Home Delivery: Pizza, Chinese food, and now Burger King – is it right for your restaurants?February 28th, 2012 | Posted by in Labor & Operations
Americans love eating and really love convenience culture—this makes the ascendancy of food-delivery sites like GrubHub and Seamless unsurprising. Restaurant owners watching the app-friendly trend are smart to consider launching an delivery service themselves.
With its sleek new website bkdelivers.com, this is just what Burger King is doing. A Washington Post blogger reports that “the Web essentially exploded” with reaction to the new service, despite the fact that it caters only to a smattering of locations in a few metro areas.
To prevent sandwich sogginess and limp french fries, Burger King designed thermal packaging with such touches as a separate upper-bun compartment for its Whopper. Chief brand and operations officer Jonathan Fitzpatrick claims that the special wrappers keep the Whopper “hot and fresh” and fries “hot and crispy.” The delivery fee is only $2.
Why haven’t fast food chains broken into the home-delivery market sooner? Can delivery work for burgers and fries as well as it has for pizza and Chinese food? A spokesman for Domino’s, whose sales are 70% delivery, doesn’t think so. “There is a reason that not all pizza places deliver,” he said. “It isn’t easy.”
He may be right. Before rolling out delivery programs, restaurants need to test whether it attracts new customers or merely cannibalizes in-location sales. Next, the operational and labor costs have to be worked out—and this is only possible through testing each factor independently. For fast-food companies, home delivery is a new ball game, and simply copying the playbook of existing food delivery franchises—as Fitzpatrick suggests— may not be a viable strategy.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 Both comments and pings are currently closed.