By: Karla Walsh for Uber Eats with Lola Kassim, General Manager for Uber Eats, Canada
All images provided by Uber Eats
Think your revenue opportunities end when you fill up every seat in your restaurant? Think again.
Delivery technology platforms allow restaurants to reach new populations who have never visited your shop—and to serve loyal customers in even more ways all at once. (We’ve all been there: “I don’t feel like changing out my of PJs, but am majorly craving pizza…”)
Since it was introduced four years ago, the Uber Eats platform has grown to serve more than 500 cities world wide. The growth has been rapid and meal deliveries are even faster: The average order reaches the recipient’s door in under 30 minutes, according to order data.
“We want to make it easier for Canadians to enjoy their favourite Burger King items, like the flame-grilled Whopper sandwich, from wherever they are and partnering with food delivery platforms—like Uber Eats—does just that. Whether someone orders from the comfort of their own home, from their desk during a late night at the office, from a friend’s house, Uber Eats provides easy and convenient delivery options across the country while also increasing the geography a restaurant typically serves, helping us reach new guests and driving incremental transactions,” says Matthew Wright, general manager of Burger King Canada.
No longer restricted to what’s on your printed menu, delivery offers extra flexibility and innovation opportunities. Two revenue-boosting examples include delivery-only kitchens (food preparation areas with no retail dine-in space) and virtual restaurants (which are housed in current restaurants but introduce additional items under a new brand that are available via online delivery only).
Here are four reasons why you might want to add innovative delivery concepts to your menu of offerings:
1. You have the opportunity to earn more money in your existing space via virtual restaurants.
With three restaurants working out of one efficient kitchen, Gabriel Malbogat, co-founder of Chef On Call, says that virtual restaurants are significantly increasing his revenue potential
“We have one restaurant footprint, with three different virtual stores on Uber Eats running out of it: Chef On Call, a milkshake bar, as well as a poutine bar,” Malbogat says.
These concepts are a great way to make sure that you are fully utilizing your kitchen space to maximize sales. In the event that you find yourself with additional capacity, launching a virtual restaurant can be an effective strategy to optimize your space and to capitalize on this.
Utilizing the same space and staff, Hero Certified Burgers founder and CEO John Lettieri says that virtual restaurants have been a big business win for his brand as well.
“Launching virtual restaurants with delivery has allowed us to increase same-store sales without increasing any labour or fixed costs. It allows us to be more efficient in using the resources we have available in the restaurant,” Lettieri says.
2. You have the flexibility to experiment with new concepts and cuisine types.
Unsure about risking the initial investment to purchase a whole new space for a fresh culinary concept? Rather than diving in head first, dip your toe in to test the waters with a virtual restaurant to pilot the idea and menu items.
“Using ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants you can have multiple brands on one screen, and use these to experiment with new concepts without the up front costs of setting up a new kitchen. When you think of menu innovation, there is so much opportunity with working with Uber Eats because you have so many ways to innovate your menu, brand, and concepts,” says Oren Borovitch, co-founder of The Kitchen Hub.
Restaurant partners that use the Uber Eats technology platform can access insights including financial and sales data, customer ratings and comments, and more, so hard data can help prove whether the concept or cuisine style is worth moving forward.
3. You can test new markets and introduce your brand to new regions.
Beyond new restaurant themes, you can test new restaurant territory with a lower level of initial investment. Delivery-only menus made in ghost kitchens (which can be shared to keep overhead costs low) can bring your brand to life in new cities or parts of town.
“We launched our first virtual restaurant under the Pai brand with Kitchen Hub in January. This is an experiment in bringing our ‘urban’ concepts outside of the greater Toronto area,” says Juanita Dickson, president and chief financial officer of the Gusto 54 Restaurant Group.
One North of Brooklyn Pizzeria location, co-founded and owned by Josh Spatz and Alex Potter, is located outside of Toronto’s downtown core, and serves mostly as a commissary kitchen. Offering delivery from this location has allowed the brand to earn extra money out of this facility. While also providing the opportunity to extend their brand presence and serve customers in a new part of town.
“This is primarily a prep kitchen and we have recently launched Uber Eats in this location to help us make the most sales possible with our space. In the calculations to determine whether or not to turn this location into a store, Uber Eats was the number one driver,” Spatz says.
4. You can expand your brand’s reach.
Clients may walk by your restaurant, or scroll past a social media post, but when you sign on as an Uber Eats partner, your potential impressions multiply to app users in your delivery area.
“If you boil down one of the biggest insights that we have had with delivery and with digital sales is that your real estate is not where you are physically, it’s where you are on the screen of delivery apps—and how much you show up on them,” Borovitch says.
Dickson initially believed the Gusto 54 Restaurant Group was maxing out their profits, that is, until they looked beyond their locations’ four walls.
“Delivery helps us reach new customers by creating a new brand touchpoint, leading to additional orders. It has enabled double-digit growth for—and significant impact—on our revenue,” Dickson says.
From fancy five-star cuisine to fast food, restaurants of all kinds are seeing success with delivery technology through virtual restaurants and ghost kitchens. When it comes to delivery, the opportunities for innovation are truly endless.
Looking to understand how to best leverage delivery technology for your foodservice operation?
Join the Uber Eats team at RC Show 2020 as they deliver the goods on ‘The Economics of Delivery‘ panel on Monday, March 2nd. Katherine Rebelo, Operations Manager at Uber Eats as well as a panel of experts will uncover the latest in delivery technology emerging onto the scene and the best way to meet your consumers’ need for fast delivery while supporting your bottom line.
Be sure to stop by the Pop Up Resto & Bar at RC Show 2020 to speak one-on-one with the Uber Eats team and benefit from ‘virtual restaurant’ consultations. Register now and get your tickets for RC Show 2020.