Food-on-demand (FOD) is experiencing a stratospheric rise, with investment firm Cowen forecasting a 79% surge in the U.S. home delivery market over the next five years. This is a game-changer for the QSR industry, creating opportunities and challenges.
Using the rapidly expanding FOD options available can increase revenue by reaching new and existing customers at times when they would normally not be able to visit your restaurant, like the Grandma that discovered UberEats to deliver her favorite Wendy’s food.
I ordered Uber Eats for my Grandma to try, and not even a day later she’s taken control pic.twitter.com/ji66hKT9Lm
— garrett fan account (@decentbirthday) March 25, 2018
But, FOD comes with a distinct risk as well. Whether offered through GrubHub, DoorDash, or UberEats, the one constant is that a third party delivers a QSR’s brand experience during a very critical part of its journey to the consumer.
Social media is capable of creating near-fanatical consumer advocates when a brand delivers on its promise, and FOD is no exception. That same fanaticism can apply negatively when an experience fails to live up to expectations.
@McDonalds_SA Hey guys, ive been waiting fro my order for over an hour now, i even called,still no delivery of my order 🙁
— Gracy (@MissGray_M) April 4, 2018
So how can QSR Restaurants successfully serve more than the two traditional channels (front & drive-thru), including multiple third-party delivery services and their mobile app in the mix?
PROPER TRAINING AND PREPARATION FOR YOUR TEAM
Don’t assume that changing workflows and attending to different incoming orders is simple. Realize that actual clients in front of your employees will probably be served first over the incoming ‘pings’ from a third party (or your mobile apps). Given employees proper education, guidelines and a sense of control are important – otherwise, they might quit in frustration as this McDonalds story outlines.
FOD OR APP – BEHIND EVERY ORDER IS A PERSON
Make sure the team is aware that every order has a person behind it – even the orders that are not phoned in delivered by a third-party. Our first ever Food-on-demand study has the insights on the reasons people use on-demand apps and their expectations. Your employees are preparing food for people, not third party order slips coming out of a machine.
OWN AND MEASURE THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
The customer experience is created with each and every interaction with a customer, whether that interaction was in person or not. It’s critical to own the customer experience by measuring it. Just like ‘in person’ interactions, online customer interactions and interactions with third parties can be measured. In our FOD study we asked our mystery shoppers to note if the driver greeted them and if the driver checked their order.
Regular mystery shopping and integrated customer feedback collection are critical to a successful multichannel brand experience!