5 Benefits of Hiring a Third-Party Food Delivery Service

In the first half of 2014, nearly $4 billion was invested in food-related tech companies. Among those businesses were third-party food delivery services like Caviar, Dashed, Postmates, and DoorDash. Companies like these partner with restaurants to provide customers with a platform to browse menus, place orders, and have food delivered to their doorstep by a third-party courier. Whether the costs of maintaining your current delivery service are too high or you're looking to expand your business to new markets, hiring a third-party delivery service could be beneficial for you. If you’re considering these services, check out the benefits we’ve listed below:

1. New Customers

By adding your restaurant’s menu to any of these sites, it gives new consumers easy access to your food options. Your business may be out of the way for many people, so they haven't had the chance to stop in. With a third-party meal delivery service, your new customers can try out your meals without having to travel far. Ordering food online for the first time also motivates customers to come into your actual establishment, since they've now had a taste of your food.

2. Caters to Your Customer’s Needs

We’ve all had days where cooking was the last thing we wanted to do, but we also didn't feel like grabbing fast food. A food delivery service provides a convenient way for customers to order food without having to sacrifice quality. Not to mention, most of these third-party sites can be easily accessed through mobile apps, so they can order meals with a simple push of a button.

3. Cut Down on Costs

One of the most alluring aspects of a third-party delivery service is how affordable it is. Instead of spending money on gas, a vehicle, insurance, and an employee, you simply pay the company of your choosing and they take care of the rest. Some companies, like grubHub, only charge for the orders they deliver, so you don't have to pay an expensive monthly fee.

4. No More Administrative Tasks

Imagine a packed Friday night in your restaurant: your dining room is loud with the sound of guests chatting, dishes clanking together, staff members yelling, and on top of it all, your take-out phone is ringing. Most third-party systems convey order information to you electronically, so your employees don’t have to worry about answering the phone and taking long orders. Since these businesses have their own couriers, you also don’t have to stress about the safety of your staff while they’re out on delivery.

5. Increased Revenue

As mentioned above, offering your menu to people who may not have been familiar with your food opens your business up to a whole new audience, which in turn increases sales. Restaurants that hired grubHub saw their monthly take-out revenue grow by an average of 30 percent over the first year. Hiring a service like this could be especially useful to businesses that may currently offer delivery service, but are struggling to find success with it.


With a third-party service, not only can you make yourself available to new customers, but you can also cut down on costs and administrative tasks. So whether you’re looking to start a take-out service in your establishment or trying to improve your current system, hiring a third-party service could benefit your business.

Posted in: Trends | By Emily Hepner

Salt and Sugar Alternatives Our Hearts Will Love

In honor of February being American Heart Month, we’ve listed some healthy salt and sugar alternatives that our hearts will love. You’ll find a variety of ingredient substitutions that can be used in everyday cooking, baking, and cocktail crafting.

Salt Alternatives

With salt being added to so many prepared entrees and packaged meals, it’s no wonder America consumes too much of this mineral. While salt is beneficial to health in some ways, this overconsumption can unfortunately lead to high blood pressure, which can ultimately damage the arteries that lead to the heart. Years of eating too much salt and living with damaged arteries can lead to a heart attack. In order to prevent heart damage, it’s important to limit your amount of salt intake.

If you have to use salt in your recipes, then it’s best to use less refined options like sea salt, pink Himalayan sea salt, and molakai sea salt. However, if you’re looking for salt substitutes, so you can completely cut it out of your recipes, then check out some of the ingredients below:

  • Garlic, onions, and leeks - By incorporating ingredients like fresh garlic, chopped onions, and leeks to your stir frys, casseroles, soups, and pastas, you’ll add delicious flavor without the high sodium levels. Plus, these ingredients, and others from the Allium genus, are known to lower blood pressure and hinder tumor growth.
  • Spices - Spice up your dishes by adding pepper, oregano, basil, cumin, turmeric, and other seasonings. Not only do they add complementary flavor to your foods, but many of them are also known to boost metabolism and curb hunger or cravings.
  • Vinegar - Sometimes, if your dish is lacking a certain taste factor, a splash of vinegar will do the trick. Use fruit- or garlic-infused vinegars to marinade meats or make salad dressings without the added salt. It can also be added to pasta sauces and soups.
  • Nutritional yeast - This all-natural ingredient is used in a lot of vegan dishes. Unlike baking yeast, this nutritional version is deactivated, so it has no leavening ability. Thanks to its salty, somewhat cheesy flavor, it’s commonly sprinkled on popcorn, macaroni and cheese, pasta, and potatoes.

Sugar Alternatives

Almost everyone gets a sweet tooth now and then, and it’s totally okay to satisfy it. But, did you ever think about how many foods contain sugar that you wouldn’t even suspect? Potato chips, tomato soup, pasta sauces, salad dressings, “healthy” smoothies, and enriched waters are just a few of them. Just like salt, eating too much sugar can lead to health issues. Consuming too much sugar can cause insulin spikes, which can lead to inflammation of the arterial walls. Additionally, excess sugar intake can lead to weight gain, which can be the gateway to cardiovascular disease. In order to prevent heart damage, it’s important to limit your amount of sugar intake.

Sometimes, you simply have to use sugar in your recipes, especially in baked goods. If you do have to use sugar, then it’s best to use less refined options like brown sugar, molasses, muscavado sugar, honey, and agave nectar. However, if you’re looking for sugar substitutes, then try out some of the ingredients we listed below:

  • Applesauce - Try substituting unsweetened applesauce for sugar when baking. Simply replace 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of applesauce in your cakes, muffins, nut breads, and brownies. Plus, applesauce will make your baked goods moister. Be sure to also reduce the liquid called for in your recipes by about 1/4 cup.
  • Freshly-squeezed fruit juice - If you’re making sauces, marinades, salad dressings, or certain baked goods, consider adding freshly-squeezed juices instead of sugar or concentrates. Not only will these juices sweeten up your foods, but they’ll also give them a fresh, tropical flavor.
  • Lemon or other citrus zest - Squeezing a lemon, orange, or lime, or simply grating their zest is a good way to sweeten cocktails. Use the zest in martinis, old fashioneds, whiskey sours, and other mixed drinks. Also, squeezing some lemon into gin on the rocks is a great way to add a subtle sweetness without all the calories caused from sugar.
  • Nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice - Adding spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice to your coffee beverages will reduce its bitter taste and eliminate the need for added sugar. You can also use these spices in pancake, waffle, muffin, and other batters.
  • Raisins, figs, and dates -These naturally-sweetened dried fruits can substitute sugar on a 1:1 ratio in many baked goods. Simply soak them in hot water, add them to a blender, and puree them until they become a smooth paste.
  • Bananas - Like the fruit paste mentioned above, bananas can replace sugar on a 1:1 ratio. Simply combine one cup of mashed, overripe banana with a few tablespoons of water and puree until smooth.

By using some of these substitutions in your cooking, baking, and cocktail recipes, you’ll be able to make them healthier without sacrificing taste. Try making these substitutions in your restaurant’s recipes for the month of February, or create an all-natural section on your menu so guests can eat healthier year-round.

Posted in: Health & Wellness | By Ashley Kufera

Offering Valentine's Day Cooking Classes in Your Restaurant

Valentine’s Day is coming up and, as I’m sure you know, it’s a huge day in the restaurant industry. While many people choose to go out for dinner, many romantics stay at home and cook their own meals. One way to offer something a little extra to your customers and draw in some more business for the holiday is by offering cooking classes. Here are some things to think about when planning your Valentine’s Day cooking classes.

Throughout the Month

If your customers want to cook a delicious meal at home, they may want some pointers on how to cook your signature dishes. To help them out, you can offer cooking classes in the weeks leading up to the 14th. For this, you would need to consider the same things you would with regular cooking classes. Just make sure your guests know it’s only for a limited time!

Pros:

  • Gives more customers the opportunity to take your classes
  • Less competition
  • Extra business
  • Chance to sell your signature sauces, so customers can make your dishes at home

Cons:

  • More supplies and ingredients used
  • Harder to plan for
  • Have to set regular schedule of classes
  • Will deter some people from coming to your restaurant on Valentine’s Day

One Night Only

Another option is hosting a cooking class the night of Valentine’s Day. This would be a big event for couples or groups of people to attend. You could teach your guests how to make a delectable meal in your signature style and give them a memorable way to spend their Valentine’s Day. Then, they can enjoy the meals they helped create in your decorated dining room. This could be set up as a reservation-only or first-come-first-served event, so you can plan your night as precisely as you want.

Pros:

  • Only one night of planning
  • Can plan exactly how many supplies and ingredients you need
  • Offers an experience that you customers will remember
  • Can draw in new customers

Cons:

  • Can turn away other business
  • Extra decorations needed to get the right atmosphere
  • Need to advertise more to get the word out
  • More money up front

Hosting cooking classes for Valentine’s Day is sure to make your customers’ special days even better. Hosting classes ahead of time or offering a one-night-only event both have their pros and cons, so it’s all about what’s right for your business. Whatever you decide to do, I’m sure that your customers will love having the opportunity to get a peek behind the scenes of their favorite restaurant.

Posted in: Holidays | By Alyssa Burns

February 2016 WebstaurantStore Coupon Code Update

Savings Are In the Air!

Stock up on all the supplies your restaurant needs for Valentine's Day by taking advantage of this month's great deals! Besides the items below on sale with the FEBSALE coupon code, you will find many other items on sale with many other coupon codes if you sign up for our email flyers below. Signing up just takes a few seconds, and you can unsubscribe at any time. If you haven't already, be sure to check out our Instagram sweepstakes for your chance to win a Kitchenaid commercial immersion blender! Contest ends on February 8th, so get your submissions in!

Like us on Facebook!

By Steven Ziegler
Webstaurant TVProduct demonstrations, how-to's, & descriptions ArticlesIn-depth information and tips for running a successful restaurant Buying GuidesTools to help you find the perfect product for your business