STARTUP To deliver or not to deliver.. that is the question

Adding delivery to your menu can be a big consideration to a startup or expanding food service facility.  Sure there’s the liability, the insurance cost, the concern for quality of food after transport, and then the greater consideration of cost versus potential revenue.   

I’d like to share a few thoughts on this as you consider adding delivery. 

Years ago I spoke with friend who was about to retire from a career in grocery stores.  He mentioned some great points to me about the economy and how he perceived it through a grocery retailer. 

First of all he said that when the economy would slow down grocery sales increased.  This translated out to bargain shopping but also more entertaining at home. 

I’ve spoken with many clients about this and they say there is a correlation for delivery items (pizza specifically) during economic downturns.  Many of them also said that after 9/11 they saw a dramatic increase as people did not want to leave their home.  Also there’s considerably more delivery happens during inclement weather. 

Also if you’re in a neighborhood used to eating out and decided to grocery shop instead your focus may be more on convenience foods they something that needs long preparation. 

There’s also a few schools of thought on delivery drivers. 

You can use a service like doorstep delivery.  One of my clients recently listed out the perks of using them. 

First of all they said, look they take all the liability off of us.  I agree, there’s something to be said about liability minimization.  After all, my mom was an insurance adjuster and paralegal for years so you know I came by the title Warehouse Safety Nazi honorably. 

Now, there’s the issue of quality control and whether different food items lend themselves to delivery methods.  Obviously pizza is a time honored delivery staple.  We expect it to come warm maybe even a little coolish.  But french fries? 

However, other clients sing the praise of Doorstep Delivery for it’s enormous harness of advertising and browsers.  They told me their own story of a walk in client who saw their Asian Food Concept and came in person to try the food. 

Other clients say Doorstep is a great way to test the water of delivery without great risk.  There’s no big financial risk with drivers, staffing, insurance or advertising.  This in itself is a great, great way to look at delivery. 

So, as our economy shifts and your business model MUST shift with the economy there are options beyond expanding a menu.  Maybe expanding the way in which you “deliver” your product.  

For more startup tips search this website using keyword STARTUP in the upper right corner.  Want even more?  Come in to our MegaWarehouse World Headquarters and talk with our staff.  The Frog is committed to helping open restaurants, bars, grills and food service concepts.