers.
Furthermore, familiarize yourself with the marketing tools and initiatives of the platform, including special promotions, targeted advertising, and more. Notable food delivery partners offer self-serve advertising tools that let you bid on keywords that hold the uttermost importance for your restaurant.
Flexibility in Payment Terms and Billing Cycles
Choosing a food delivery partner that offers flexible payment terms and does not have confusing billing cycles should be highly prioritized in your evaluation criteria. Evaluate the payment methods that delivery partners support and make sure that they comply with the diverse interests of your customers.
Discuss how your restaurant is billed by the food delivery partner. Is it possible to switch cycles? Are you billed weekly or monthly based on orders? Is customization available in terms of scheduling and billing options? Additionally, find out how their delivery service integrates with your restaurant POS and other systems.
Brand Reputation and Customer Support
You want food delivery partners for your business who are reputed, trusted, and eager to provide support. Search online to know about the reputation of delivery partners through their overall ratings, client reviews & experiences, etc. Delivery services with an excessive number of controversies, conflicts, and negative feedback are major red flags.
The best delivery partners provide best-in-class support to both restaurant owners as well as customers ordering via the platforms. Ensure that they serve top-notch customer support in both areas.
Before you come up with a decision to choose a food delivery service, verify that they fully cover your targeted regions. Analyze if the delivery zones, cities covered, and the geographical density of the platform match your current customer base and future planned growth. No matter whether you are targeting new neighborhoods, secondary cities, or regional centres, you need to know that the delivery strengths of your partner can increase parallelly.
The above-mentioned are the essential factors that you must consider when choosing a food delivery partner for your business. You need to carefully analyze all parameters prior to selecting the partner that best complies with your business goals.