When we talk about online ordering, we often skip over viable ordering networks like Delivery.com that aren’t as well-known. A restaurant owner should investigate alternatives and not feel pressured to jump on board with Seamless or Grubhub, because they are the biggest players. This is especially true in markets that have not already been saturated with online ordering tools and are just beginning to move these services online. The brand awareness of Seamless and Grubhub are why they dominate in major metro areas.

The objective for online ordering and delivery is pretty simple. Restaurant ordering services should extend a restaurant’s reach, helps to keep staff members busy during slow periods of the day and eliminates management headaches of trying to provide in-house deliveries. Ordering services promise to offer marketing benefits, expanded services, and office staff to manage the process of taking orders online and by phone. Best case scenario is an increase in efficiency, accuracy and total business. Yet, this is not guaranteed with the high take of big online ordering networks.

Delivery.com partners with restaurants that primarily offer casual and fast foods. The growing delivery service offers options for restaurants that traditionally do not provide home deliveries. Delivery.com has grown to challenge to services Seamless and Grubhub in many markets.

Delivery.com Features: Some Differences, Many Similarities

Delivery.com isn’t the same as its competitors. Let’s where it differs:

  1. Delivery.com does not have as many restaurants in their network as Seamless and Grubhub but it does have thousands. It is an established player. It also serves merchants other than restaurants, like florists and grocers.
  2. Delivery.com includes Sponsored Restaurants, while the big 2 do not have any advertising capabilities. It also has sidebar advertisements too.
  3. Delivery.com does not make the annoying misstep of Grubhub listing restaurants who do not use the service. Grubhub publishes the paper menu and a phone number creating confusion and disappointment.
  4. The quality of their website (for falls somewhere between the two players. It resembles Seamless (best interface) more than Grubhub. In contrast, Seamless eliminates logos, using food photos instead. Also, the Seamless website is kinder on the eyes.
  5. You can add descriptions for menu items, which are seen when the customer puts their cursor over the item. Also sections can have their own descriptions or notes.
  6. Also there are other familiar capabilities on the right sidebar, like the ability to put a special up or see popular items.

Potential Benefits of Using Smaller Services

Industry leader Seamless earns $100 million annually, and Grubhub rakes in $60 million in the increasingly competitive ordering service industry. Mobile devices and online ordering make it easy for consumers and businesses to order meals during meetings, outings, picnics and other occasions. Delivery.com offers fewer cities and restaurants than the industry leaders, but this situation could prove beneficial to certain restaurants.

  • Fewer restaurants mean fewer choices for consumers, so restaurants should receive higher percentages of delivery orders, especially in cities that have not been dominated by one ordering service (like Seamless and NYC).
  • Competitive services often try harder to build reputations and capture market share.
  • Restaurants can distinguish their casual cuisines from upscale restaurants that have long offered special catering and delivery services.
  • The top ordering services offer mobile apps and social media engagement, so check these forums to review customer feedback.
  • The hope is that a restaurant will be able to negotiate a better rate than by using the bigger competitors, like Seamless and Grubhub (13% to 18% including tax and tip). Don’t be afraid to play hardball when negotiating a price.

Delivery.com still has some technical ordering and customer-service problems to address, but so does Seamless and Grubhub. Regardless of service, restaurants need to keep informed about customer experiences and address any problems that they discover. This strategy could help to put distance between any ordering service problems and a restaurant’s reputation with consumers.

Comparing Apples and Oranges

Ordering services vary depending on local franchise management, and each ordering service reputation depends on how the local delivery staffs performs. The best national service might provide terrible service in some cities, and the lowest-ranked service might deliver stunning performances in a well-managed market. You really have to research your competitors and ask your restaurateur friends to gauge if it is effective in your area. Remember even with an online delivery/ordering system, all delivery based on local customers, based on residents, tourists and businesses.  Keeping track of local reputations is more important than industry averages, so research online and social media posts about local services before putting the restaurant’s reputation at risk. Other considerations to research include the following criteria:

  • Find out which services partner with respected community groups, government agencies and businesses.
  • Research how good their customer service is for both the customer and your restaurant.
  • Some services offer greener packaging, ordering strategies and support for environmental initiatives.
  • Customer loyalty programs offer substantial advantages for restaurants, and some services offer rewards programs for ordering services.

Delivery.com offers strong support for environmental issues, charitable partnerships and social media engagement to deliver better authority rankings with customers. This may be consistent with your brand. Delivery.com also supports organic and sustainable menus more effectively than the larger ordering services, so restaurants might take advantage of this philosophy by partnering with the company. The service also offers a customer rewards program to build loyalty and encourage repeat business.

Added Efficiences of Ordering Tools

Regardless of ordering service, restaurants can improve customer experiences by creating clear ordering instructions that include all possible options, packing foods carefully with essential condiments, double-checking each order, and providing clear templates and guidelines for taking carryout orders. Even with participating in a delivery/ordering network, you need to have an efficient workflow and instructions for when things don’t go as planned.

Online and mobile ordering presents a new frontier for local commerce, and restaurant owners can benefit from rising publicity and convenience by hiring outside partners to run their ordering operations. Choosing the right ordering service, like attracting quality links for websites, affects restaurant reputations, profit potential and administrative tasks, so choose a partner that resonates with business plans and restaurant goals. Delivery.com gets high marks for casual and fast food restaurants, but always check local reputation before committing to a ordering partnership.