Building a Menu That Differentiates Between Takeout, Catering, and Delivery

On this episode of The Takeout, Delivery, and Catering Show, podcast hosts Valerie Killifer and Erle Dardick chat with Tad Low to discuss the importance of menu differentiation within off-premise.

Tad Low is the Director of Off-Premise for Moe's Southwest Grill, an Atlanta based fast-casual restaurant chain with over 725 domestic and international locations. Low is leading a team that is working to bring delivery to the forefront of the guest experience.

When it comes to maximizing opportunity with off-premise, Low credits Erle at helping him understand the importance of recognizing the different revenue channels that exist within off-premise.

“We really have four main channels of revenue here. We have our in-store business, we have our catering business, we have our online business and we have now our third-party business. And understanding that each part of the business while representing a different percentage of our overall sales they each have a different impact to our bottom line,” says Tad Low. “And understanding that in order to maximize each of those channels we probably need to have a menu that is geared towards each of those segments.”

Learn how each menu for Moe’s Southwest Grill’s different revenue channels differ from each other along with more tips for off-premise success by listening to the podcast episode above!

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Writer & Producer


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The On-Demand Delivery Trends and the Technology Driving Them

The future of on-demand ordering could be summed up to one simple statement– It’s just beginning.

According to Foodable Labs, over 30% of the U.S. Restaurant industry is offering some kind of on-demand third-party ordering solution. Over 80% of consumers under the age of 35 are using on-demand food ordering apps about two times a week, proving the delivery segment has exploded thanks to the new age consumer and their dining habits.

The Big 6 are the lion's share of the market, but our research now shows over 100 on-demand food delivery companies serving the 1.2MM restaurant and food companies in the US.

The breakdown of Engagement and Sentiment tells an underlying story of these companies and how consumers view them and eventually, how restaurant operators may view them as well.

Engagement is scored by an analysis of how often consumers mention the use of the app or service on social along with an analysis of the Sentiment of the service based on food delivery speed, quality, accuracy.

The Engagement and Sentiment Scores of the Leading Third-Party Delivery Companies

According to this data, the Best Quality goes to the company Caviar. As the leader in the Sentiment area of Quality, this may be based on great service, but the company also recently acquired by Square. Remember Square is also a POS company and is tied to transaction-based business models. Recently Caviar added a spotlight that says "who's making your food" and has labels like women-owned restaurants. The overwhelming support by their users has given their consumer Sentiment score a boost.

Best Accuracy: Caviar came through as the leader in this area as well with a unique Sentiment score that showed this as one of the most appreciated aspects of its user base. Caviar's, along with other delivery apps', performance is being measured by the Chicago-based delivery search engine Food Boss, which is being led by the former McDonald's CEO Don Thompson.

Best Speed: Uber Eats takes this slot with what was one of the best Sentiment scores based on the overall app Sentiment. This has little to do with the ordering process and making a restaurant selection, which for most users ties into the overall speed of the order. As they continue to use their technology to analyze user behavior, Uber continues to have the upper hand when it comes to speed that other companies may not be able to pace.

I had a chance to explore one of the technology companies that has created a solution to centralize the on-demand challenge of being listed on multiple platforms mainly for discovery.

Ordermark has created a solution to centralize the in-store technology to create a more seamless integration into food operations which over time has become one of the most challenging aspects of the on-demand food ordering explosion.

Every restaurant operator understands discovery is the key to success and the solution in today’s world is not Facebook or Twitter, instead, it's being on as many on-demand platforms that you can handle. Alex Canter, CEO and founder of Ordermark and I discuss the growth aspects of the company and the delivery sector, as well as technology and operational challenges of the future of on-demand food ordering and where it might be heading.

Restaurant Ordering is on Track to Triple by 2020

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Guests expect that restaurants offer digital conveniences like online ordering. With that in mind, more restaurants are either partnering with third-party apps or developing online ordering platforms that are mobile friendly.

According to a recent report from the NPD Group, digital orders are up by 23 percent annually since 2013 and by 2020, this percentage is expected to triple.

Guests are now more inclined to make a food order digitally than calling the restaurant directly. They are also more likely to do this from their smartphone versus a computer. Six out of 10 digital orders are made on mobile apps.

Food delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash are wildly popular and now make up 40 percent of the 20 most-used apps. These apps offer consumers multiple food options to pick from.

From a restaurant standpoint, these apps are an easy solution to the delivery problem. By partnering with a delivery app, you can offer your customers the convenience of delivery without investing in a driver or a platform to process these orders.

Even though the third-party services have made it easier for brands to offer delivery, they do cut significantly into profits. So we are starting to see more restaurants shift away from these services.

"There are clear leaders in the digital ordering space, brands, and third-party providers who have achieved critical mass the fastest," said David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor. "To make the best decisions about digital strategies and potential partnerships, operators need to understand the key features that differentiate these companies from one another."

Restaurants definitely lose some of the control of these orders. Ultimately, it's up to the third-party's delivery driver to get the food and bring it to the guest in the estimated time frame. So the service aspect is heavily dependent on the delivery provider, not the restaurant.

According to the NPD report, over half of the consumers said they wouldn't use delivery if the food was to come cold or with the incorrect temperature. Read more about the report at “Restaurant Dive” now.

Want some tips on how to provide a delivery program that works? Watch this episode of On Foodable below, where we discuss how to implement delivery services, packaging, menus, and even restaurant design in order to optimize delivery efficiency.

Chipotle, Applebee's, and Other Chains Turn to Delivery to Survive

Chipotle, Applebee's, and Other Chains Turn to Delivery to Survive

Delivery is slowly becoming a customer expectation. With that in mind, quick-serve and fast casual chains are jumping on the delivery bandwagon.

Earlier this week, we reported that Panera rolled out national delivery and made the conscious decision to not partner with a third-party to keep more of the profits made from delivery. 

"We do make money with delivery, but a lot of the restaurants that are using third parties, they don't make that much more," said Blaine Hurst, Panera CEO to "Business Insider." "What it is, is they don't believe they have a choice."

Although the third-party services have made it easier for brands to offer delivery, they cut into profits and the brand loses some of the control of these orders. Ultimately, it's up to the third-party's delivery driver to get the food and bring it to the guest in the estimated time frame. So the service aspect is dependent on the delivery provider, not the restaurant. 

UberEats, for example, takes a 30 percent cut, plus the platform also collects a $4.99+ delivery fee from the customer. 

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Bite Squad Rolls Out its Unlimited Free Delivery Service to More Customers

Bite Squad Rolls Out its Unlimited Free Delivery Service to More Customers

The food delivery company Bite Squad is expanding its enrollment in its unlimited delivery service.

For a monthly fee, select customers in more than 30 metropolitan areas where Bite Squad delivers will be able to get unlimited delivery a month.

The fee is up to $9.99 per month, depending on the city and location.

“We can see that food delivery is becoming more and more ingrained in our customers’ daily lives,” said Kian Salehi, Bite Squad co-founder and CEO when the company was beta-testing the program. “We’re working to make the ordering process as easy and worry-free as possible. With Unlimited, customers no longer have to deal with delivery fees - they can simply order as many times as they want and enjoy the convenience of the service.”

Bite Squad tested the program last month and invited some customers via email. Evidently, the test performed as they had hoped and now more customers have been invited to enroll. 

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