Updated: Nov 30
Restaurants right now hang in the balance between sponsored third-party marketplaces and private online sales. Third-party delivery apps give you access to a broad audience of people who typically shop for meals through these platforms, but they also take a hefty commission for each order – sometimes as much or more than 30% of every order, which can eliminate the profitability of the orders they bring in.
Restaurant’s Third-Party Parody
Your restaurant needs exposure from being listed on third-party delivery apps like UberEats, DoorDash, GrubHub, etc, but what you really want is to help one-time delivery app customers become returning customers who order directly through your website. Direct in-house ordering online doesn’t cost you a commission, and you can take greater control of the shopping/delivery experience. But how can you take back orders from these platforms designed to snake your genuine local business? It’s easier than you might think. Here are some of the best tactics to redirect third-party delivery orders back to your in-house online menu.
1) Limit the Third-Party Menu
One of the best tactics on the market for reclaiming restaurant customers from third-party delivery apps is a limited menu. When you build a menu for third-party apps, trim the options. Place your highest popularity items on the menu, but don’t include the full selection of appetizers, sides, or meal deals. People who are familiar with your menu or who sense it’s not the full menu will come looking for the full selection.
Another fun approach is to offer a different, special menu with each platform so that those who compare prices realize the difference. When they explore your direct-order menu for comparison, customers will discover the delight of your full selection, and those who want variety will come back to your website every time.
2) Mark Up the Mark-Up
Third-party platforms often mark up your menu prices without telling you, and then still take 30% of the profits from each order. One way to discourage customers from ordering through third-party apps is to pre-mark up your meals. When you list your menu items, bump the prices enough to help cover the commission. This will create not just a subtle but profound difference between your in-house and direct-order menu prices compared to what the platforms charge to deliver the food through their app and drivers.
3) List Both Universal and Direct-Only Specials
Mention specials that aren’t on the delivery app menu. When you post graphics or details regarding your menu, include specials that are only available when you order directly. Use specials that need to be created through the digital menu (choosing options and sides) that don’t work with third-party apps, and offer add-ons that are only available through your restaurant’s internal menu and ordering system.
Hold weekday deals like Wings Wednesday or Sundae Sunday that are only available through your direct ordering and advertise specials that are not made available through third-party apps. Curiosity and a desire to save will guide customers directly back to your restaurant’s website menu.
4) Tuck Direct Order Flyers in Your Takeout Bundles
You can also seed your takeout bundles with invitations to order directly. Many businesses throw a takeout menu with the website, phone number, and QR code to the online menu into takeout delivery stacks. You can also hide invitations where delivery teams won’t see (and can’t remove) like the inside lid of each box or printed on the napkins.
You can print an invitation to order directly (and a savings offer) on every receipt, and you can insert flyers for your online menu service between the stacked boxes of food. When your customers are enjoying their first meal and are cleaning up the pieces, they will have your direct-order menu and flyers to remember you by – and a magnet to the fridge.
Take Back Your Restaurant Customers with e|tab
If you don’t yet have an interactive online menu solution for your restaurant, it’s time. e|tab makes it easy to build a menu and ordering system into your existing website to begin collecting direct delivery and pickup orders right away. Using these tactics, you can build from your third-party visibility and customer base by re-directing those customers to become your direct-order regulars.
e|tab is here to help you earn the full value of every order, avoid third-party commission fees, and ensure your direct-order experience is more rewarding than any third-party delivery app. Contact us today to learn more and start your restaurant on the path to commission-free sales.