It used to be that restaurant delivery was all about convenience — customers could get hot, fresh food wherever and whenever they wanted. In 2020, however, delivery also became vital for customers and restaurant owners alike navigating a new world in the wake of COVID-19. Whether it’s due to ease of use or necessity, consumers have embraced food delivery, especially when they can order online. Globally, the market for online delivery is projected to hit $154.34 billion in 2023.

It's no secret that food delivery apps are a major trend in the restaurant industry. And experts predict that it will become even more popular in the future. While you might be unsure if it's the right move for your business, there are many reasons why delivery is an essential marketing strategy for any restaurant. Whether your restaurant is a staple in your neighborhood or an up-and-coming establishment, partnering with a top food delivery platform like DoorDash is a great way to boost your sales and increase revenue. 

If you're wondering why having a food delivery service is important, we've highlighted what it can do for your business, such as boosting your brand identity, reaching the most potential customers as possible, increasing your net profits, and more. So how can you get in on the action? It helps to think strategically — and find the right technology partner in DoorDash to make the process seamless for you and your customers.

How Food Delivery Can Grow Your Business 

Food delivery can be a boost for your business. It expands your reach and customer base—which can mean an increase in revenue. Baron Christopher Hanson, a growth strategy and turnaround management consultant, believes that restaurant delivery is a must. 

"The digital age and trend of ordering online (or via text or phone) is such a huge off-premises marketplace and segment, and one that is only going to expand if your area’s core population is growing or changing. Sales can potentially increase by 50% to 100% if your staff can cook, package, and deliver a consistent product that will travel safely and to temperature via car.”

Baron Christopher Hanson

Baron Christopher Hanson, Growth Strategy Consultant

Increase your brand awareness

Now more than ever, restaurants face a very competitive and challenging industry, which is why it’s important to stay ahead of the trends and be adaptive. You might be wondering exactly why delivery food services will help you get noticed. The answer is simple - according to the latest restaurant industry trends, 90% of people research a restaurant online before choosing where to eat. So, in order to get noticed, you need to have a strong online presence. 

Partnering with a third-party food delivery service like DoorDash can easily increase your online presence with little effort on your part. Along with a professional and mobile-friendly website with a menu and photos, plus making your mark in social media channels like Instagram and Facebook, food delivery is another way to expand your online reach of potential customers. 

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Boost your revenue

Another reason why food delivery is a smart move for your restaurant is the simple fact you can grow your business with the DoorDash platform, which reaches millions of people worldwide, including 80% of people in America, 55% of the Canadian population, and 40% in Australia, just to name a few. That means your restaurant will be seen by a wide range of demographics including millennials, baby boomers, and even open the doors to business-to-business opportunities, such as companies searching for catering services. And the proof is in the numbers. If you're wondering why food delivery is important, consider these statistics: since delivery brings more orders, you can also grow your business with a 60% profit on incremental orders compared to 10% on regular orders. 

Partner with a top food delivery platform

With 80% coverage of the US population and a growing presence in Australia, Canada, and Puerto Rico, DoorDash is committed to empowering local communities and helping businesses grow. With built-in marketing tools, plus the ability to reach a huge portion of the populations we service, DoorDash can help you reach your full potential.

One of the keys to achieving success - whatever the economic climate - is an efficient and streamlined flow of day-to-day operations. If you want to stand apart from the competition, use your time wisely and let the DoorDash platform promote your business online; this way, you can focus on what's really important - creating a memorable experience for people with amazing food that is accessible and convenient.

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“The number one challenge is to keep up with consumer expectations,” says outreach consultant Norhanie Pangulima. “So it is important to remember that what consumers want is simplicity and convenience. They want the process of searching, ordering, and payment to be as simple as possible.”

That’s where DoorDash is essential. Pangulima says online platforms are popular with consumers and can help your in-house operations be more efficient. “It saves you on cost and expenses… The competition most likely uses a technology partner, and in the tight restaurant industry, restaurateurs don’t want to lose customers because they can’t order online.”

Stay competitive

As one of the most competitive industries in the modern economy, serving up incredibly tasty and inventive food is often not enough to stand out from the competition. When it comes to accelerating sales and growing your business, there are many complexities restaurant owners face. Food delivery apps like DoorDash provide an easy solution. In fact, many of your sit-down restaurant household names are thriving because of the power of food delivery. 

Mary King, a dining and hospitality analyst with FitSmallBusiness.com, agrees. She points out that using a technology partner eliminates the hassle of extra logistics such as car insurance and gas or mileage reimbursement for drivers, as well as added labor costs. Another bonus: streamlined order fulfillment. 

“Many point-of-sale platforms integrate with delivery platforms, which will fold these online orders directly into an order stream, cutting down on the potential of errors."

Mary King

Mary King, Hospitality Analyst, FitSmallBusiness.com

DoorDash integrates with major POS systems to streamline your orders and increase accuracy.

Give people more options

There's a reason why food delivery is one of the most successful, low effort ways for a restaurant to grow their business. Food delivery is universal - all types of people take advantage of the service. If you offer delivery as part of your restaurant business plan, you'll be able to reach an even wider demographic. People like to have options, especially when it comes to ordering lunch and dinner. With so many restaurants to choose from, the bottom line is crystal clear - you need to meet customers halfway and be accommodating to what they want. In many cases, people want the option of eating dinner in the comfort of their homes. Not only is it convenient, but it also allows people to have more choices when it comes to creating memories and having good times with family and friends.

Even if your food tastes amazing, people can easily choose another restaurant if you don't offer food delivery. In our blog on restaurant marketing tips, we also mention studies that report 90% of millennials ordering delivery or takeout at least once a week, which is a potentially large chunk of business you don't want to miss out on.

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As you ramp up your restaurant delivery service, don’t forget to re-think your menu. Both King and Hanson say it’s important to optimize your delivery options.

“What we recommend most is to develop a delivery menu that is foolproof, brand-enhancing, and impressive,” says Hanson, adding that quickly prepared items such as sandwiches, salads, slow-roasted meats, and pastas are good examples of delivery-friendly foods. Don’t overlook the details, King says. “With delivery, a restaurant will have to consider how to package elements like sauces, soups, and garnishes in a way that will travel well. A business can increase the size and variety of its to-go containers to address this. Otherwise, it can remove dishes that do not travel well from the delivery menu.” Need help? DoorDash offers its partners a guide on menu-building, along with other valuable resources.

Attract customers with food delivery promotions

We offer several promotional features on the DoorDash platform, another major benefit that can increase sales and attract new customers. You can appeal to both your loyal customer base as well as new customers when you offer promotional deals. Because, as everyone knows, people love getting stuff for free, especially when it comes in the form of a food delivery service. 

You can put food delivery to work as a marketing tool, as well. An overlooked opportunity of food delivery is the ability to understand where your customers are. That can help you better focus marketing strategies both offline and online.

As many restaurant owners discovered during COVID-19, food delivery is useful to help their business adapt to unprecedented change.

“In this time of need, it helps us keep store traffic down and maintain safety for our guests and employees,” says Peter Fox, president of Rochester, NY-based chain DiBella’s Subs. And in some cases, delivery keeps a restaurant afloat; according to a delivery driver for a national pizza chain, “Our store regularly does around 40% of our sales through deliveries, without which we wouldn’t be able to run.”

How to Build a Successful Restaurant Delivery Service

You know why restaurants should offer delivery, but how to do it efficiently is another question. Delivering food promptly, with every item in an order accounted for, is no small undertaking. Above all, your delivery service has to be customer-friendly.

Online delivery is here to stay, and it should be a part of your restaurant operations. DiBella’s Fox says restaurant delivery platforms have been a tremendous asset to his company, especially when DiBella’s offered 50% off to first responders and essential workers at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These services allow us to deliver smaller orders that we just don’t have the resources to deliver ourselves. People need food right now. That’s the bottom line. Delivery services can help us quickly get food to those in need during these trying times. Right now, delivery is more important than ever.”

Peter Fox

Peter Fox, President of DiBella's Subs


Take our Try Me Free option out for a spin, a promotion that allows you to cover the delivery fee for customers. You can also join DashPass, which includes your restaurant in our free delivery subscription service. This is another easy way to grow your business, especially since 18% of sales come from DashPass subscribers, a number that is expected to increase in the near future. 

Whether your restaurant is an established neighborhood favorite or a new establishment trying to break into the scene, DoorDash is an easy way to increase your online presence. Allow more people to experience your cuisine and become loyal customers.  

If you’re ready to experience the benefits of food delivery first-hand, sign up for DoorDash today.

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andrewmccarthy
Andrew McCarthy
Content Lead

Andrew McCarthy is the Senior Content Lead for B2B Marketing at DoorDash (both Merchant and Work divisions) where his mission is to help merchants grow and to make work delicious! Originally from Melbourne, Australia, he has 5 years of experience working in the on-demand delivery space across the United States, Canada, and Australia. When he’s not managing the incredibly talented content team at DoorDash, you’ll find him dining at the hippest local restaurants or ordering ramen from the comfort of his couch.