Settling Third-Party Delivery Partner Payment Headaches
3 Min Read By Ron Barker
Over the past few years, third-party apps like DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats have made delivery and takeout faster and easier than ever. COVID-19 further accelerated this trend as restaurants turned to delivery models to reach consumers and maintain revenue. In fact, the National Restaurant Association found that 40 percent of consumers who ordered delivery from a restaurant in 2020 used a third-party company to do so. And according to Raydiant, 37.5 percent of restaurants said they would not have been able to stay in business without partnering with third-party delivery apps during the pandemic.
But for restaurants, especially those with multifaceted operating models, payments integrations with third-party service providers can lead to complex settlement and funding requirements. With delivery partners serving as a vital part of today’s business models, it’s important for restaurant operators to address headaches that could arise from third-party payments settlements.
Unifying All Parties and Systems for Reconciliation
When a customer orders from a national chain on a third-party delivery app, the payment must then be disbursed, associated fees must be assessed and all parties must have access to data for reporting. Even the complexity involved in a single transaction is immense. Multiply that times millions of orders, across thousands of stores, hundreds of franchisees and numerous third-party delivery partners, and restaurants are faced with a key challenge when it comes to ensuring all parties and systems are unified.
To make sure everyone is in sync, it’s important that restaurants have the right tools to help with payments reconciliation easy and simple. This is especially important as some delivery providers will only send restaurants their funds once a week. To make the process more efficient, restaurants must have access to third-party reporting in real-time and ensure that the payment amounts match for all orders. With a simplified banking and reporting process, restaurants can implement smooth reconciliation across different entities.
Managing Differences Across Multiple Third-Party Providers
Often times, restaurants partner with multiple third-party delivery providers to allow consumers to choose the platform of their choice. But if a restaurant has four different providers, they not only have to keep track of all the data associated with each party, they also have to figure out how to handle four different reports and reconciliation methods. On top of that, different locations may have varied menus and tax regulations, further complicating the process.
That’s why no matter if a restaurant is using its own app or partnering with multiple third-party apps, they should have one settlement portal that provides a single set of reports that accounts for all these differences. This normalizes all the data for franchisee owners and the corporations themselves, streamlining the process and creating a seamless integration whenever a delivery partner is added or removed.
Adjusting for Overcharges and Fees
Despite their best efforts, restaurants and delivery providers may receive complaints about cold food or wrong orders. There’s also cases when there’s been an overcharge on taxes or delivery fees. When these cases come up, customers will request a refund and the restaurant or third-party provider, depending on who is the responsible party, will need to send in an adjustment file to process these types of refunds.
Restaurants can take advantage of settlement systems that give access to consolidated banking information to file and send money to whichever organization is responsible. And as long as consumers get their refunds, whether from the restaurant or the delivery partner, they won’t notice the difference on the backend.
Make Payments Seamless and Headache Free
The relationship between restaurants and third-party delivery companies has been crucial during the pandemic and will continue to be as new consumer habits have been adopted. And restaurants all have unique business needs, whether they’re a local, independent restaurant or a big corporation with multiple franchisees. As a result, it’s important that restaurants find ways to seamlessly integrate payment processes across platforms.
Restaurants who have a good grasp on the key challenges associated with third-party delivery partner payments and how to manage these complexities will be able to streamline operations and create a frictionless process for all parties involved. After all, it’s the restaurants that are able to offer and manage third-party delivery apps successfully that will win over today’s customers.