In the early months of quarantine, the relationships between restaurants and third-party aggregators shifted quickly from symbiotic to parasitic, with the economics quickly proving unsustainable for restaurants as digital order volume skyrocketed. Rather than providing an extra revenue stream, delivery orders became part-and-parcel of the business, and the challenges posed by aggregators, which charge restaurants steep fees and keep from them valuable data about their customers, became pressing.
Now, as it becomes clear that the rise of digital ordering is here to stay, restaurants are seeking to guide consumers to more profitable, sustainable ordering channels — their direct platforms. After all, when consumers order directly from the restaurant, the restaurant has the opportunity not only to avoid third-party fees but also to learn about its customers, leveraging data from rewards programs and other digital platforms to build loyalty and drive conversion.
“I think digital trends in the fast-casual space