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Pandemic Not Yet Boosting Big Third-Party Delivery Providers


According to daily average user data compiled by the research advisors at Gordon Haskett, the COVID-19 crisis is not lifting sales for third-party restaurant delivery providers. Acknowledging that we’re still in “early innings,” the firm’s research pointed to daily volume declines at Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats and Postmates to conclude that a decline in third-party app usage could be “here to stay,” partially supported by the number of restaurants that have closed instead of pivoting to off-premises operations.

This new report includes a comment from Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney, who stated that “demand from consumers is really a mixed bag. In some markets it’s staying stable, some are doing much better, and others are slowing.”

Gordon Haskett’s data also shows that nearly 60 percent of respondents don’t feel comfortable with a delivery person coming to their house. With data for the week of March 20, 58.6 percent of people included in the study said accepting deliveries at home made them uncomfortable. On the flip side, 41.5 percent said they were comfortable interacting with delivery personnel.

In analyzing more than 90 days of mobile app downloads for Grubhub, DoorDash, uberEats and Postmates, the firm saw Grubhub downloads declining the most below its 30- and 90-day averages, down 6 percent. DoorDash saw a modest 3 percent increase over its 30-day average, and a 4 percent jump over its 90-day average downloads. Uber Eats and Postmates saw smaller fluctuations, with the former seeing a 2 percent and 1 percent decline in app downloads, while Postmates was down 11 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

With my own personal experiences with delivery, it would be especially helpful to see the widespread use of latex gloves for delivery hand-offs, as well as universal use of tamper-evident packaging, which still has not become the norm among national delivery providers and some large restaurant chains.

If the delivery ecosystem cannot demonstrate rock-solid delivery experience in the midst of the current health crisis, the industry as a whole will fumble a major opportunity to attract new users and retain existing customers now wary of anything or anyone entering their fortresses of solitude.

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

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@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.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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