In case you’ve been hiding in a bunker these last few years, delivery is becoming the new norm where restaurants are concerned. A recent survey noted 86 percent of consumers use off-premises services at least monthly, and food delivery is projected to grow 12 percent per year over the next five years. Meanwhile, third-party delivery services like UberEats, Grubhub, and Postmates currently represent $9 billion in restaurant sales today, and they’re predicted to account for $16 billion in sales by 2022.
There’s just one rather large problem: adding these third-party services is more costly and time consuming than the average customer might guess.
“There’s this big problem with the back of house,” says OrderOut CEO Zachary Martin. “There’s a lot going on that people don’t consider.”
Typically, services like UberEats and Grubhub furnish a restaurant with tablets to be used for directing and deploying orders. An employee manages those orders, inputing them into the business’s POS system as they arrive—an activity that’s as tedious as it sounds, and which staff tend to dislike because it means working a shift without the opportunity for tips. According to Martin, many restaurants have to outright hire a person to manage these tablets, since the volume of orders has gone up for many restaurants and lots of businesses need someone solely dedicated to manning the tablets during peak times. Add to that the extra space needed to house the tablets, which have to stay plugged in for the duration of business hours.
That’s a financial and logistical nightmare for restaurants, which is why many tend to stick to just one of the major delivery services, which makes business easier when the dinner rush hits but also means potentially losing revenue.
OrderOut wants to solve that with its platform that integrates third-party services directly into a restaurant’s POS system.
The company’s cloud-based software acts as a link between restaurant and delivery service. It monitors incoming delivery orders placed online through third-party services, then pushes that data straight to the restaurant’s POS system. Currently, the system works with UberEats, Grubhub/Seamless, Eat24 (owned by Grubhub), and DoorDash.
Users control OrderOut via an all-in-one dashboard, which also lets you update and sync menus and analyze data.
“You get your ROI pretty much within the first couple weeks,” says Martin.
As delivery keeps growing in popularity, we’ll see more and more companies coming to market as they look to solve the POS issue. And there are definitely others vying for space in this part of the delivery economy. Chowly offers a service similar to OrderOut by fetching incoming third-party orders and “translating” them into a language the POS understands. If you have a Toast POS, you can use both Checkmate and Chowly to integrate third-party orders. Ordermark funnels delivery orders from all third-party sources to one printer and raised a $3.1 million seed round earlier this year. And of course, Grubhub will let you integrate the service directly into your POS.
Like many others these days, Martin feels confident that delivery is now a must-have for restaurants who want to retain customers. “I think online food delivery is going to kill some of these restaurants,” he says, though he also suggests the key to staying competitive is all about making one’s restaurant-delivery experience as convenient as possible for the customer. OrderOut, to him, provides a crucial part of that process. Presumably, as more and more places add delivery to their business models, we’ll be hearing a whole lot more about that part for some time to come.