Food delivery is gradually becoming the new normal dining experience for many restaurant enthusiasts. An investment group Cowen and Company has claimed that off-premise spending will account for 80 percent of the restaurant industry’s revenue in the next five years.  

There are various reasons for this shift. Many millennials prefer to eat restaurant-quality food at home to avoid human interaction, and many others just like ordering in for the convenience of it all. Whatever the reason may be, it is well-established by now that restaurants need to keep up with food delivery if they want to ensure maximum profits. 

The recent growth of third-party food delivery services is a testament to the fact that restaurants are largely dependent on these companies to deliver their food. These companies often have exploitative relationships with restaurants and significantly reduce profit margins for smaller restaurants. 

So, is there an alternative? Yes, there is! An in-house delivery system can be an effective alternative to reduce dependence on third-party services and keep all operations under one roof. There are many things that need to be taken into account before establishing an in-house delivery system. 

What Do I Need In Order to Set Up an In-House Delivery System? 

Here’s a checklist of actions a restaurant owner needs to keep in mind before making the big move: 

Install Updated Restaurant Technology 

To efficiently carry out your in-house delivery responsibilities, you will need to incorporate online ordering to your business model. Customized online ordering allows your users to place their orders seamlessly. When picking the technology company you choose to work with, consider their fees and other expenses. A few companies like GRUBBRR offer online ordering capabilities at a monthly flat rate to ensure restaurant owners are served best. 

Other restaurant technology you should consider is an updated point-of-sale system and a digital kitchen display system. Juggling dine-in and delivery orders can be a handful sometimes. A point-of-sale system will streamline your operations to maximize efficiency and maintain order accuracy. 

Make Designated Space for Delivery Orders 

To avoid extended wait times for your customers at home, assign a specific area for your delivery drivers to pick up orders.  

Equip Yourself with Delivery Supplies 

If you have used a third-party delivery service in the past, it is likely that you are already familiar with the supplies you need for a spill-proof delivery. But if you choose to shift to a fully self-operated system, here are a few things you might need: 

  • Food storage containers (hopefully, spill-proof) 
  • Plastic utensils 
  • Travel-sized packages of condiments, sauces, etc. 
  • Cups, straws, lids, and to-go cup holders for drinks 
  • Insulated food-delivery bags to maintain freshness 
  • Vehicles  

Hire More Staff 

To expand your delivery operations, odds are you will have to hire more people. You will need people to deliver the food, and if the delivery system increases your sales, you will need more people in the kitchen to manage back-end operations.  

To uphold the customer service experience your restaurant provides to dine-in customers, you should train your delivery drivers on how they should and shouldn’t interact with customers. 

Delivery Vehicle and Associated Expenses 

As a restaurant owner, you will have to make many decisions in this regard. Will the delivery drivers be using their own vehicles, or will you be investing in vehicles yourself? If you let your drivers use their own vehicle, how will you compensate them for gas expenses?  

Depending on your business strategy and the resources you have, you can make a decision best suited for your restaurant. 

Food Tracker 

Food tracking is imperative to any delivery system. First and foremost, it lets your customer know the status of their order. Additionally, you as a restaurant owner are able to keep track of your delivery employees and monitor their progress. 

By having a centralized system with information, location, and status of all your delivery drivers, you can better manage their operations for maximum efficiency. 

So…Should I Switch to In-House Delivery? 

Depending on what you can afford and your goals for your restaurant, the answer can differ. An in-house delivery system can help you cut down on the fees you pay to third-party delivery services, and the system has the potential to decrease operational costs for your business. All you have to do is make sure it is the right model for you!