Fine Dine + UberEats = Economic Suicide

Instant hit is largely a myth

Are you customers dining at home?

UberEats has become quite a storm in the delivery business. One would guess. But it’s also having a significant impact on the fine-dine restaurants as well. This is where it get’s interesting.

Recently there had been quite a few restaurants that have claimed that they have become more busy than ever since they joined UberEats. True. Let’s dig a bit deeper to understand this phenomenon.

Back to the basics

If you own a dine-in, I would like to ask a few questions:

  • Why did you start a dine-in in the first place?
  • Why put all the money and effort in a dine-in infrastructure while you could have done a take-away out of a window?
  • Why not simply do deliveries from a garage?

The very reason you start a dine-in is not just to make great food, that’s a given. But to provide a unique experience that you don’t get at home.

Fine dine is not about something to eat. It’s about something to remember.

The moment you sign-up for UberEats you deviate from the very reason you started your restaurant. And the fact that you even provide an experience fades away. The ambience doesn’t matter anymore and you are in a league of providing more bang for the buck, sitting along side every other restaurant including McDonalds.

What about the instant hits on UberEats?

Of course I hear your voice. It’s too tempting to ignore the news but the reality is that, it doesn’t happen for every restaurant and the odds are it may not happen to you.

Instant hit on UberEats happens only for restaurants that had a reputation long before they got into UberEats.

If you are one of those places with a reputation to uphold, then it is the very reputation that kept you going and will keep you going as a dine-in. The moment you sign-up for UberEats, it’s no wonder that you are an instant hit, but think about what you are short-changing.

You are expending the hard-earned reputation for quick bucks on UberEats — it’s the classic case of killing the golden goose

Don’t be in a hurry. Take a breath and understand what UberEats is and take advantage of it. UberEats is for customers who would like to get their food delivered at home, so ideally pickup and delivery joints are supposed to benefit from it.

What if it’s my customer is ordering from home?

I bet he is your customer. But again, no one is your customer all the time. Of course he is your regular, but only when he feels like he ought to be on the streets. It’s tempting to have this customer, that customer and every customer all the time, but it will not work.

Let’s be clear, if your customer want’s to enjoy the experience you have to offer, he has to move his ass. To run a fine-dine and serve your customers at home is insane

Understand your priorities and if you are a dine-in, let go of UberEats, and do not panic. No one can destroy dine-in business and just because of UberEats not every one is going to lock themselves up and stay put at home.

Economic Suicide

A fine-dine by definition has real-estate, infrastructure and operational cost that is many folds expensive then a delivery joint. A busy UberEats kitchen will never be able to pay for all of it while paying 35% commissions. Don’t fall for the idea of a busy kitchen instead focus on getting busy for the right reason.

How to make it on UberEats?

Okay. Enough of gloom and doom. If you run a dine-in and if UberEats is too tempting to let go, then start a new kitchen. You heard me, not a restaurant, just a kitchen.

Not with a big store front, but with a good enough window.

List yourself on UberEats and of course you may not be instant hit, but if your food is really awesome, then you can gain traction over time. And you can win.

This is sustainable because, you are not making your existing infrastructure to bend to the will of UberEats, instead you are totally designing the location, staffing, menu, packaging and the pricing to go with UberEats and this very act is a recipe for success.

I’m neither arguing for low price nor for cheap food here. Go high on quality.

And after all this, don’t act clever and use the same brand for your new kitchen. You might get instant traffic but again your are piggy backing on the success of your dine-in.

Get Creative

Not that you are designing for UberEats, you can think of how UberEats works and take advantage of it. For example, UberEats shows only near-by restaurants on top, so one idea is to find a high-end suburb that’s a bit far from the city and open a high-end UberEats-only kitchen and here you have laid the foundation for a good start.

Be creative and I bet there are many other ways you can make it huge on UberEats.

Finally, there are always exceptions, if UberEats works for your fine-dine, keep doing it. The idea is not to get you off UberEats, instead this is just an attempt to highlight the repercussions of dine-in restaurants loosing focus due to external circumstances.

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