Are you tired of delivery apps leeching away your profits? There is something you can do.
Delivery apps have been around for a while. In less than 10 years, they became behemoth businesses worth billions of dollars. They’ve saved restaurants in the process, but not without dipping their hands in the profit jar. In this article, we’ll share with you one of the most straightforward solutions to this issue — having your own website. Also, we’ll talk about:
- The pros and cons of delivery apps
- The pros and cons of having a custom website.
- And about a few tips, you can use to gain back your profits.
When you finish reading this article, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the matter, which will prepare you for making a very important decision. You can either stick with delivery apps and try to keep looking at the benefits instead of their negative side, or you can move on. What’s it going to be? Let’s find out!
Delivery Apps — A Solution Turned Into a Bigger Problem!
Delivery apps have become a billion-dollar industry in their own right. And they’ve done so by scrapping both restaurants and customers of seemingly small fees. But these fees turned this industry into a monstrous bully that restaurants now cannot live without. So, they are very close to the definition of a necessary, and very predatory evil.
Now, not everything’s been bad, because even though some of them charge fees of up to 35% per delivery, it has been a small price to pay for survival. In the US, the government has put its foot down in some places, capping delivery app fees to a max of 15% — but that’s coming to an end pretty soon. That’s why having the conversation to decide whether delivery apps are good or bad for business is vital.
Here’s the thing: no one can decide for you, not even this well-intended article. We’re not here to tell you that you must cut relationships with delivery apps, because that’s a decision that must be made per situation.
Pros of Delivery Apps
There are actually a few benefits putting in a good word for delivery apps. They are another way of marketing your business. If your restaurant offers them good earnings, they will promote it to the best of their ability. They are also great for offering convenience to your customers. Most customers are willing to pay extra to receive your delicious food in their houses. Another benefit is that the same marketing efforts made by delivery companies give your restaurant brand awareness, which is vital to building a community around your service.
And finally, they can increase your sales at a moment when the industry is still incredibly competitive and trying to come back with full strength from the pandemic’s negative effects.
- They are good marketing platforms.
- They offer convenience to customers.
- They increase brand awareness.
- They also increase your sales.
Cons of Delivery Apps
The bad side of delivery apps is that they are pricey to maintain — they’re not sustainable forever. That’s mostly because they charge up to 35% of the cost of the items sold per delivery. Some of them still charge customers, which means they get their income from you, as well as from your customers. Another thing is that, even though they display your name and give your brand some exposure, they also take away some of the pie in that regard. How? Well, when you send food with their drivers, the drivers themselves are the ones representing the sale. That means you don’t really have contact with your customers, which is vital in an industry based on service. And finally, you can never guarantee that the way the app handles your restaurant’s image is accurate or as you wanted it to be. You cannot even guarantee that food will be delivered in good condition.
- They are pricey and not sustainable long-term.
- They reduce your restaurant’s net gain.
- They charge you, and some of them also charge your customers a fee.
- You lose contact with your customers.
- You can never guarantee that food will always be delivered in the best shape.
Restaurant Custom Websites — Are They a Solution?
Having a custom website for your restaurant is one of the best solutions you can pick to stay in control of your earnings. Sure, they’re not a perfect solution, because just like delivery apps they can be incredibly expensive. There are also maintenance costs, and if you’re not tech savvy, you’re going to have to delegate them — a.k.a. spend more money. This also depends on the method you choose to create your restaurant’s website.
Websites are a necessity nowadays because every other business has some sort of online presence, which can give you great advantages locally. That’s why restaurant owners are really measuring which solution is going to cause the least issues in the long term.
Pros of Having a Website
Having a website is necessary for the digital era we’re living in. Having an online presence is vital now that the competition is everywhere — from social media to SEO, your competition is doing it. That’s why you must also do it to avoid falling behind and even the playing field. Having a website is also necessary because customers are now ordering online and using voice search more than ever. Being at the top of local searches can give you an amazing competitive edge!
And the best part is that you can achieve that without spending a single penny on ads or delivery apps — SEO is your friend. Another big benefit of having a website is that your restaurant will perceive all the money from online sales. Even if you have to share it with credit card companies and processing fees for online sales, that’s doable, and not nearly as expensive as delivery apps.
You can also pair your website with your own delivery service if you have someone on payroll to take care of it — though that’s only advisable if you can manage it effectively.
Finally, having a website also allows you to customize it however you want, create content, and create a hub where your customers can know what’s behind the counter and beyond.
- Having a website helps you keep up with the competition.
- It also allows you to build an online presence, which is vital to keep your customers connected to your brand.
- You can also take advantage of smart strategies that can be free, like SEO and content creation.
- You will earn all the money that comes from online sales.
- Even if you pay credit card processing fees, they’re cheaper than delivery apps.
- You can also create a stronger relationship with your customers through content creation.
- And you can customize it however you want to meet your branding objectives.
Cons of Having a Website
Now, having a website is not a magic solution to all your problems — in fact, nothing is. Having a website can actually be very expensive depending on how complex you want it to be and how many features you want it to have. As we mentioned before, there are also some costs associated with maintenance. Usually, the more complex the site, the more maintenance it will require. That’s why it’s recommended that you keep it simple.
Also, even though most SEO-friendly practices are free, there’s a side to it that can be very expensive — backlinks! Hiring someone to take care of generating backlinks for your website can add up costs quickly and who knows if the benefits will make it sustainable. And finally, if you’re not the only one doing it in your city, the price will go to the highest bidder — the one that spends the most money on their web site's optimization.
- Building a custom website can be incredibly expensive.
- The more features it has, the more expensive it will be.
- There are some maintenance costs. Hostings, web devs, designers, domain names, and more.
- To make them more affordable, you must keep them simple. That’s hard considering there are some very over-the-top restaurant websites out there.
- SEO can be expensive, but if you have a lot of competition, it will be necessary to invest in it.
Who Wins this Showdown?
For us, websites are far more interesting than delivery apps because they give you full control. You don’t have to sign your profits away, and if it doesn’t work out for you, you can just change your strategy, or simply delete it. With that being said, the decision is yours.
It’s important that you know that there are other methods to create a website for your restaurant that can help you cut down on operating costs.
For example, our restaurant POS app generates a simple website you can use to:
- Have an online presence.
- Start selling online.
- Start satisfying customers with an easy checkout process.
- And connect your online sales directly to your restaurant’s POS.
If you think you’re falling out of the frying pan into the fire, then you might like knowing that this feature is also free, and doesn’t require maintenance on your side. It doesn’t get any better than that. Try it out now!
5 Tips to Gain Back Your Profits
There are actually quite a few things you can do to increase your profits. We’ll list them here for you — apply them as you see fit:
- You can increase your restaurant’s profit margins. This can be done by using more affordable ingredients, optimizing working hours, and more.
- You can also try to diversify your restaurant’s revenue streams. You can create self-service kiosks, catering services, merchandising, cooking classes for dishes no longer on the menu, and more.
- You can promote other of your restaurant’s channels — dine-ins are back on the menu after the pandemic, so try and promote that with events, live music, and more.
- You can build a community by creating a loyalty program. That can be in the form of coupons, rewards, discounts, and more. Those are easy to apply with a good strategy.
- And you can increase your prices! Make sure to do it safely and study how willing your customers are to pay more.
Those are just quick tips. Make sure to check out the following articles for more insights:
- How to maximize your revenue during summer.
- How to set goals for your food business.
- And how to create effective restaurant promotions.
Gaining back your profits is a matter of the right effort, at the right time, and in the right area of your business. Work smarter, not harder. Get started right away — good luck!