restaurant deliveryWith competition heating up, operators must work harder for their share of consumers’ dining dollars and to protect their establishments from going under. Offering restaurant delivery will give your establishment the leg up it needs to keep up with and even pull ahead of the competition. According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), 74 percent of millennials would rather order delivery from traditional restaurants instead of dining out. Association figures also indicate that 70 percent of all restaurant traffic will be outside the restaurant by 2020. Here are three ways delivery can save your restaurant.

1. Market expansion and ability to reach or attract a wider audience.

Delivery increases your market reach by exposing your restaurant to many potential customers who might not otherwise be aware of your restaurant’s existence. This includes consumers who learn about your restaurant online, perhaps when browsing a restaurant delivery service app or website.

Restaurant delivery also extends your market to consumers for whom dining out can be impractical, but would patronize your restaurant if delivery were available. Parents of very young children, who often cannot leave their homes for “date night,” can fall into this category, as well as individuals whose job compels them to eat lunch or dinner at their desk.

What’s more, some restaurants aren’t conveniently located.  For example, they’re situated on a busy thoroughfare where parking is limited. Some have a limited number of seats or lack the human resources (i.e., waitstaff) to handle a large number of dine-in orders. Delivery removes these obstacles and expands the breadth of your restaurant’s audience.

2. Increase revenues during slow times and bad weather.

For many restaurants, some parts of the day or days of the week bring less business than others. With restaurant delivery in place, you can easily boost your revenues despite empty seats in your establishment.

Just as significantly, delivery is instrumental in overcoming weather woes. Consumers are frequently reluctant to brave heavy rain, snow, or extreme temperatures, even for great restaurant fare. That’s why it’s not unusual to see empty restaurant seats when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating. However, by giving customers the chance to have food delivered to their homes, you can recapture sales that would otherwise be lost to bad weather.

3. Increased brand exposure.

Restaurant delivery not only opens doors to increased sales; it yields big opportunities to get your brand “out there” in front of customers. For example, consumers may notice its logo and tagline on your packaging or even a delivery vehicle. This may happen when a group of people are dining together and one person places an order with your establishment. It may also occur as an order is being delivered to an office or apartment building. In any event, there’s additional exposure for your brand.

Working with third-party delivery services can go equally far toward bolstering brand exposure. Such services typically go the extra mile to garner brand recognition for their restaurant clients; for instance, by touting these clients’ brands in their own advertising material.

Operating a restaurant can be difficult enough without worrying about cultivating new business, compensating for slow and bad weather periods, and more. With its appeal to customers and potential to remove many obstacles to success, restaurant delivery is a strategy worth implementing.