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With Third-party Drivers, Mountain Mike’s Changes Delivery Model


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While Jimmy John’s was swearing off third-party delivery in favor of its own in-house team and Domino’s CEO was telling CNBC, “When a customer orders from Domino's, I want a Domino's uniformed driver to show up and deliver that pizza,” a California pizza franchise has been busy rolling out delivery partnerships with not one but three third-party services.

Even though Mountain Mike’s 200-plus pizza restaurants each have their own delivery team, the Newport Beach-based brand is working with DoorDash, UberEats and Grubhub to reach customers it believes wouldn’t otherwise order its food.

Partnering with three services “extends our delivery range,” says Jim Metevier, president and COO of Mountain Mike’s, “and we wanted to not put our eggs in one basket.

“We do think there are unique users in each of these delivery pools,” he continues.

An initial test at the end of 2017 with DoorDash yielded positive results, including a “major same-store sales increase” and slight bump in average ticket, says Metevier, who adds the orders coming from the outside channels are indeed incremental. “We got access to the customers of those platforms themselves.”

The lack of shared customer data by these third-party services is a point of contention for many operators, but Metevier said that access to information, or lack thereof, “was not a barrier to the decision” to use the trio of services. Mountain Mike’s is pushing to learn as much as it can about these new customers, he adds, and continues to promote its own online ordering and delivery options.

“All our restaurants do delivery and will continue to do delivery for the foreseeable future,” he says. “I don’t see in the near future cutting back on in-house delivery but we will continue to evaluate. They complement each other at this point.”

Mountain Mike’s announced the three partnerships at its franchisee convention in October 2018 and secured what Metevier calls “competitive pricing” for its system of 100 percent franchised restaurants. Franchisees are embracing the initiative, he says, and Mountain Mike’s is also working with its provider to fully integrate the three delivery services into its point-of-sale system.

Acquired in April 2017 by a trio of private equity firms, Mountain Mike’s made its Franchise Times Top 200+ debut last year at No. 271. The brand hit $156 million in sales in 2017, an 11.4 percent increase from the previous year.

The Top 200+ is Franchise Times’ exclusive ranking of the 500 largest franchises based on systemwide sales.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 

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