The topic that preoccupied attendees was clearly the boon in off-premise and how best to exploit it. Sooner or later, conversations between two operators would veer to, “So, what are you doing in delivery or catering? And how’s that working for you?”
The answer to the latter was invariably, “pretty darned well.” A Firehouse Subs franchisee shared that his recent venture into delivery via third-party services has bumped sales upward by 14.2%—90% of it incremental, and virtually all of it paying the dividend of follow-up visits to his stores. A California Pizza Kitchen franchise pegged its delivery mix at 20%.
But, clearly, the experience hasn’t been a cakewalk. Attendees avidly compared notes on how much of a fee they were paying third-party deliverers (the range extended from 3.5% to 30%), and how they monitored feedback from customers about the experience (most didn’t have a mechanism of their own, and relied instead on the deliverers’ rating system.)
And that led to some nuggets of insight like the ones that immediately follow.