Why You Should Offer Discounts for Delivery Services

By: Gina Lee De Freitas

Mobile ordering has dramatically changed the way we order from restaurants, and third-party delivery services allow more people to get in on the action. Here's why you should take advantage of this with discounted delivery items.

Smartphones have had an impact on a variety of industries ranging from banking to shopping to travel. The restaurant industry is no exception – smartphones have dramatically impacted food delivery service, an $85 billion industry. Home delivery was the longtime domain of pizza and Chinese restaurants, but in the past few years new participants have cooked up sizeable revenue and gains by focusing on serving patrons at their offices and homes.  

The good news is, you don’t have to run out and buy a fleet of vehicles to get in on this trend. In recent years, a crop of third-party delivery services have popped up, including GrubHub, Uber Eats, Postmates, and DoorDash, to handle delivery for you.  

There’s a good chance you already know that, though. If you’re set up and using a delivery service, you’re likely receiving more and more orders. But, are you wondering the quickest way to increase your order count? The answer is simple – provide discounts. 

Don’t Mark Up – Discount! 

It’s tempting to offset the cost you pay the delivery service, but you have to remember who is really in charge – the customer.  If you succumb to that temptation and mark up your delivery items they will figure it out quickly. They can simply visit your website and check out your prices. Don't have a menu online? Don't be too excited; it is likely that one of your customers has posted a picture of your menu onto a social network or review site, like Yelp. Your menu, and prices, are a quick search away.  

Instead, you should veer in the opposite direction and offer delivery customers a discount for their business. Keep your prices for delivery menu items about 10-20 percent lower than in the restaurant. Remember those home and office buyers are paying a delivery fee (likely a tip to the driver, too) and they will notice and appreciate the savings.  

A Bigger Slice of Your Pie 

Now, you’re not in business to fatten up the clientele and thin out your wallet. So, why grant delivery discounts? Because you will generate more revenue in total each month. Of course, there are only a finite number of tables you can turn at your establishment. It doesn't matter if you are a five-star steakhouse or a cozy, corner sandwich shop. Your staff can only handle a certain number of reservations and walk-ins per day and when you hit that limit, people can’t be seated and business walks back out the door.

Delivery represents incremental growth that really only affects your kitchen team. If your kitchen team gets backed up, then you can put the brakes on the delivery service by simply upping the wait time in the app. Most of the time, though, you should smoothly integrate home and office delivery orders into your kitchen’s workflow.  

There is also a psychological advantage to providing a discount; your customers will feel valued and empowered by your establishment, which in turn makes them enjoy the experience more.  You’ll stand out and generate a loyal customer base, which is what every restaurant establishment needs for the long term. Discounts will entice new customers and after ordering for home delivery, you may find them coming in for regular, sit-down service.  

Now’s the time to build your business by offering discounted menu items on the delivery service platform to cook up a wealth of new sales.  

About Butts in Seats!

When it comes to restaurant trends and marketing, IMM knows what they are talking about. Gina Lee De Freiitas, President of IMM, and Corien de Jong, SVP Executive Creative Director, have more than 25 years of experience in the vertical. So when they talk about the tools, tips and resources your restaurant needs to succeed, rest assured they’ve got it covered.

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