Pizza brands should continue to excel at first-party delivery, just as they have done for decades. To address the new competition from third-party agencies, they should do it even better.
Pizza brands have been confronted with a dramatic increase in competition over the last 5 years. Not from more pizza restaurants, but from the increasing convenience of other cuisine types as the third-party marketplaces have made it easier for all restaurants to deliver. Consumers looking to satisfy a delivery occasion now have the ability to choose from a full set of restaurant options. As other cuisine types become more convenient, pizza loses its “ease” advantage. Now, consumers choose pizza only when they want pizza, not because it is the easiest food to have delivered.
As other cuisine types become more convenient, pizza loses its “ease” advantage.
Pizza brands are facing the question — how do they keep up with the increased delivery convenience of other cuisine types? Should pizza restaurants list on the third-party marketplaces? Should they stop offering their own delivery and rely on outside providers of driver pools? If these new approaches are working so well for other cuisines that they are effectively competing with pizza, should pizza embrace them?
There’s a simple, and perhaps surprising, answer to these questions. To keep up with modern times and maximize profits, pizza brands should continue to excel at first-party delivery, just as they have done for decades. To address the new competition, they should do it even better.
Pizza brands should continue to excel at first-party delivery, just as they have done for decades. To address the new competition, they should do it even better.
Other cuisine types are doing everything they can to drive first-party or “direct” ordering. They are experimenting with outside driver pools and software that chooses logistics methods based on time and cost. In short, other restaurants wish they had the significant first-party, vertically-integrated business that pizza has always had.
Pizza solved the issue of first-party delivery long before the question was even asked. Pizza, as a consumer good and an operation, works best with tightly timed execution, resulting in a fresh product in the customer’s hands as soon as possible. There isn’t room for third-party error, like drivers running behind or dropping off multiple orders from different restaurants. First-party delivery allows for full control and management of the entire customer experience. There is no opportunity for bad reviews or diminished food quality derived from the mistakes of third-party delivery services. Once again, it’s all very simple: having your own drivers is easier, not harder.
But that doesn’t mean pizza should rest on its laurels. Increasing competition from other cuisine types means pizza should double down on what is working. Pizza should invest in innovating first-party delivery to make it even better.
Pizza should invest in innovating first-party delivery to make it even better.
Like everything, first-party delivery has room for improvement. Does your pizza brand struggle with quote times? Is your pizza brand overwhelmed at peak demand hours? Do customers ever call to complain about a cold pizza or a missed modifier? Mistakes happen, and in the very peaky business of pizza delivery, they can be costly.
Luckily, with the increase in SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) technology, pizza restaurant operators don’t have to look far to benefit their businesses. The technology is available today to tightly orchestrate pizza production times with consumer orders and driver availability. This coordination can increase utilization, decrease order-to-delivery times, improve accuracy, and reduce costs. Now is the time for pizza to apply its prized asset — a great delivered product and operations optimized to deliver great product – to new technology to make it even better.
Pizza isn’t going anywhere. If anything, the sector is growing and brands must evolve to keep up with increasing consumer demand. Whether your pizza brand hasn’t started online ordering, or is offering it but suffering operational hiccups and high costs, now is the time to move to the next generation of first-party delivery software.
Delivery-based pizza restaurants like Top 100 Mover & Shaker Pizzeria Camión use integrated software solutions to ensure that restaurant, drivers and consumers alike are all better off. Holistic software solutions enable first-class first-party delivery that is faster, fresher, and more cost-effective than either third-party delivery or more traditional first-party methods that many pizza restaurants use. With native first-party ordering, integrated loyalty and marketing, driver routing, and progress communications, the consumer journey is seamless. With smart fire-times, KDS (Kitchen Display System) orchestration and expo station management, kitchens operate quietly and efficiently. With a driver app tuned to keep drivers busy, hot food is delivered promptly at low cost with happy drivers.
There’s a reason that pizza is synonymous with delivery and it all started in-house. Before the option of third-party even existed, pizza restaurants were closing down their dining rooms due to the popularity and success of delivery. The question posed by increased delivery competition is a critical one, but sometimes the hardest questions have the simplest answers. Rather than add complexity to the business through third-party ordering and delivery, pizza can reclaim its rightful place as the most easily delivered meal through software purpose-built for delivery-centric restaurants.
The question posed by increased delivery competition is a critical one, but sometimes the hardest questions have the simplest answers.
About the Author
Meredith Sandland is the CEO of Empower Delivery — a software company that enables purpose-built, delivery-centric restaurants to own their off-premise destiny through native first-party ordering, resource-aware meal production and delivery fleet orchestration. Meredith is the co-author of the best-selling Delivering the Digital Restaurant: Your Roadmap to the Future of Food and its accompanying playbook Delivering the Digital Restaurant: The Path to Digital Maturity. Previously, Meredith was the founding COO of Kitchen United and the head of development for Taco Bell, a Yum! Brands restaurant chain.