Food & Dining

How Delivery Apps Changed How People Dine Out

There’s a high likelihood that if you live in the city and you love restaurant food, you have one or two of the many third-party food delivery apps installed on your phone. These services are deemed as lifesavers by a lot of busy households and lazy foodies.

It can save them from having to step out of the house and still get to eat from one of the various eateries in their locale. With their help, you don’t have to settle with the restaurants who deliver. This gives diners more options and allows restaurants an easier way to reach more customers.

According to experts, these services have certainly helped restaurants improve their sales. Foot traffic in restaurants may have declined but their sales continue to rise. However, there are reports of trouble in paradise.

Some restaurants are pulling out of these third-party apps for various reasons. This, of course, can affect you as a diner so it’s important to understand what exactly is happening. To do that, we’ll break down their services below.

How These Apps Work

Generally speaking, third-party delivery apps provide a database of various eateries to diners. Through their apps, you can select one from many restaurants on their roster to order from, select the food you want, and pay.

This makes it very convenient to order in because you don’t even have to pick up the phone to get the job done. You also get to choose from more restaurants as they do the leg work in getting various businesses to sign up with them. So if you’re hankering for something from a small local diner a few blocks away, there’s a good chance that you can do that with these delivery services.

Great variety is also available with these apps. Aside from fast food and casual dining eateries, some apps also work with a few high-end restaurants. This gives you more options to enjoy restaurant food without having to leave your couch. It doesn’t matter if you want Bareburger, Juice Press, or Ben & Jerry’s, these apps will be able to satisfy your cravings.

Convenient for Diners, Not So Much for Restaurants?

Getting food delivered from a restaurant to your home isn’t a new concept. It has actually been one of the strongest offerings of fast food chains and has helped them stay afloat in difficult economies. What’s new is the fact that the deliveries aren’t made by the restaurant anymore.

Ideally, this is a great service for a lot of restaurants, especially the small ones. They won’t have to arrange a delivery set up anymore as they can just outsource the task to these third-party apps. It’s also a great way to get started in the delivery game without having to hire a dedicated staff member for the particular task when there aren’t regular orders for such yet.

However, as mentioned before, not every restaurant find their services to be ideal for their needs. For one, the commission fees range from 10 to 40% of the order’s costs. With the slim profit margin in the restaurant industry, this can definitely dent the businesses’ earnings.

They also usually charge fees to restaurants who fail to prepare the food on time. As there could be complications in the ordering process, this can also be too costly for a lot of restaurants.

Then there’s also the fact that different apps require various kinds of hardware for their orders to get to the restaurants. Some require tablets and mobile phones which aren’t always deemed necessary by a lot of restaurant operations just yet.

Aside from having to purchase such equipment, some restaurants also end up hiring additional manpower to focus on the orders through these third-party portals. And if they don’t, their efficiency can take a hit as it can really throw off the established set up in many kitchens.

These explain why a number of local restaurants and smaller chains end up removing themselves from these apps as they don’t always prove to be very profitable in some cases.

Your Alternatives

If your favorite restaurant chose to leave these third-party delivery services, don’t fret. A lot of those who chose to leave these portals are already developing their own apps or offering delivery services. So you don’t have to feel bad that you can’t enjoy your favorite grub at home.

You can also always opt to just pick up the food from your favorite eatery. A lot of these places will let you phone in your orders so you can just drop by to get them on your way home or somewhere else. This will require a little effort on your part but it can be all worth it once you get to dig into the dish you’ve been craving for.

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