Online food order near me is a growing trend as more and more consumers look to restaurants for takeout delivery. In addition to a restaurant’s own online ordering platform, there are several third-party food delivery apps that can help get your menu in front of consumers in need of sustenance.
Third-party food delivery app marketplaces act as a kind of directory, listing restaurant menus and locations in one place and allowing consumers to browse and choose their favorites. These services typically charge restaurants a marketplace fee in exchange for getting them in front of customers who wouldn’t otherwise be able to find them.
Most of the big players in food delivery offer a variety of features. Grubhub, for example, has expanded its reach through acquisitions of Seamless and Eat24, and has a robust search function that allows consumers to filter by cuisine, price range, and features like coupons. It also offers a premium subscription service called Grubhub Plus that offers free delivery and exclusive discounts.
DoorDash is another popular app that boasts a large selection of local restaurants as well as national chains, and can even deliver beer and alcohol if permitted by law in your area. Its mobile app lets you customize your deliveries with delivery instructions, and it has a Yum Score that gives restaurants ratings based on the quality of their food. It’s available in over 3,000 cities and has a handy option to skip delivery fees with a $10-per-month DashPass subscription.
Instacart is another third-party food delivery service that acts as a personal shopper, offering same-day deliveries for groceries and prepared meals. Its curated selection of local restaurants is extensive, and the app lets users select items in advance to ensure they’re fresh upon arrival. There is no membership fee, but Instacart charges a $9.99-per-order delivery fee in addition to the cost of your meal.
For restaurants, online ordering through third-party apps can be a valuable tool during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it’s important for any business to have their own restaurant online ordering system, which can avoid the marketplace fees that can cut into profits. A service like Square’s allows you to manage orders directly from your website, and can integrate seamlessly with your social media tools so that customers can order through the channels they use every day. You can even automate the process to send customized order confirmations, receipts, and pickup notifications via text or email. You can even print custom QR codes that correspond to each table in your dining room, enabling your staff to quickly and easily serve customers who opt for in-person pickup or delivery. This helps you control the customer experience and minimizes the risk of contamination. It can also boost sales and allow you to retain more of your own staff, who can be retrained in preparing takeout packaging or working as delivery drivers or pickup coordinators.