Delivery outsourcing could be your heat this winter

As eating at home becomes more attractive in the colder weather, delivery services could be the solution to a quiet restaurant.

As consumers are increasingly opting to eat at home in the evenings – a trend that will only proliferate as the colder, darker days draw in – foodservice professionals may want to seriously consider embracing food deliveries to ensure they maintain a slice of the market.


That said, a small operation and a seasonal interest in deliveries can't justify the expense of setting up an in-house delivery service and team, which is prompting a rise in delivery services that are happy to supply drivers and oversee the safe travels of dishes from kitchen to customer.


The most high profile service in the market is UberEATs, a crowd-sourced food delivery service from the brains behind Uber. UberEATs arrived in February this year and involves normal folk picking up extra pennies for transporting food for a one-off fee.


While only currently available within Melbourne's CBD, UberEATs appears to be having some success despite some logistical niggles as identified by the journalists at Good Food, including drivers getting lost and some food items not travelling well.


A longer-established national alternative is Drive Yello, which commenced operations in mid 2015 and serves as a delivery drive management platform and market place. Cafes or restaurants post delivery jobs on the site and the team provide a driver either for a one-off job or a full shift.


Some big brands are using the service already, including Mad Pizza, Crust Gourmet Pizza and McDonalds, and many report it offers the only affordable solution to delivery.


“Being able to outsource delivery is absolutely key to our success as a business,” said Jono Spragg, head of operations at Mad Pizza. “We need to be able to offer a delivery service but managing this ourselves would take a great deal of time and resources.”


One concern about outsourcing is the lack of control, but services like Drive Yello allow businesses to set their pricing and use their own branding rather than that of Drive Yello so the consumer still feels they get a seamless, in-house service.


Considering how quickly restaurant reservation sites multiplied as consumers showed an interest in online bookings, it seems likely that delivery services will be the next competitive frontier. Outsourcing delivery is certainly a good solution to the predictable winter slump and an extra revenue stream to help keep income up during the coming months for smaller businesses.