Does it pay to hire your own drivers?
The answer to this question will vary significantly depending on the type of the venue, its occupancy and many other factors, such as the monthly number of delivered meals. However, regardless of the above, employing your own drivers has its benefits that are worth exploring to find out if it is a good solution for your restaurant.
What are the benefits of having your own drivers?
Faster deliveries – drivers employed via marketplaces deliver orders for many restaurants. Having your own drivers will allow you to organise the entire process much quicker, which is crucial as fast delivery times are more important to customer satisfaction than the food itself!
Full control over the delivery process – you decide how the delivery process will be assessed by the consumer. The more you invest in staff training, support systems and solutions used to organise the work of your drivers, the higher the level of service your restaurant will provide.
Saving money over the long term – by continually investing in your fleet and equipment, you reduce the cost of each delivery.
Employing own drivers also has its disadvantages:
This is a time-consuming process, especially at the beginning – you have to expect to spend hours on finding, selecting and hiring your drivers. Another aspect you need to consider is staff turnover.
You are the person fully responsible for the customer experience – the condition in which the food reaches your customers and for any driver errors. To face up to all these challenges, you need a system to keep it all under control.
Higher initial costs – you will need to invest in means of transport, i.e. vehicles, scooters or bicycles, all the necessary technical inspections, fuel, bags to carry food and, of course, salaries for drivers, which they must receive even if there are no orders.
Investing in your own drivers will only pay if you organise their work well. Drivers should have delivery routes planned in advance and know their delivery times. A solution that will help you delegate orders, select the best and the most advantageous route and effortlessly communicate with your customers is the Papu.io system. It was developed to enable restaurants to deliver food quicker and always on time. Thanks to the Papu.io driver app, your drivers will have access to all the orders that are assigned and accepted by them. They see them in the order in which they should be delivered so that consumers don’t have to wait beyond the stated delivery time.
Is it a good idea to use food delivery portals like UberEats or Wolt?
Restaurateurs that are not sure whether they would have enough orders to justify employing drivers can make use of so-called marketplaces. These popular platforms, namely UberEats, Bolt, Wolt or Takaway.com, offer a wide selection of restaurants in one place. Using the apps mentioned above, consumers can order any dish from your restaurant, and drivers working with the platform will collect it from your premises.
Such online food delivery platforms have their advantages:
Fewer tasks to deal with – you don’t need to worry about signing contracts with drivers or providing them with cars, scooters or bicycles,
Increased kitchen occupancy – portals sell your dishes, and you just have to prepare them and package them properly,
Finding new customers is made simple – marketplaces invest a lot of money in marketing which increases the chances of your restaurant becoming noticed by new consumers.
However, nothing is free. Food delivery platforms have three major drawbacks. Here are those most important…
High commission – depending on the cooperation model, rates range from 15% to 30% of the order value. This significantly affects the profitability of your business,
No access to customer data – all consumer data is stored in the app and ends up with marketplace developers. You have no access to information that you could use to build a loyal group of customers,
Lack of control over the entire delivery process to the customer – if a problem arises during delivery, it is difficult to establish which party was at fault.
Can restaurants “borrow” drivers to avoid employing their own?
There is also a third, intermediate solution. These are third party companies that offer only the delivery service itself. They have their own fleet of drivers and their own logistics software to manage their work. If you don’t have the ability to hire your own drivers and you don’t want to pay the high commissions charged by food ordering portals, then perhaps, using external driver companies is the solution for you.
What are its advantages?
Access to customer data – the customer places an order using your own sales channels, i.e. via your website or by phone, so all customer data stays at your disposal
Flexible offer suited to your delivery volume – you pay only for deliveries completed, regardless if you make few or several deliveries per day.
Lower unit cost per delivery if we compare it to food delivery platforms – It will be calculated taking into account your declared monthly number of deliveries and the parameters of the service, such as the radius within which the third party delivery company will make deliveries.
For a fair comparison, here are the minuses of using external drivers:
Exclusivity of deliveries – there is usually a need to declare that the restaurant will use only one company for deliveries in the long term. It is, of course, possible to terminate the contract with a reasonable period of notice.
Lack of control over the delivery process – if the delivery does not go according to plan, you will have to consult any problems with the company’s employees via the head office and the call center, which always takes time.
Longer delivery times for the consumer – external drivers will not always be available. They will need to travel to your premises having previously delivered all their other orders.
Every method of enabling your customers to order food to their door has its advantages as well as disadvantages that may discourage you from using them. Expanding your restaurant services to include a delivery service is always a good decision. Your restaurant will gain new customers, which will translate into profit. It is important to remember, however, that not only drivers but also driver management systems, well-estimated delivery times and, above all, good quality food that arrives warm are responsible for successful deliveries.