EXPANDING YOUR CUSTOMER BASE
At Precinct Pizza, we have offered delivery from the day
we opened 10 years ago, but I was approached by an
outside delivery company about five years ago. They had
done their own polling around Tampa to identify the
most popular pizzeria among the locals, and Precinct
Pizza was the overwhelming favorite. For this reason, they
wanted Precinct Pizza to be their go-to Italian restaurant.
They made their sales pitch, but I told them I thought
the whole idea was silly, since we already offered delivery
to our customers.
The company insisted, however, that they would not
RUNNING THE NUMBERS
take anything away from my current delivery business—
they would only add to it. I agreed to give it a shot, and
they were right. The customers they received orders from
were not customers I recognized (I could tell because
when the orders came through to my store, they often
displayed the delivery addresses on the food tickets).
During my partnership with this third-party company,
my in-house delivery business never declined; it actually
increased, and so did the orders from the outside delivery
company. In 10 years, Precinct Pizza has enjoyed nine
positive sales years, and our sales keep going up. (The only
negative sales year was due to BP’s oil spill in 2010, which
killed our summer business; otherwise, we undoubtedly
would have enjoyed 10 straight positive sales years).
Since that initial rewarding experience with a third-party
delivery company, Precinct Pizza has expanded its outside food delivery with UberEATS and Amazon Prime
Now Restaurant Delivery. If they keep their promises and
advertise to get new customers for my restaurant through
their own marketing, I don’t believe I will lose any of my
current business to them.
Now, remember, when you’re working with a third-party delivery company, you give up a percentage of each
sale to that company. In our case, we lose 25% to 30%,
depending on the provider. So if a customer wants to
By continuing to use our
own in-house delivery
service in addition to a
third-party service, we
saved about $85,000,
compared to using only an
outside delivery service.
Rick Drury operates one of the country’s busiest pizzerias today, but, as depicted in the photograph on the right, he was previously a paramedic in New
York who served as a first responder when the World Trade Center collapsed during the 9/11 attacks.