Food delivered through self-delivery by restaurant

As the restaurant landscape evolves, many businesses weigh the pros and cons of various operational strategies. One such consideration is whether or not to opt for self-delivery – especially in a world full of delivery apps like Doordash.

While it may seem like an added complication, this model has numerous potential benefits. It doesn’t matter if you’re making pizzas or bubble tea – everyone wants to make things more convenient for customers.

However, like any business decision, self-delivery is not without its challenges.  Let’s delve into the merits and potential drawbacks of self-delivery for your restaurant business, so that you can make an informed decision.

What Is Self-Delivery? Why Do Restaurants Use It?

Pizza and French fries delivered by restaurant

Self-delivery is managing your own team of delivery drivers to fulfill orders for your restaurant. This means you are responsible for hiring, training and managing these employees, and maintaining a fleet of delivery vehicles. 

The model is in contrast to third-party delivery services such as Uber Eats or DoorDash, where restaurants contract out delivery services to these companies.

The primary reason why restaurants may opt for self-delivery is to have more control over the entire delivery process. With third-party services, restaurants often have limited control over the delivery experience and customer interaction. 

By managing their own team of drivers, restaurants can ensure that the delivery process aligns with their brand image and standards. The self-delivery option can save restaurants money by eliminating the hefty commissions and fees associated with third-party services.


Italian delivery food in paper and plastic containers

Several potential benefits to self-delivery can make it an attractive option for restaurant businesses. These include:

  • Increased control over delivery operations. It gives restaurants complete control over their delivery process. They are responsible for hiring and training drivers and the delivery experience itself. This can help maintain consistency and quality in the customer’s eyes.
  • Cost savings. Businesses can save on the commission fees charged by third-party delivery services. Saving money is a big part of any business plan, especially in food service, where overhead is notoriously high.
  • Brand building. Self-delivery can also serve as a marketing tool by allowing restaurants to showcase their brand and values through the delivery experience. Providing top-notch customer service builds customer loyalty and attracts new ones.
  • Data ownersip. Twenty years ago, this wasn’t an issue. But now, data is a big deal. Restaurant businesses want access to valuable customer information, order history and feedback. This data can be used to improve operations and make informed business decisions.

Potential Challenges

Ordering food online from a restaurant

While there are certainly benefits to offering self-delivery, it is also important to consider the potential challenges of this model. 

After all, there’s a reason so many brands have opted to partner with third-party apps.

  • Logistics. Managing a team of drivers and maintaining delivery vehicles can be complex and time-consuming for restaurant owners. They will need to acquire additional resources and expertise to manage properly.
  • Increased liability. Restaurants may be responsible for any accidents during delivery. This comes with potential legal and financial risks that must be carefully considered.
  • Limited reach. Third-party delivery services often have a larger network and customer base, which can help reach a wider audience. Self-delivery may limit the potential reach and growth of a restaurant business.

Making the Decision: Is Self-Delivery Right for You?

View of a restaurant that offers self-delivery

Self-delivery can be a viable option for restaurant businesses looking to streamline their operations and provide a more personalized customer experience. 

However, it’s important to carefully consider the potential challenges and weigh them against the benefits before deciding. Whether you choose to manage your own delivery team or outsource to third-party services, what matters most is finding the right approach for your unique business needs. 

Self-delivery can be a valuable asset to your restaurant operations with careful planning and consideration. 

If you are considering this option for your business, take the time to thoroughly evaluate the potential impact and make an informed decision that will set your restaurant up for success in the long run. Consider your target market, delivery volume, and overall operational goals to determine the best option for your restaurant. Ultimately, it’s all about providing a quality dining experience for your customers.

Food in containers arranged on a table

If you are thinking to open a new business or are in the process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.

Also, take a look at the “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight into how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.

See our Small Store Design Extravaganza: Commercial Interior Design and Branding 01 book about branding small businesses from logo design to construction, with colorful images, offering insightful explanations every step of the way.

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