Fresh home from the Franchise Finance & Growth Conference in Vegas, I tallied the number of times I heard third-party delivery during the countless brand presentations throughout the three-day event—and it was a lot. The audience heard everything from “all in” to “not interested.” Here are a few of the most notable snapshots:
Naf Naf Grill CEO Paul Damico said the brand is years ahead “some more established brands” in terms of delivery and online ordering tech. It just spent about $20,000 in each restaurant to create a full second line to make it easier. “We’ve solved, we believe, for all of the technology.”
Wendy’s is investing $25 million in digital platforms and expects to expand delivery footprint to 80 percent of the system by the end of 2019 using DoorDash.
A&W CEO Kevin Bazner said he gets asked all the time about delivery, and that he’s aware of it, looking at it, but not doing it primarily because of the “30 percent fees” and not owning the data. “For now, we’re on the sidelines with delivery.”
Cousins Subs CEO Christine Specht said the brand now offers third-party delivery in 70 percent of its locations and is still growing. “Delivery is nothing new, and it’s trending and I don’t think it’s going to go back.”
Juice It Up is rolling out several delivery initiatives this year, and recently launched a new mobile app that will soon enable skip-the-line ordering. It will roll out third-party delivery to the entire system by the end of Q4.
Boston’s Pizza is launching an in-house online ordering for to-go and takeout, and partnering with OneDine for pay-at-the-table functionality so “you’re not dealing with this clunky thing that’s at the table.”
Dan Leyva of Wings Over on switching from self-delivery to third-party: “They’re not the enemy at this point, they’re a great part of our business.”
Primo Hoagies CEO Rocco Fiorentino developed higher-margin lunch boxes partially for off-premises orders, and said working with ezCater allowed it to expand catering volume by 18 to 25 percent in most locations.
Wayback Burgers CEO John Eucalitto said its new electric vehicle initiatives combines on-site cooking of food trucks with on-demand delivery technology. “It’s a game-changer, it’s something that’s different, it’s unique,” he added.