Restaurant Delivery

The Pros and Cons between Third-Party Delivery Services vs. In-House Delivery

March 18, 2022

Weighing the pros & cons of in-house vs. third-party delivery

If you work in the restaurant industry, you’re well aware that food delivery has skyrocketed in the past couple of years — accounting for 30% of total restaurant sales with over 5.5 million Australians using delivery. This newfound demand for convenience means restaurants can’t afford not to prioritise delivery in 2022. Chef’s hats off to our scrappy restaurant partners! With heart and grit, you’ve adapted to an unprecedented landscape of delivery while simultaneously persevering through a global pandemic and labour shortages. Now it’s time to take stock, review, and assess. There is one central question: Should you invest in your own delivery platform or use third-party delivery services? Although there’s no one right answer, the team at Hubster has laid out the pros and cons of third-party services versus in-house delivery (D2C). Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about in-house vs. third-party delivery to make the most informed decision for your restaurant.

What you’ll find in this article:
  • Third-party delivery platforms: pros & cons
  • In-house delivery service: pros & cons
  • How to choose the best delivery model for your restaurant
  • How to manage a hybrid delivery approach
Should I use third-party apps or in-house delivery for my restaurant?

Some of the most prominent players in the third-party food delivery space are Uber Eats, DoorDash, Deliveroo and more. Third-party delivery apps partner with restaurants to offer customers the chance to browse unlimited menus, place orders and satisfy their cravings without leaving the house. Listing your restaurant on a third-party platform is a convenient way for operators to increase reach and sales, although it doesn’t come without a cost. >>> See a complete list of Hubster’s third-party app integrations

Third-party delivery service pros:

1. Increase brand exposure: Listing your restaurant on a third-party delivery app is a surefire way to increase your restaurant’s reach. As a restaurant owner, your job is to follow and satisfy the customer, and your (potential) customers are on the apps. Since delivery apps work as a storefront, listing your restaurant on third-party apps is a simple way to reach many people without investing a lot in marketing.

2. Simplify your operations: Like it or not, third-party apps have strategically dominated the delivery space, which means they’ve simplified the process for both restaurateurs and customers. It’s quick and easy to partner with third-party apps and start getting orders right away. All you need to do is sign up, and the platform manages the process for you (e.g. drivers, customer service, platform infrastructure, etc.)

3. Focus on your core business: Not only does partnering with third-party apps guarantee a more extensive reach than launching your own direct-to-consumer delivery platform—it’s also less work. Instead of spending time launching and managing your own delivery service, using third-party apps for your restaurant allows you to focus on what you love the most: making delicious food, hiring and managing staff, and developing a unique experience for customers. Time is money within the restaurant industry, and having one less aspect of your business to think about is a welcome relief.

Third-party delivery services cons:

1. Paying the price of commission fees: Understandably, commission fees from third-party apps have rattled restaurant owners, prompting many to push back and even decide to pull the pin on these platforms. The margins are high, with an average 20-30% commission fee per third-party app. However, it’s important to weigh how much partnering with third-party apps increases sales for your restaurant overall. Above all, it is essential to lean into analytics to track and manage your restaurant’s performance. If you’re interested in accessing easy-to-use data and discovering insights through advanced reports, click here to sign up for Hubster.

2. Lack of customer control: A significant drawback to third-party apps is sacrificing control over the entire delivery journey. Sure, you can govern how mouth-watering your menu items turn out, but after you hand the order to the courier, there’s no sure way to ensure the entire experience goes as planned. It’s challenging to put work into creating a delicious meal without knowing for sure it’ll arrive warm, on time, and satisfy the customer’s expectations. You know first-hand how frustrating it can be when customers blame your restaurant for a negative delivery experience that’s out of your control. You also know how critical reviews are for your restaurant.

3. Navigating the competition: While third-party apps increase your restaurant’s reach, they also increase your number of competitors. Knowing your restaurant is listed alongside thousands of restaurants can make it hard for your specific business to stand out.

In-house delivery pros and cons.

In-house delivery service

There are two ways to run delivery in-house: 1. Create a delivery platform on your website directly; 2. Partner with D2C platforms like Flipdish, ChowNow, Allset, 9Fold, JoyUp, Say2Eat, Shopify, FreshBytes, Mobi2Go and more. 

Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of in-house delivery.

In-house delivery service pros:


1. No loss of margins: The most apparent pro for running in-house delivery is earning 100% of your delivery profits. Cutting out the middle-man also means cutting out the extra cost of commission fees, which is a huge perk—especially for smaller, local restaurants.

2. Gaining control over customer experience: Running delivery in-house is a fool-proof way of controlling every aspect of your delivery business. Overall, you can decide the business model for your restaurant by hiring your staff of choice, setting business standards, and staying in the know from handoff to arrival. With intimate knowledge of your delivery business, you can have a birds-eye view of what’s working, what’s not, and the level of customer satisfaction after each order.

3. Owning customer data: Running D2C lets you know precisely who’s ordering from your restaurant and how often. Essentially you get to “own” the customer and subsequently, their data. Not only do you have all your customer’s info, but you also know they’re choosing to order directly from your restaurant— a powerful way to build brand loyalty and run campaigns tailored to your customer-base.

In-house delivery service cons:


1. Dealing with logistics: While running D2C for your restaurant grants you total control over the delivery experience, it also means controlling the logistics and costs of managing your own delivery platform. In lieu of paying third-party app fees, you have to invest in the infrastructure expenses required to run delivery in-house. The capital needed to pay for materials, insurance, cars, delivery drivers, and more is a significant investment. Additionally, it will take a good chunk of time to plan and execute the logistics of running delivery direct to the consumer.

2. Ongoing upkeep: After setting up D2C, the work of managing in-house delivery for your restaurant is an ongoing process. Whether it’s acquiring licenses to deliver according to city guidelines, training and managing staff, or ensuring tech runs smoothly—the upkeep certainly adds a whole new set of responsibilities to your already full plate.

3. Smaller customer pool: If you decide to operate solely in-house, it’s crucial to consider whether or not you have existing customers ready to order from your restaurant. Without the reach of the third-party apps, it’s more challenging to reach new customers (especially when most delivery consumers are scrolling through third-party apps to discover new restaurants).

Comparing the pros and cons of third-party apps versus in-house delivery service for your restaurant.

How to choose the best delivery model for your restaurant

Now that we’ve covered the pros and cons of third-party apps vs. in-house/ D2C delivery, you’re probably wondering what all this information means for your restaurant. Should you invest in your own delivery platform or use third-party apps? Unfortunately, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Each restaurant should choose the best delivery model according to its goals, size, and capital. After partnering with 100,000 restaurants worldwide, our overall recommendation is a hybrid approach. Yes, that means running delivery in-house and partnering with third-party apps to make more money through delivery.

Hybrid approach: Pros of using both third-party apps & D2C to power your delivery business:

  • Generate reach and new customers through third-party apps quickly & efficiently
  • While you make money off orders from third-party apps, take your time to add a functional and well-planned D2C option for your restaurant
  • Build loyalty, brand recognition & appeal to both types of customers: those who prefer third-party and those who prefer ordering directly from a restaurant

How to choose the best delivery model for your restaurant.

Deliver better with Hubster

We know what you’re thinking: how the heck do I manage all of these platforms? At Hubster, our job is to make delivery easier for restaurants like yours. Hubster was built to eliminate delivery headaches by centralising all your online orders in one tablet, no matter the channel. With Hubster, you can analyse all your delivery orders through advanced and easy-to-access reports, run automatic promotions, and simplify your delivery business. Hubster works with the top partners in the restaurant industry and integrates with almost all 3rd party, D2C, and POS systems, so getting started is simple.

Interested in signing up for Hubster for FREE? Fill out the form below.

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The Pros and Cons between Third-Party Delivery Services vs. In-House Delivery

Between the many third-party delivery apps now available in Australia and running your own in-house delivery, how do you decide which is for your restaurant? Here’s a look at the pros and cons!

Weighing the pros & cons of in-house vs. third-party delivery

If you work in the restaurant industry, you’re well aware that food delivery has skyrocketed in the past couple of years — accounting for 30% of total restaurant sales with over 5.5 million Australians using delivery. This newfound demand for convenience means restaurants can’t afford not to prioritise delivery in 2022. Chef’s hats off to our scrappy restaurant partners! With heart and grit, you’ve adapted to an unprecedented landscape of delivery while simultaneously persevering through a global pandemic and labour shortages. Now it’s time to take stock, review, and assess. There is one central question: Should you invest in your own delivery platform or use third-party delivery services? Although there’s no one right answer, the team at Hubster has laid out the pros and cons of third-party services versus in-house delivery (D2C). Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about in-house vs. third-party delivery to make the most informed decision for your restaurant.

What you’ll find in this article:
  • Third-party delivery platforms: pros & cons
  • In-house delivery service: pros & cons
  • How to choose the best delivery model for your restaurant
  • How to manage a hybrid delivery approach
Should I use third-party apps or in-house delivery for my restaurant?

Some of the most prominent players in the third-party food delivery space are Uber Eats, DoorDash, Deliveroo and more. Third-party delivery apps partner with restaurants to offer customers the chance to browse unlimited menus, place orders and satisfy their cravings without leaving the house. Listing your restaurant on a third-party platform is a convenient way for operators to increase reach and sales, although it doesn’t come without a cost. >>> See a complete list of Hubster’s third-party app integrations

Third-party delivery service pros:

1. Increase brand exposure: Listing your restaurant on a third-party delivery app is a surefire way to increase your restaurant’s reach. As a restaurant owner, your job is to follow and satisfy the customer, and your (potential) customers are on the apps. Since delivery apps work as a storefront, listing your restaurant on third-party apps is a simple way to reach many people without investing a lot in marketing.

2. Simplify your operations: Like it or not, third-party apps have strategically dominated the delivery space, which means they’ve simplified the process for both restaurateurs and customers. It’s quick and easy to partner with third-party apps and start getting orders right away. All you need to do is sign up, and the platform manages the process for you (e.g. drivers, customer service, platform infrastructure, etc.)

3. Focus on your core business: Not only does partnering with third-party apps guarantee a more extensive reach than launching your own direct-to-consumer delivery platform—it’s also less work. Instead of spending time launching and managing your own delivery service, using third-party apps for your restaurant allows you to focus on what you love the most: making delicious food, hiring and managing staff, and developing a unique experience for customers. Time is money within the restaurant industry, and having one less aspect of your business to think about is a welcome relief.

Third-party delivery services cons:

1. Paying the price of commission fees: Understandably, commission fees from third-party apps have rattled restaurant owners, prompting many to push back and even decide to pull the pin on these platforms. The margins are high, with an average 20-30% commission fee per third-party app. However, it’s important to weigh how much partnering with third-party apps increases sales for your restaurant overall. Above all, it is essential to lean into analytics to track and manage your restaurant’s performance. If you’re interested in accessing easy-to-use data and discovering insights through advanced reports, click here to sign up for Hubster.

2. Lack of customer control: A significant drawback to third-party apps is sacrificing control over the entire delivery journey. Sure, you can govern how mouth-watering your menu items turn out, but after you hand the order to the courier, there’s no sure way to ensure the entire experience goes as planned. It’s challenging to put work into creating a delicious meal without knowing for sure it’ll arrive warm, on time, and satisfy the customer’s expectations. You know first-hand how frustrating it can be when customers blame your restaurant for a negative delivery experience that’s out of your control. You also know how critical reviews are for your restaurant.

3. Navigating the competition: While third-party apps increase your restaurant’s reach, they also increase your number of competitors. Knowing your restaurant is listed alongside thousands of restaurants can make it hard for your specific business to stand out.

In-house delivery pros and cons.

In-house delivery service

There are two ways to run delivery in-house: 1. Create a delivery platform on your website directly; 2. Partner with D2C platforms like Flipdish, ChowNow, Allset, 9Fold, JoyUp, Say2Eat, Shopify, FreshBytes, Mobi2Go and more. 

Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of in-house delivery.

In-house delivery service pros:


1. No loss of margins: The most apparent pro for running in-house delivery is earning 100% of your delivery profits. Cutting out the middle-man also means cutting out the extra cost of commission fees, which is a huge perk—especially for smaller, local restaurants.

2. Gaining control over customer experience: Running delivery in-house is a fool-proof way of controlling every aspect of your delivery business. Overall, you can decide the business model for your restaurant by hiring your staff of choice, setting business standards, and staying in the know from handoff to arrival. With intimate knowledge of your delivery business, you can have a birds-eye view of what’s working, what’s not, and the level of customer satisfaction after each order.

3. Owning customer data: Running D2C lets you know precisely who’s ordering from your restaurant and how often. Essentially you get to “own” the customer and subsequently, their data. Not only do you have all your customer’s info, but you also know they’re choosing to order directly from your restaurant— a powerful way to build brand loyalty and run campaigns tailored to your customer-base.

In-house delivery service cons:


1. Dealing with logistics: While running D2C for your restaurant grants you total control over the delivery experience, it also means controlling the logistics and costs of managing your own delivery platform. In lieu of paying third-party app fees, you have to invest in the infrastructure expenses required to run delivery in-house. The capital needed to pay for materials, insurance, cars, delivery drivers, and more is a significant investment. Additionally, it will take a good chunk of time to plan and execute the logistics of running delivery direct to the consumer.

2. Ongoing upkeep: After setting up D2C, the work of managing in-house delivery for your restaurant is an ongoing process. Whether it’s acquiring licenses to deliver according to city guidelines, training and managing staff, or ensuring tech runs smoothly—the upkeep certainly adds a whole new set of responsibilities to your already full plate.

3. Smaller customer pool: If you decide to operate solely in-house, it’s crucial to consider whether or not you have existing customers ready to order from your restaurant. Without the reach of the third-party apps, it’s more challenging to reach new customers (especially when most delivery consumers are scrolling through third-party apps to discover new restaurants).

Comparing the pros and cons of third-party apps versus in-house delivery service for your restaurant.

How to choose the best delivery model for your restaurant

Now that we’ve covered the pros and cons of third-party apps vs. in-house/ D2C delivery, you’re probably wondering what all this information means for your restaurant. Should you invest in your own delivery platform or use third-party apps? Unfortunately, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Each restaurant should choose the best delivery model according to its goals, size, and capital. After partnering with 100,000 restaurants worldwide, our overall recommendation is a hybrid approach. Yes, that means running delivery in-house and partnering with third-party apps to make more money through delivery.

Hybrid approach: Pros of using both third-party apps & D2C to power your delivery business:

  • Generate reach and new customers through third-party apps quickly & efficiently
  • While you make money off orders from third-party apps, take your time to add a functional and well-planned D2C option for your restaurant
  • Build loyalty, brand recognition & appeal to both types of customers: those who prefer third-party and those who prefer ordering directly from a restaurant

How to choose the best delivery model for your restaurant.

Deliver better with Hubster

We know what you’re thinking: how the heck do I manage all of these platforms? At Hubster, our job is to make delivery easier for restaurants like yours. Hubster was built to eliminate delivery headaches by centralising all your online orders in one tablet, no matter the channel. With Hubster, you can analyse all your delivery orders through advanced and easy-to-access reports, run automatic promotions, and simplify your delivery business. Hubster works with the top partners in the restaurant industry and integrates with almost all 3rd party, D2C, and POS systems, so getting started is simple.

Interested in signing up for Hubster for FREE? Fill out the form below.

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