Should You Offer Delivery? 5 Questions You Need to Consider

Posted by Natalie Korz

Natalie is the Technical Writer for SpeedLine Solutions. Her adoration for pizza goes all the way back to the early days of her childhood when her family used to have Friday Pizza Nights and watch America's Funniest Home Videos.

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It’s undeniable. Delivery has permeated nearly every facet of the restaurant industry. No longer limited to pizza and fast food, restaurants are shifting how they (and their customers) perceive takeout and delivery. However, a growing market opportunity does not equate to success. Before offering delivery services, here are five questions every restaurant owner needs to consider:

1. Who is Your Customer Base? 

Think about how they will react to delivery services. For example, if your food is already marketed as an affordable solution for teens, they may react poorly to paying additional driver fees. In contrast, parents might welcome a delivery option, as it helps save them time when deciding what’s for dinner. Understanding your customer base is fundamental for ensuring your delivery strategy is successful. Think about who your target customer is, and if they fit into your potential delivery strategy.

Speedy Tip
When building out your target customer keep Gen Zs and Millennials in mind! Research shows that these age cohorts are the most likely to make delivery and takeout purchases (and spend the most on their orders).


2. Will you Offer Third-Party Delivery?

Using third-party delivery services for your restaurant offers clear benefits. It allows you to rely on its pre-built infrastructure and tap into its customer base to scale your business more efficiently and ultimately focus on managing your restaurant. However, it also demands high commission fees and takes away your ability to control the last piece of your customer’s ordering journey when they receive their food. Research shows that 80% of customers blame the restaurant–not the delivery service–when something goes wrong (even if it isn’t the restaurant’s fault.) Weigh the pros and cons of third-party delivery services to determine what works best for your business needs.


3. Does Your Food Packaging Travel Well?

Picking the wrong material could significantly impact your profitability or food quality. For example, paperboard packaging allows air to escape, is eco-friendly, and is often considered a preferred choice for fast food. However, it isn’t always very durable. In contrast, Styrofoam holds up for longer drives, but offers poor ventilation and should be avoided for most hot dishes. (To learn more about the pros and cons of different food containers, read How Restaurant Owners are Enhancing the Takeout Process.)


4. How Will You Optimize Your Online Menu?

Studies show that customers will spend more ordering delivery or takeout than a traditional dine-in experience. A great opportunity to strategically hone your online ordering site for upsells, cross-sells, promos, and more. However, left unoptimized, your business could be missing opportunities for growth and revenue.

Some basic rules to follow are:

  1. Place your best-selling menu items at the top of the page where customers will be more likely to purchase them.
  2. Keep your website visually appealing and ensure all menu items have professional photos attached to them.
  3. Make a mobile-friendly online ordering site (60% of all digital restaurant orders are through mobile devices).
  4. Encourage upsells and cross-sells by strategically placing prompts throughout the customer’s purchase journey. These prompts should fit naturally and never come across as pushy or disruptive. 
  5. Structure your menu for larger basket sizes to accommodate spending habits like family combos or football Sunday orders.

5. Does My POS Integrate with Online Ordering and Delivery Software?

Your restaurant business is already crazy enough without the added hecticness that delivery services entail. Make sure that you adopt a pizza POS system that does the heavy lifting on the backend for you. For example, SpeedLine’s online ordering software, SpeedDine, talks to your POS, automatically adding online customers to the store database and displaying up-to-date information about store hours or quoted times online. Since all listed prices and coupons come directly from the in-store POS, your customers will always receive pricing and deal information that is 100% accurate.



As the delivery industry continues to experience tremendous growth, restaurants are examining if delivery might be the right fit for their business. Before making a final decision, restaurant owners must first determine if their customer base is a good fit, weigh the benefits and challenges of third-party delivery services, consider packaging options, identify how their online ordering menu will differ from their dine-in options, and find an online ordering software that fits the delivery needs of their restaurant. To learn more about optimizing your delivery services, read our Delivery Management eBook.

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Posted on Wed, May 31, 2023 @ 08:05 AM.
Updated on May 31, 2023 @ 3:00 PM PST.

Tags: POS Choice, Food Delivery, Delivery Packaging, Delivery Audit, Cost of Delivery

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