How Restaurant Brands Can Guarantee Great Guest Experiences with Third-Party Meal Delivery

To leverage a third-party delivery company, or to go it alone? That’s the question facing many franchise and independent restaurants. Today’s diners love meal delivery services; the average person has two food delivery apps on their phone and uses them three times a month. More than half (54%) of users start their meal search with a specific restaurant in mind, then look for it in an app. So if your restaurant isn’t available on food delivery apps, guests may move on to your competition. 

But those wary of jumping on board with a restaurant delivery brand like Grubhub and DoorDash worry about putting their guests’ experience—from the state of the food at arrival to the speed at which it arrives—in someone else’s hands. (There’s also the startling fact that one-fourth of delivery drivers admit to sneaking a bite of a guest’s food.)

Restaurants that do decide third-party delivery services are worth the risk need a way to measure the full effect that these offerings are having on their brand. That means engaging tools within your guest experience management platform to give your brand the opportunity to connect with diners as if you were delivering their meals yourself.

In our latest report, “How to Measure the Effect of Third-party Delivery on Your Brand,” we delve into a few ways your restaurant can leverage guest experience solutions to make sure your diners are getting the quality delivery experience they expect. 

Leverage Email Surveys

While guests may be able to gain instant access to your brand’s online surveys via their food receipts, there’s no guarantee with third-party delivery services that those receipts will even reach guests’ hands. 

To combat this potential gap, restaurants can shift their tactics away from receipt feedback requests to follow-up emails. This leverages a key benefit of food delivery services—access to your guests’ personal data, including email addresses—and allows you to personalize emails based on when and what a guest orders. 

When setting up your email surveys, don’t forget to factor in relevance. Since guests who received delivery orders weren’t served in your restaurant (this time), you won’t want to ask questions about your servers or cleanliness. Instead, focus on the flavor, temperature and quality of the food. Asking the right questions shows guests you’re paying attention and are truly invested in their overall experience.

Contrast Guests’ Experiences

One of the many advantages of a leading guest experience management platform is that it can measure multiple touchpoints. While your goal may be to gather feedback on guests’ food delivery experience, you can also compare and benchmark that data against their dine-in visits. You can even go so far as to break down those third-party experiences by brand (DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, etc.) to see which is best representing your restaurant—and which one could be doing damage.

Your most important benchmarking data, however, will come from crunching some numbers. Work with your guest experience team to find an average spend for each guest in a variety of groups (dining-in versus delivery, one third-party brand versus another, etc.). When you multiply that number by the amount of negative experiences in each group, you’ll gain a window into your potential losses if those guests leave your brand—and the numbers show exactly where you need to improve. 

Find Out What’s Really Important to Your Guests

At its core, the ultimate goal behind guest feedback is to maintain a quality experience, improve your service based on wants and needs, then maintain guest loyalty. We already know that more than two-thirds of guests report that “staff interaction” highly influences their ongoing brand decision making. But what about guests who receive your food via third-party delivery services? We can’t assume they’re influenced by the same factors.

That’s where follow-up email surveys can prove a gold mine. Nearly one-third of diners say they buy more food when ordering delivery versus dining in. Why is that? What extras are they ordering? Additionally, you can gain feedback about the delivery experience beyond food. More than one-third (36%) of guests say they would pay more for eco-friendly packaging—do yours feel the same? Do they prioritize friendly drivers and speedy delivery? Your survey can reveal answers to all these questions.

Restaurants that use third-party delivery know they’ve already opened up a variety of new revenue streams. But there’s plenty they don’t know about food delivery experiences. Guest experience management platforms deliver the tools to clear up these mysteries, and help restaurants maintain great diner experiences, no matter where they’re eating. 

To learn more about how you can use your guest experience management platform to guarantee great experiences with third-party delivery, check out our latest eBook, “How to Measure the Effect of Third-party Delivery on Your Brand.”

About Author

Nate Morley Customer Success Manager

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