Hey there, restaurant owner. Tired of forking over huge commissions to the big food delivery companies? You're not alone. The fees charged by those services seriously cut into your profit margins and make it tough to operate a successful restaurant business. But offering delivery to your customers doesn't have to mean sacrificing your hard-earned cash to the delivery giants. Believe it or not, you can provide fast, reliable delivery service directly to your customers without paying a cent in commissions. Keep reading to discover how easy and affordable it is to launch your own commission-free delivery program. By the end of this guide, you'll have everything you need to start delivering your delicious food straight to your customers while keeping more of the profits in your own pocket. The days of giving away your money to delivery companies are over. Take back control of your delivery operation and boost your bottom line.
Use a White-Label Mobile Ordering App Like Per Diem
Using a white-label mobile ordering app is the easiest way to offer commission-free delivery. With a service like Per Diem, you get your own custom-branded app that lets customers order and pay directly from their phones.
Per Diem builds the app for free and lets you try it for 7 days with no obligation. All you have to do is provide some details about your menu and operation, and their team will design an app to match your brand. Your customers can download the app to their iPhones or Android phones, browse the menu, select items, pay electronically, and track their order’s delivery in real time.
Since the order and payment happen through your app, you keep 100% of the proceeds without paying any third-party commissions. You’re also able to upsell by promoting combo meals, daily specials, and loyalty programs right in the app. Customers get a convenient way to order from you, and you get a direct channel to reach them with tailored offers and rewards.
Using an app for delivery allows you to bypass marketplace fees, but you still need a way to actually get the food to customers. Per Diem’s app is integrated with delivery services so you can choose a provider to handle fulfillment. The delivery fees are charged to the customer, so you can offer delivery at little to no cost.
Going mobile and handling your own delivery is easier than ever with options like Per Diem. Their white-label app lets you quickly deploy a custom solution to start receiving more orders, build loyalty, and improve your bottom line. Isn’t it time you took control of your delivery?
Offer On-Demand Delivery Through Square Online
So you want to offer delivery without paying hefty commissions to third-party services? Square Online has you covered with on-demand delivery.
With Square Online, you can dispatch couriers for delivery through their third-party partners with a flat fee of only $1.50 per order. That's a fraction of what other marketplaces charge. Better yet, processing is free on all on-demand delivery orders through July 8, 2020, up to $50,000 in sales. Talk about a sweet deal!
To get started, simply enable on-demand delivery in your Square Online dashboard. Select the delivery providers you want to use, set your delivery fees, and you're in business. When customers place an order for delivery on your website, Square Online will automatically send the details to your chosen couriers to complete the delivery. No commissions. No fuss.
Keep in mind that delivery fees are paid by your customers, so set fees that adequately cover your costs while remaining competitive. And be sure to promote your new delivery offering! Update your website, send email blasts, post on social media - spread the word that delivery is now available straight from your restaurant at a great price.
On-demand delivery gives you an easy, affordable way to boost sales, increase convenience for your customers, and expand your reach. Why not take your business to the next level and offer the delivery experience your community has been craving? With Square Online powering zero-commission delivery, the only thing you have to lose is missing out on this opportunity!
Set Up Custom Service Fees to Recoup Costs
To offset the costs of offering free delivery, set up service fees that you can charge customers for each order. These charges allow you to recoup expenses like courier fees, packaging, and the time it takes your staff to fulfill delivery orders.
Establish a Small Order Fee
For smaller basket sizes, add a service charge of a few dollars to account for the fixed costs required to fulfill any delivery order. Make it clear this fee only applies to smaller orders, e.g. “A $2.50 service charge applies to all delivery orders under $25.” This charge helps ensure delivering any order remains profitable for you.
Charge for Premium Delivery
If you offer faster delivery options like same-day or 2-hour delivery, add a premium service charge for the increased convenience and speed. For example, “Same-day delivery available for $5” or “Get your order within 2 hours for $8.” These kinds of charges allow customers to choose the level of service they want and pay accordingly.
Bundle Fees into Product Pricing
Rather than call out service charges separately, you can build a small percentage into your product prices to account for delivery costs. For example, increase all delivery menu prices by 10% across the board. While less transparent, this approach avoids “sticker shock” from visible fees and allows you to market “free” delivery. You'll want to do the math to ensure price increases actually cover your costs.
- Factor in things like courier service rates, packaging expenses, and staff time required to fulfill delivery orders.
- Start with small fees around $2 to $5 and adjust based on your actual costs and customer feedback.
- Be upfront that fees go toward supporting delivery and keeping it commission-free.
- Revisit your pricing and fees regularly to ensure all costs are covered.
With some experimenting, you can find the right balance of product pricing and service charges to offer delivery in a sustainable, cost-effective way for your business. Your customers will appreciate the transparency around any fees and the ability to choose how they want to pay for the convenience of delivery.
Subsidize Delivery Fees to Avoid Sticker Shock
To avoid shocking your customers with high delivery fees, consider subsidizing a portion or all of the fees. This can make delivery seem more affordable and enticing, leading to higher order volumes.
Offset Fees for First-Time Customers
Offer free or discounted delivery for a customer’s first order. This allows them to try your delivery without commitment and may turn them into repeat customers. You can promote this offer through email campaigns, social media, and your website.
Set a Maximum Cap
Place a cap on how much you’ll charge for delivery fees. For example, you may limit fees to $5 or 10% of the order total, whichever is less. This prevents shockingly high fees, especially for small orders. You absorb the additional cost to the courier service.
Charge a flat rate for delivery, such as $3.99 per order. This makes delivery seem more consistent and budget-friendly to customers. The flat rate may be at, below or above your actual costs depending on factors like order size and distance from the restaurant. You’ll need to determine a rate that balances affordability for customers and sustainability for your business.
Promo Codes and Coupons
Offer promo codes and coupons that reduce or waive the delivery fee. For example, you might offer “FREEDEL” for free delivery or “50%OFFDEL” for 50% off delivery fees. Promote these on your website, receipts, and via email and social media marketing. The investment in the discount will likely drive more delivery orders.
By subsidizing delivery fees in one or more of these ways, you can prevent sticker shock, make delivery more accessible, and boost order volume. The key is finding options that work with your budget and business model. With some testing, you’ll determine the optimal balance of affordability for customers and profitability for you.
FAQs: Getting the Most Out of Your Delivery Program
Can I offer free delivery?
Absolutely! Offering free delivery is a great way to attract new customers and build loyalty with existing ones. Many restaurants are hesitant to offer free delivery because of the fees charged by third-party delivery services. However, by setting minimums, you can provide free delivery to customers at a price that'll ensure you still have healthy margins.
How much should I charge for delivery?
You can choose to pass the entire fee from DoorDash Drive to your customer ($7 within a 5-mile radius), but some restaurants offer around $2 to $5 for most orders while setting a minimum delivery order. Think about your target customers and what they would be willing to pay. You want the delivery charge to simply offset the costs of offering the service, not actually turn a profit. Some options to consider include:
- Flat rate delivery fees (e.g. $3 for all orders)
- Waiving the delivery fee for larger orders or loyalty program members
How can I get more delivery orders?
Here are some tips to boost your delivery orders:
•Promote your delivery program through social media, email marketing, flyers, and in-store signage. Many customers may not even realize you offer delivery.
•Offer a discount or promotion on a customer’s first delivery order. This can entice them to try the service.
•Make delivery ordering as easy as possible through your website, mobile app, phone, and third-party services. The more convenient you make it, the more people will use it.
•Consider cross-promoting with nearby businesses. For example, offer a discount at your restaurant when customers show proof of delivery from a neighboring store. And ask that store to do the same for your delivery customers.
•Provide high-quality delivery service. Quick, accurate delivery with friendly drivers will keep customers coming back and build positive word-of-mouth.
•Expand your delivery hours to include late-night and early morning. Some customers specifically look for restaurants that deliver during off hours.
•Offer group meal deals, family meals, and meal kits for delivery. This makes you appealing for larger orders and dinner parties.
At the end of the day, offering a third-party courier delivery service is absolutely worth the investment of time and resources -- especially if you don't have to foot the bill. You'll build stronger relationships with your customers, increase order frequency, and boost your profit margins. It may seem daunting, but it's easier than ever thanks to tools like Per Diem and Square Online, and providing top-notch customer service, you'll be delivering commission-free in no time. So take that first step - your customers will thank you, your business will thrive, and you'll wonder why you didn't do this sooner. The days of paying hefty commissions to third-party companies are over. You've got this!