Food takeout and delivery has been around for a while like your pizza and fast food deliveries for your home parties or just a stay home Saturday to chill and catch up on your favourite tv series with some food takeout.
In recent years, food delivery is gaining in popularity and is largely due to the COVID 19 pandemic, where it not only inspires entrepreneurs to start their own online food business with home-based cooking but there was a rise in people working from home, where they tend to order food takeout for convenience.
So if you own a restaurant or are planning to start a food business, tapping into online food business will be ideal to expand your reach and bring in more business. And whether you run a small or large local food establishment, or a food chain, there are different ways to deliver your food into the hands of your customers. To help you with it, we’ve listed down the different options available to help you determine which is the best option for your food business.
1. Deliver food using third-party services
A third-party food delivery service is a company that provides food delivery services on behalf of food establishments such as restaurants or online food shops. This option is usually operated through an app and some examples include Grab and LalaMove. These companies will handle all aspects of the delivery process, from handling payment to dispatching drivers to collecting food from your store and delivering it to your customers.
This is an ideal option if your online food business does not have the resources and infrastructure to manage food deliveries internally. By engaging a third-party delivery service, it allows you to fully focus on preparing your food.
There is a service fee tied to each food order by these third-party food delivery services, which means a lesser profit margin unless you charge a slightly higher price for your food to cover some of these fees.
2. Deliver food with internal food delivery system
Handling food delivery in-house provides more control over the delivery process and gives you the option to present a more personalised service and experience to your customers.
You get to manage the entire delivery process from start to finish. This can ensure your food orders are handled efficiently and your customers will be satisfied with the service they receive. An internal food delivery system also gives you the flexibility in terms of delivery options and special requests, which can appeal to customers who are looking for a more personalised touch.
Setting up an internal food delivery system can be rather expensive. You will need to invest in delivery vehicles and additional headcounts to handle deliveries.
3. Pickup and food takeout
If you want to go without delivery, one other option is to provide food takeout or food pickup services. Instead of delivering food orders to your customers’ door steps, they can pick up their food orders directly from your restaurant. For home-based food business, you can schedule a time and location to gather all your customers to pick up their food order at one location.
You get to save on any additional costs relating to delivery.
Might be hard to coordinate if you have a lot of orders as it will be very difficult to house more than a hundred people in one location.
4. Hybrid delivery system
A popular delivery system that most restaurants adopt is the hybrid model. This model offers pickup and takeout services and food delivery service either in-house or through a third-party delivery service app.
Able to reach a wider range of customers as there are different delivery options and methods to cater for different customers’ needs.
No specific disadvantage as they are tied to the respective delivery options listed above.
Which food delivery option should I choose for my business
There is no right or wrong to which delivery option to choose. It all depends on how you plan to run your food business so it’s important to come up with a solid food business plan so that you can have a better view on which food delivery system best suits your business.
Some of the business plans that you need to think of and not limited to is how you plan to streamline the process, from start to finish like creating the food order, delivery instructions for your staff on both in-house delivery and third-party delivery app and also setting clear policies for things for wrong food orders.
An effective food delivery system is essential to all food businesses both online and offline as it allows them to reach a wider audience that can drive more sales for the business. With the right approach and careful planning, your food business should deliver all food orders to your customers in the best possible way, that is a win-win for both parties or all parties – if you engage a third-party delivery service.
Alternatively, if you are planning to start an online food business, be sure to check out our guide on how to sell food online and also our restaurant page to learn more about creating an online restaurant with Shopboxo.
Common questions about online food delivery
What are some options for delivering food to customers?
There are four different types of food delivery options that you can adopt for your online food business.
- Use a third-party food delivery service like Grab and Lalamove
- Hiring your own delivery staff to do in-house delivery
- Offering pickup and food takeout options
- Use a hybrid delivery service model that combines several of the options above
What are the advantages of using a third-party delivery service?
Using a third-party delivery service is an efficient and convenient way for food businesses to handle delivery since the entire process will be managed by these third-party delivery companies. This is beneficial for restaurants that do not have the resources or infrastructure to handle delivery internally.
What are the benefits of an in-house delivery system
An in-house delivery system allows you to have more control over the delivery process and the flexibility of offering different delivery options and special delivery requests to customers. However, in-house delivery can be more costly as you require greater investment on infrastructure and staff since you are managing everything internally.