Delivery's Changing the Game. Is Your Brand Ready?
Through my recent reporting for our new Food On Demand media project, it’s become much more apparent than ever that the world’s changing for restaurant and retail, and some brands are setting themselves up to be left out in the cold as more companies spring up to bring meals, groceries, clothes and other daily items right to the consumers, with no need to hop in the car to visit an actual storefront.
At this point, the smartest brands are either fully on board with third-party delivery or quickly formulating plans to react to this changing restaurant and retail landscape. Institutional investors are especially in tune with this trend, and everybody’s watching what the big guys, including Uber, Amazon, Google, Chipotle, Postmates and Grubhub are up to. You better be, too.
As somebody who attends my fair share of conferences and seminars, I’ve sat in on many discussions about third-party delivery with an audience full of franchisees and franchisors. Those who are already offering their products on third-party delivery sites are the ones with all the enthusiasm, as they clearly understand how much this can grow sales with a comparatively small investment in labor, technology or kitchen equipment.
At this point, it’s almost painful to listen to restaurateurs or franchisors who haven’t grasped the enormity of this shift. Expensive real estate for stores or restaurants may be on the wane in the coming years, aside from the highest-profile brand showrooms in prime cities. This shift is very apparent among higher-end, youthful fashion brands. Bonobos, an upscale men’s brand, has opened a handful of showrooms in upper-tier cities—and many others are following suit—while dramatically ramping up its online sales.
Whether it’s in conversation with the CEO of Domino’s, restaurant analysts, financiers or management at large-scale, fast-growing regional restaurant brands—all the way down to individual franchisees—there is no doubt about the seismic impacts of third-party delivery. This is the great sea change promised years ago from futurists and tech leaders. It’s here, the technology is fully baked and there will be an incredible amount of M&A and general churn as delivery brands rise and fall, all while watching the commitment from giants like Amazon, Google and Uber.
Judging from their recent moves—like Amazon’s recent unveiling of three new grocery store concepts that are dramatically more advanced than the Whole Foods or Target nearest you—the smartest business people are all over the third-party delivery wave. Are you? If not, you should be.
And as a parting plug, I urge you to check out and follow what we’re doing at FoodOnDemandNews.com. It’s a fascinating category, and the franchise industry can’t afford to be left out of this very big new thing.