June 27, 2024

6 Ways Third-Party Delivery Services Are Hurting Your Restaurant’s Brand

Explore the significant issues arising from third-party delivery services that negatively impact your restaurant's brand.

As restaurant owners, the choice to use third-party delivery services often seems like a straightforward way to increase reach and sales. However, there are quite a few potential negative impacts these services can have on your brand identity and therefore, guest loyalty. 

Let's explore the top issues caused by third-party delivery services and why taking control of your delivery process can protect – and even enhance – your restaurant's brand.

1. Lowered Food Quality

One of the most significant impacts third-party delivery services have on restaurants is the degradation of food quality. This issue can happen not only from poor handling between the kitchen to the guest’s door, but also from disconnected operations.

Often, meals are prepared and packed well before the designated driver arrives due to the orders being pre-assigned by third-party apps. This lack of synchronization means food can sit waiting for long stretches of time. This disconnect causes a significant decrease in food quality, disappointing customers and potentially harming that guest relationship completely.

2. Crowding from Non-Guests

Third-party drivers often crowd restaurant entrances, parking lots, and lobbies as they wait for orders. This not only disrupts the dine-in experience for your actual customers but can lead to a chaotic and unwelcoming atmosphere. This congestion can detract from the overall dining experience, making your restaurant appear more like a fulfillment center than a relaxing place to eat.

3. Last Mile Issues

The last mile of delivery – when the food travels from kitchen to customer – is critical. Mishandlings here can lead to chargebacks and negative reviews when customers receive their orders late or in poor condition. Without control over this last stretch, your brand is at the mercy of someone else's handling (or mis-handling).

Since third-party platforms often side with consumers in disputes, restaurants can find themselves liable for refunds and compensations without definitive proof of where the fault lies. This system not only fails to protect restaurants but also exposes you to potential damage to their reputation for things outside of your control.

4. Lack of Control Over Couriers

The lack of control over couriers in third-party delivery systems is a critical flaw that can significantly impact your restaurant’s brand. Understandably, third-party drivers don’t work for you, so they are likely more focused on maximizing their own earnings than upholding the standards of your brand. This often leads to inconsistent service levels due to delays, mix-ups, or improper food handling. 

Additionally, third-party couriers often manage multiple deliveries simultaneously, potentially from different restaurants. This self-batching practice – where couriers use multiple apps to grab several orders – can lead to longer delivery times, as drivers make multiple stops along their route. This not only delays the food reaching the guest but also degrades the quality of the food. 

5. Hidden and Unclear Costs

Third-party delivery services often impose high fees that inflate the cost of meals, which can deter guests from ordering or lead to sticker shock when they compare prices on the app versus your restaurant's in-house menu. This discrepancy can frustrate consumers, leading them to either abandon the purchase or form a negative perception of your pricing strategy. Over time, these experiences can erode trust and loyalty, making it less likely consumers will choose your restaurant for future orders. 

6. Limited Marketing Control 

Third-party delivery platforms are not eager to share the guest data generated from your restaurant's delivery orders, severely limiting your ability to understand and engage with your guests directly. You know this data is crucial for building meaningful relationships and fostering brand loyalty. Without access to guest information, it's challenging to tailor marketing efforts, track buying habits, or offer personalized promotions that resonate with your audience. 

Getting Rid of Third-Party Delivery Complications

To combat these issues, more and more restaurants are choosing to take delivery back into their own hands. By managing your own deliveries, you can ensure that every aspect of the service aligns with your brand’s values – from food preparation to the guest’s doorstep to remarketing and beyond.

Empower Delivery: Your Partner in Protecting Your Brand 

At Empower Delivery, we understand the challenges restaurants face when they hand over the last mile to a third-party delivery service. While convenient, these platforms often do more harm than good when it comes to your restaurant’s brand reputation and operational efficiency. 

It’s time to consider a solution that puts you in charge – ensuring that delivery is not just top quality, but it’s a true extension of your restaurant’s operations and brand. Our delivery management software helps you seamlessly integrate delivery into your restaurant operations, ensuring that your food is delivered with the quality and care your customers expect. 

With features for managing on-demand gig drivers, optimizing kitchen fire times, and supporting direct guest engagement, Empower Delivery helps you turn every delivery into an opportunity to build loyalty and repeat business.