Apps for Restaurant Delivery: How to Choose the Right One

You want to keep your restaurant profitable and safe during a very rough year. Offering delivery service to your customers is the obvious answer, but where to start? It seems like there are a million food delivery apps for restaurant delivery out there. Which ones do customers use? And which ones aren’t going to eat into your profits? Managing restaurant technology is already difficult, so we’ve compiled a list of apps to make choosing a delivery service easier. 

Some top apps for restaurant delivery

Everyone is trying to get into the delivery game and with the rise of ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants, it’s becoming more popular than ever before. Below are a few of the best apps for restaurant delivery currently available. 

Doordash

Doordash is one of the more popular apps for restaurant delivery around. They had the largest share of the market in 2019. Their commision is about 20% from the restaurant, with fees from the customer varying by restaurant. Their DashPass plan offers lower customer fees for $10/month.

Grubhub/Seamless

Grubhub and Seamless are right behind DoorDash in market share with an estimated 14.5 million users in 2700 cities. Restaurant commissions are anywhere from 15-30% with customer fees varying widely as well. 

Caviar

As the name suggests, Caviar is an app for restaurant delivery geared toward higher end businesses and customers. Only available in 11 cities currently, it has a 25% commission cost and customer fees from about $2 to $8.

Postmates

Postmates has wide availability (1500 cities) but a relatively smaller share of the market (about 12%). That means not as many existing customers as, say, Doordash. They take a whopping 30% commission with varying customer fees. 

UberEats

Uber is familiar as a ride service and UberEats uses that infrastructure for making deliveries. The fact that their drivers aren’t dedicated to delivering food can sometimes be a problem. Their commission fees are on the higher end as well, around 30-40%. 

Sixdots

Sixdots is a relatively new app for restaurant delivery. The biggest advantage of Sixdots is the lack of a restaurant commision. That’s right: you pay no revenue share and there are no hidden fees. As their market share grows, Sixdots will prove to be a serious contender. 

Consider these factors when evaluating apps for restaurant delivery

When selecting the right delivery app for your business, there are a number of factors to keep in mind.

Availability

While the internet has made the world smaller, it doesn’t mean that all delivery apps deliver everywhere. Make sure that your geographic location is serviced by the app. You might have your restaurant technology decisions made for you if you’re not in a major city where the options are plentiful.

Popularity with customers

You want an app with a solid, existing customer base. Do some research to see what’s popular in your area. Ask your customers what apps they prefer. 

Restaurant and customer fees

Most apps charge some sort of service fee to your customers as well as a percentage of the bill. Those commissions are paid by the restaurants. Read the fine print and make sure you know how much you’re paying with each transaction.

Profit margins

Remember: adding a delivery service is not just free money for you. Match any fees from the service with your profit margins and see if it makes sense to add them to your business. They might not be profitable for your restaurant.

Customer relationships

Remember: if the delivery service screws up an order, your customer will blame you as well as the service. Make sure your customers are happy – and stay happy – with your delivery service. 

Delivery services are crucial for businesses to survive during COVID. Unfortunately, a number of the apps for restaurant delivery charge fees that aren’t sustainable for smaller restaurants. Shop around carefully when choosing a service for your bar or restaurant and consider that options (like Sixdots) are available that don’t charge mercenary fees. 

FAQs

What are some of the best delivery apps for restaurants? 

Some of the most popular are Doordash, Grubhub/Seamless, Caviar, Postmates, UberEats, and Sixdots.

Are delivery apps good or bad for restaurants? 

On one hand they provide a way for restaurants to keep serving the public (and possibly find new customers). On the other, many of these apps for restaurant delivery have crippling fees that restaurants can’t afford.

How much do delivery services charge restaurants?

It depends, but the range is usually anywhere from 15 to 40%. The notable exception is Sixdots, which takes no commission.

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