Mobile technology has the power to transform many aspects of our daily lives. It can bring people together, provide access to information at the touch of a button – and now it can bring you a pizza. Entrepreneurs and restaurants are learning the benefits of starting and implementing food delivery apps that give the hungry customer an easier way to order out.
Not all restaurants provide their own delivery services – particularly small, independent eateries. On the other hand, not all customers are mobile – they may not have the necessary transportation or time to go out and pick up an order. Unfortunately, many meal-seekers were forced to rely upon the larger chains to fill their food-delivery needs. But the recent development of delivery apps offer a solution.
Even overseas, the market is growing. In India, small, local apps are boosting productivity for small restaurants.
"In the food and grocery delivery business, which are scattered, it is a matter of time before the hyper-local strategy and online aggregators become popular, especially on the smartphone." Rehan Yar Khan, whose venture fund looks to invest in the food sector, told Economic Times. "A good investment would help them take the concept pan-India."
A fast and easy option
The food apps have had success by partnering restaurants with outside groups that pick up and deliver orders placed through apps or online. This allows restaurants to focus on the customers that are actually in the store, avoiding telephone conversations during peak hours. Meanwhile, it lets remote customers place an order without sitting on hold or receiving the wrong food due to a bad or noisy connection.
One app called Favor streamlines the entire ordering and delivery process, offering a one-stop platform for both remote restaurant customers and grocery shoppers. Co-founder and CMO Zac Maurais believes in an easier method.
"To be successful in mobile, you need to remove steps and simplify everything. Favor customers are often surprised they can get anything in their city delivered by tapping only three buttons," he told Forbes. "The process of ordering needs to be as easy as texting your friend."
A win-win-win situation
Introducing a third party into the food delivery equation is beneficial to all parties involved.
On the customer end, the apps provide more nuanced order forms than can be effectively offered over the phone. During busy restaurant hours, orders can be misinterpreted, especially longer or more complicated ones. With an online platform, customers can take their time, make additions or comments on the order, change it if necessary and pay via credit card all in just a couple minutes.
For restaurants, no longer will they have to worry about juggling incoming phone calls with impatient in-house customers. They can focus on what they do best – providing high-quality, personal interaction with the folks in the building. Plus, the restaurant won't have to hire and maintain its own fleet of drivers – the app can do that on its own. Not only that, but small, independent restaurants will increase their business by adopting a cutting edge, online delivery model in addition to its normal business offerings.
Finally, drivers benefit by having another source of income. Many of the new food delivery apps use a growing caste of freelance drivers – like the ones used by Uber – to carry out the deliveries. These new platforms provide additional job opportunities and a chance to work in an up-and-coming industry.
Hospitality and restaurant industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in food service equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.