5 Best Third-Party Delivery Services for Restaurants (2021)

5 Best Third-Party Delivery Services for Restaurants (2021)
April 21, 2020 Levi Olmstead

With online ordering growing 300% faster than dine-in service, a majority of restaurants have adopted delivery into their model. Then came COVID-19, shutting down restaurant dining rooms across the world – forcing restaurants to rely on online orders for delivery.

Restaurants without delivery options have scrambled to find a delivery process that works for them. Many consumers are familiar with third-party delivery services such as UberEats, Postmates, and DoorDash, but what are the best delivery apps for restaurants?

What Is a Third-Party Delivery Service?

A third-party delivery service partners with restaurants to create a marketplace that customers can search to browse restaurant menus, place orders, and have orders delivered to their homes.

5 Best Third-Party Delivery Services for Restaurants in 2021

The third-party restaurant delivery service model is a balanced market, with three companies owning between 25-27% of the overall market share. Here are the best third-party delivery services for restaurants in 2020:


How to Get Started: https://get.doordash.com/

1. DoorDash

As of early 2019, DoorDash owns the largest share of the delivery market at 27.6%. The delivery app is located primarily in the US, with over 310,000 restaurant partners in over 4,000 cities.

DoorDash claims to reach 80% of US consumers and that its marketplace will help your restaurant reach almost exclusively new customers with 92% of orders coming from new customers.

The app has an interface that categorizes restaurants based on the type of food, location, and delivery speeds. It also lets users track the status of their order in live time.


How to Get Started: get.grubhub.com

2. GrubHub

GrubHub is the elder of the delivery market, founded back in 2004. It also makes up 26.7% of the third-party delivery market, less than 1% behind DoorDash.

GrubHub claims that restaurants increase their takeout order volume on average of 20% when joining its company and that GrubHub restaurant partners see a 6x higher growth in monthly takeout revenue in comparison to other delivery marketplaces.


How to Get Started: ubereats.com/restaurant

3. UberEats

UberEats was late to the delivery game but made a huge splash. It quickly grabbed a quarter of the delivery market behind its well-known brand – but has since stagnated growth and been stuck at 25% of the market share behind GrubHub and DoorDash.

UberEats relies on its familiar ride-sharing network for its deliveries and user interface, making onboarding easy. They also offer a monthly deal for end-users to sign up and get restaurant discounts through the month.


How to Get Started: 2ndkitchen.com/restaurants

4. 2ndKitchen

The 2ndKitchen model is slightly different than other third-party delivery apps on this list. While DoorDash, UberEats, and others deliver directly to consumers’ front door, 2ndKitchen partners restaurants with local businesses such as bars, breweries, hotels, and residential buildings to make that restaurant the exclusive delivery partner (or room service provider) for that business.

Those businesses then promote and serve your food in their business – complete with custom menus and ordering systems in their business. 2ndKitchen’s delivery network then picks up those orders and delivers to those businesses just like a traditional delivery service.

The benefit of 2ndKitchen is that you not only have the delivery app’s marketplace to promote your online menu, but other businesses are promoting your delivery menu as well. It works as another channel to drive online orders, awareness, and ultimately revenue.

An additional perk of 2ndKitchen is for breweries, distilleries, and wineries making their own alcohol – as 2ndKitchen is uniquely positioned to help those businesses manage direct-to-consumer delivery and to-go orders for alcoholic beverages with its completely free 2ndKitchen 2Go platform.


Grow your restaurant’s online orders by joining the 2ndKitchen Restaurant Network – 100% free to join!


How to Get Started: postmates.com/partner

5. Postmates

Postmates partners with over 75,00 restaurants and its range allows for delivery to 80% of American households and over 4,200 cities. Postmates claims that its service grows restaurant takeout sales by 200%.

One of the perks of Postmates is its intuitive and well-designed interface. The platform has fun motion graphics that engage users and offers frequent discounts for existing users.


What Third-Party Delivery Company Has the Fastest Delivery Times?

  • UberEats: 35 minutes
  • Postmates: 40 minutes
  • DoorDash: 42 minutes
  • GrubHub: 50 minutes

Benefits of Third-Party Delivery App

1. Outsourced Delivery

The obvious benefit of using third-party delivery services is that restaurants don’t have to worry about the delivery process and fulfillment of orders.

This helps restaurants save money on a variety of things, including:

  • Setting Up In-House Delivery Processes & Infrastructure
  • Delivery Drivers & Vehicles
  • Gas
  • Food Storage & Delivery Equipment
  • Insurance
  • Licenses
  • Delivery-Tracking System
  • Customer Service Issues

2. Exposure & Restaurant Awareness

Using third-party delivery companies means you are listed on their marketplace that is home to a target audience of hungry people looking to order delivery right now. In fact, 63% of young adults use third-party delivery apps regularly. This is great for new restaurants, as it helps drive awareness of your restaurant as well as traffic to your online delivery menu.

Cons of Third-Party Delivery App

1. Delivery Service Fees

Third-party delivery services charge high service fees – as high as 30% of an overall bill for UberEats – putting a burden on restaurants that already operate on very small operating margins. Delivery companies have even charged restaurants based upon the number of interactions their users have with a restaurant’s listing on the app.

2. You Don’t Control the Guest Experience

While outsourcing delivery to third-party companies saves restaurants time and money, it also means restaurants relinquish control of how their customers engage with their delivery brand. For many restaurants, losing control of the guest experience is too much to sacrifice and offer DIY, in-house delivery.

A great example of a brand that has a unique guest experience that keeps delivery in-house is Jimmy Johns. They’ve created an image of their company as “freaky fast” and rely on lightning-quick delivery speeds to keep up with its competition.

Examples of how restaurants could suffer from not controlling the guest experience include:

  • Delivery Times
  • Drop-Off Locations
  • Poor Communication
  • Rude Drivers
  • Cold Food
  • Damage or Stolen Food

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In-House DIY Delivery vs. Third-Party Delivery

The debate continues for restaurants choosing in-house delivery vs third-party delivery. When it comes down to it, restaurants should consider what is best for their specific situation.

What restaurants should keep delivery in-house?

  • Established restaurants
  • Higher-end restaurants
  • Restaurants with a well-recognized reputation brand
  • Restaurants with the staff and resources to keep delivery in-house
  • Restaurants who have a unique customer experience

What restaurants should outsource delivery to third-party apps?

  • New restaurants
  • Smaller restaurants
  • Restaurants with outdated technology
  • Restaurants that can’t afford the staff and resources to offer delivery themselves
  • Restaurants who are understaffed
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