Does Delivery Really Deliver?

MediaPost's Steve Smith interviewed panelists Haley Janke, associate manager, digital strategy, at KFC Global, left, and Codie Richards, director, digital experience and delivery for Carl's Jr./CKE Restaurants as they discussed negotiating with aggregators to get their products into their customers' hands.

The delivery companies like DoorDash, GrubHub and Uber Eats are all start-ups within the last few years, and QSRs are learning how to haggle with them depending on their scale and needs.

The sweet spot for KFC, Janke said, is having two or three aggregators; KFC makes sure to partner with those that have the biggest share in each market. 

While the QSR brands would rather have their own delivery systems, now they are busy learning how to profit from the aggregators.

"The approach to how many third-party partners you need depends on your digital infrastructure and the road map you intend to have," said Janke, as well "as the size of the brand and where you want to be long term."

And it takes a village. At KFC, it is a "cross-functional endeavor," with legal, food safety, IT, marketing and others working on aligning the POS systems. Direct partnerships meet with the aggregators to discuss limited-time offers and hyper-local marketing efforts. "It's not just a digital initiative."

Negotiation is a sensitive topic, said Richards. "Everything is changing every six months. Initially, we wanted exclusivity. That quickly changed. It's a win-win when you have a media buy that they get tagged onto." But, she noted Postmates delayed its IPO and DoorDash is getting ready for an IPO. "Some consolidation is going to change the landscape."

What everyone is looking for, of course, is data and more data. 

The aggregators are in their infancy in starting subscription programs, Richard said. "As they get smarter with data, we'll be able to ask for more data. As they evolve, we'll figure out ways to partner. These are small moves in terms of performance metrics."

Delivery is taking a step back, she said. "Do you take this trend and push it into a more owned space or remain dependent on a third party? There will be a shift in strategy as consolidation happens. What is the size of the prize ultimately?" 

Find this session — and more — at our Brand Insider QSR Summit Agenda page

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