What Grocery Delivery Can Learn From Restaurants

Serving your best customer isn't confined to brick-and-mortar

Lempert Report

There is a great article in Ad Age written by Jessica Wohl that points to things we can learn about food delivery. There were 2 billion delivery orders from U.S. restaurants in the 12 months ending May, up 3% from a year earlier, representing just 3% of all restaurant orders, according to the NPD Group. On the grocery side, 20% of U.S. adults, or about 51 million consumers, recently shopped online for groceries, and 16% of those online shoppers opted for delivery, according to NPD Group's data.

Tressie Lieberman, VP of digital marketing and off-premise for Chipotle Mexican Grill, told Wohl, “My rule of thumb would be don’t think of delivery as an add-on to the business. As it becomes a bigger part of your business, you have to be thinking about that delivery experience first. When I’m talking to our operators, I’ll say, ‘You may never ever see your very best customer. They may never step foot in a Chipotle restaurant.’” Good advice for supermarkets, which is why we are now seeing more stores offering their own delivery, rather than third-party delivery, in order to own and control that last part of the relationship with the shopper.

She also suggests studying other industries for ideas. Lieberman, who admits to ordering plenty of delivery for lunch and dinner, also orders from various retailers, and uses subscription services such as Stitch Fix. “You can learn a lot to apply to your business by looking outside of food and seeing how people are using delivery with other products and other brands,” Lieberman says.

My question to you is, when is the last time—or first time—you ordered groceries from your competition?


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