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Resolving Disputes in Multi-Delivery App Restaurant Partnerships | Superorder

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March 18, 2024

Dispute Resolution Strategies for Restaurants Partnering with Multiple Delivery Apps

Third-party delivery apps like Grubhub, Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash and more can be valuable revenue sources for your restaurant. These platforms revolutionized how diners order food, making it easier to discover new eateries and support local restaurants. They also allow establishments without dedicated delivery services to expand their reach. Partnering with third-party delivery companies can lead to substantial growth while allowing you to tap into a broader audience of potential customers.

But these partnerships aren't without their issues. While they're a great source of new customers and business, disputes happen. Everything from delivery issues to order errors can cost your business money and lead to substantial losses. While most apps have dedicated support systems for restaurant partners, they can be ineffective and frustrating.

Fortunately, there's a lot you can do to minimize problems and facilitate smoother, more efficient resolutions that benefit your business and your customers.

Importance of Efficient Dispute Resolution

There's much to love about working with several third-party delivery platforms. But you've likely heard horror stories from other restaurant owners of what a nightmare dispute can be. While you might rely heavily on third-party apps and platforms to maximize sales, you're just one of many restaurant partners.

The most well-known mobile applications and third-party services have hundreds of thousands of partners. Uber Eats is quickly approaching a million!

These platforms get thousands of disputes from partners and customers. As a result, traditional support systems and in-app dispute management features are often lackluster. Many companies have streamlined dispute methods that favor customers, making case-by-case investigations and due diligence a rarity.

Customer satisfaction is always important. However, that customer-first approach often puts restaurants at the losing end of complaints and issues.

For a restaurateur like yourself, efficient dispute resolution is paramount.

Every issue you face while working with third-party delivery services costs your business. Automatic refunds mean lost revenue. Meanwhile, customer complaints and a poor delivery experience damage your reputation. Your restaurant and brand are the face of a diner's entire experience!

Disputes can cost you, so having a highly efficient way to resolve them is better for everyone. It can help you deliver a better customer experience while strengthening your business relationship with every delivery partner.

Challenges Faced by Restaurants in Multi-App Partnerships

When working with several third-party delivery companies, you face many challenges on top of managing standard restaurant operations. Many platforms have dedicated systems with separate ordering and delivery processes. With orders coming in from all directions, things can go wrong faster than most realize.

Here are a few common challenges restaurants face when partnering with delivery apps.

Order Accuracy and Timeliness

Order accuracy and overall timeliness can be huge issues for restaurants. When customers order through a third-party app, they're working within that platform's distinct ecosystem. Menus may look different on one app compared to another.

Because apps display menu items differently, accuracy can be a major headache. What you receive from the platform may differ from what a customer wants, leading to major quality issues.

Order timing can also be a problem. Some apps provide a time estimate for delivery that doesn't necessarily coincide with the reality of your kitchen. Pair that with slow order updates and unexpected delivery drivers, and several issues can arise that reflect badly on your restaurant.

Communication Breakdowns

Communication is key to delivery service. However, breakdowns happen when working with a food delivery company. Apps can go down, resulting in a huge queue of orders, and lag could result in unexpected delays that push the wait time for customers further than it should.

Issues can also occur when communication between apps, drivers and customers fails. Customers can struggle to change their order or track a driver's movement, resulting in a poor experience.

Payment and Commission Issues

Payment disputes and commissions can be a sour spot for restaurants. Every third-party delivery platform charges a commission to restaurants, which can be significant. It's the trade-off of working with these platforms and tapping into their huge customer reach.

Restaurants often have to adjust to ensure they're still making revenue. They must consider partner commissions while still offering great value to customers.

Payment disputes make things even more challenging. Customers can send complaints to apps, requesting refunds. Every platform's approach to handling these disputes varies. Some will provide refunds without getting the restaurant involved. Others require partners or customers to provide evidence of their issues.

Whatever the case, failing to adopt best practices for conflict resolution can lead to substantial losses for restaurant partners.

Effective Strategies to Resolve Disputes

In the early days of food delivery service through third-party apps, restaurants had little say in managing and resolving disputes. Most restaurant owners were going with the flow and hoping for the best! Thankfully, these partnerships are more prevalent, leading to many best practices to ensure a smooth resolution process. Here are a few methods you should adopt today.

Centralized Communication Channels

Many of the disputes you'll encounter are a product of poor communication. Whether it's a communication breakdown with the driver, the customer or the third-party service itself, you can fix these issues with better communication.

The problem with partnering with several third-party delivery services is that they often have dedicated technology. Therefore, you might have a separate tablet to accept orders with each app! That means your team must jump from one system to another to maintain robust communications.

Using a single, centralized communication channel can avoid all that. Invest in technology and software to consolidate all your orders and communications in one place. Not only does that streamline your operations, but it keeps the lines of communication open.

Real-Time Order Tracking

Another way software can transform your approach to dispute resolution is by providing real-time order tracking. When you have a centralized place to accept, view and track orders, your chances of missing small details decrease.

Real-time tracking can also help you identify potential problems before they cause customer satisfaction issues. For example, the right software can monitor orders to alert you of missed items, slow order preparation, courier issues, service downtime and more. Seeing those issues as they come will allow you to be proactive about addressing them, resulting in a better experience for your customers.

Staff Training and Protocols

You can't blame every issue on third-party delivery service providers. In many cases, problems in-house cause friction.

Poorly trained staff and a lack of established protocols are often to blame, too. Invest in your team! Train your staff on how to process and fulfill delivery orders. They should know how to track orders, handle disputes and work efficiently.

There should be a method to the madness! Create protocols for every issue and give your team the tools to maximize productivity.

Regular Audits and Feedback Loops

Addressing common issues and facing challenges head-on can lead to great results. However, you should never rest on your laurels.

Audit your practices, reevaluate your approach and gain feedback on the customer experience. Create a feedback loop and push for improvement. There are always ways to make things better. Adjust your processes and apply feedback to grow.

Maintaining Positive Collaborations

Partnering with delivery apps can lead to great prosperity for your restaurant. However, they can also be a major point of contention. In the perfect world, you'd have a fair and honest partnership that benefits you, the service provider and your customer.

However, these arrangements can be problematic. Here are a few things you can do to strengthen and maintain your collaboration.

Negotiating Clear Terms and Agreements

Always read the fine print, and don't be afraid to negotiate with platforms. When partnerships fall apart, restaurants have more to lose than delivery apps. Your goal is to boost your bottom line. Stand up for your restaurant and negotiate mutually beneficial terms.

Read through your agreement and work with partners to develop fair terms. If your existing one isn't working, you can revisit it and negotiate a new contract. These platforms want restaurants to succeed, so don't assume you lack ground or negotiating power.

Leveraging Technology Solutions

Third-party apps often have turnkey systems that restaurants can start using immediately. While these systems are great for restaurants just getting started or working with a single partner, they can be more of a hassle when you have multiple partners.

Consider adopting better technology. Software like Superorder can help you consolidate orders and communications into one place, making it easier to manage your restaurant, resolve disputes and create a killer customer experience.

Strategies for Communicating Effectively with Customers

Communicating with customers about your partnerships is important. Apps typically have some features to help with communication and marketing, and you should take advantage of them to build your reputation in and out of the platform. However, you can also communicate with customers outside the app.

Consider starting a rewards program or contact list. In addition to communicating through the app, you can send updates via text or email. That two-pronged approach can prevent communication breakdowns and safeguard your reputation.

Another option is to include information inside every order. Provide contact forms, survey links, review requests and more on your receipts to give patrons more choices regarding how they engage with your business.

Get Started With Superorder Today

Ready to change how you handle disputes with third-party apps? Superorder is here to help!

Superorder is restaurant management software built for establishments that want to do business with food delivery apps. It combines all your delivery apps on one platform, allowing you to track orders in real-time, manage your menu, resolve disputes and more. Superorder is an all-in-one solution that can supercharge your operations, increase sales and pave the way to more success.

Get started with Superorder today and make the most of your partnerships with third-party delivery apps!

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