The times they are a changin,’ said Bob Dylan on his way to the corner Deli – or not.
But he could.
Just as Amazon completely upset the apple-cart and redefined how the retail industry functions in a modern world, third-party delivery services are now doing that to the restaurant industry, and proprietors are struggling to keep up. “Our Houston restaurateurs are getting pretty aggressive with it,” says Melissa Stewart, Executive Director of the Greater Houston Restaurant Association. “Our savvy restauranteurs are taking meetings with all the different options, everything from Amazon to Uber Eats to Grub Hub to Waiter, Door Dash…there are so very many of them.”
Analysts predict third-party delivery services will grow from a $43 billion business this year to a $76 billion industry by 2022, averaging 12% growth annually.
Restaurant owners today are ask questions they weren’t even considering five years ago. “What’s the platform they have to manage in the restaurant? What’s the cost to the restaurant? What consumers might they add? What consumers might they lose? There’s a whole consideration of considerations each restauranteur has to look at,” says Stewart.
The host of “Restaurant Stakeout,” Willie Degel, says that the big tech delivery companies are threatening the livelihoods of many in the business, suggesting they are taking 30% right off the top in an industry that has very narrow margins of profitability.