Blog/Beyond Texting

Food Delivery Apps Squeezing Your Margins? Read This

Food delivery apps have flourished during the pandemic, but their fees are killing restaurant’s margins. Here’s a strategy that can help you convert one-off diners into loyal customers.

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If you take a look at most peoples’ smartphones you’ll see a host of mobile ordering apps. 

The funny thing is that most people think using these apps–think UberEats, DoorDash, and Grubhub–helps local restaurants who have suffered as a result of the pandemic. 

It’s true that delivery sales now make up 70-80% of restaurant’s orders. But the problem is that they charge fees of up to 30% per order which squeeze already tight margins.

Because of this, some restaurants have decided to push harder to drive curbside pickup orders or have built out in-house delivery services. 

The issue is that most restaurants don’t have the kind of marketing budgets needed to actually advertise these options. 

Using Food Delivery Apps to Your Advantage

The most obvious benefit of food delivery apps is that they help your restaurant reach more customers and attract new audiences that may never have heard of you.

The problem is that because these people order through a third-party app, there’s no way to convert them into regular diners or promote other ordering options.

This is where keywords on food packaging come into play. 

Add a Keyword to Your Food Packaging

Food delivery companies often provide you with free bags (and sometimes other food packaging) with their name and logo on it.

Getting free bags and containers might seem like a sweet deal–you’re saving money after all. 

But the problem is you’re missing out on hundreds, if not thousands, of opportunities to promote your brand.

Why else do you think the likes of UberEats give them out like candy on Halloween?

The common wisdom is to make your own packaging look nice or add social media handles. The idea here is to push people to share their order on social media and tag you.

That’s not a bad approach and it’s certainly better than nothing. But when you think about it, social media followers don’t easily translate into sales.

Instead, you should add a keyword to your packaging. (A keyword is a word or phrase that customers can text to a phone number to subscribe to future messages.)

For example, “Get the best deals from Solar when you text “YUM” to +1 (888) 123-4567.” Even better, you could use a QR code that people scan to automatically send a message.

Why Should You Want Someone’s Phone Number?

When you collect phone numbers you have a connection to your customers that you can use to drive sales and increase customer lifetime value.

Studies show that the conversion rates of SMS campaigns can be as high as 45%. 

It’s why we’ve seen restaurants like Blue Baker increase coupon offer redemption rates by 162% using text messages.

It also means that you can now push people to order from you using curbside pickup or your delivery service.

Today 8:00 AM
Solar is offering a special curbside pickup order. Order two bbq chickens and get two free sides. Only for curbside pickup. Call +1 (888) 123-4567 to place an order.

You can afford to be even more aggressive with offers because you’re not worrying about the 30% cut most food delivery apps take.

There are tons of ways you can use restaurant text messaging services beyond promotions. You can send texts when a customer’s food or table is ready, implement an SMS ordering system, and even manage your reservations with text messages.

Is This Difficult to Implement?

If you haven’t guessed by now we’re a text messaging service. You can sign up for a 14-day free trial and test out the process below. (When you’re ready to upgrade, our plans start at $25 for 500 SMS and you get a complimentary text-enabled toll-free number.)

All you need to do to set it up is create a keyword. This two-minute video explains how to do it.

Branded Packaging and Keywords Give You the Best of Both Worlds

The main aim of food packaging is to keep food warm–or cold–and fresh. It seems like a bonus when it’s visually appealing.

But, especially during the food app boom, it’s also a great marketing tool for your business. You can help transform these online ordering apps into a marketing service that delivers you a treasure trove of loyal customers.

If you still have questions, our team of SMS marketing experts would love to help. We’re available 7 days a week. Text or call us at (866) 450-4185 or use the chat at the bottom of your screen. Alternatively, schedule a demo or sign up for a 14-day free trial, no credit card required.

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