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Reinhart tackles third-party delivery topic

From the chef demonstration stage, seared duck breast served with a sorghum pilaf topped with roasted carrots, potatoes and beets.

Consumers’ desire for convenience is a trend that can’t be ignored, said panelist Nicholas Upton, speaking last month on restaurant delivery at Reinhart Foodservice’s spring food and equipment expo in St. Paul. 

Diners are increasingly expecting restaurants to offer a delivery option, noted Upton, a reporter for sister publication Food On Demand, which for many operators means using a third-party service such as Bite Squad or DoorDash to fill that last-mile need. While there’s the lure of incremental orders—a sale the restaurant wouldn’t have made otherwise—restaurants also pay a commission to the delivery company, sometimes as much as 30 percent. Upton said restaurant operators should think of those commissions as a marketing expense and not only budget accordingly but try to negotiate that cost.

“These third-party delivery services need your restaurants,” said Upton, something to remember when it’s time to negotiate fees.

Packaging is becoming an important part of the delivery conversation, too, noted Tiffany Tillemans, sales manager at food packaging distributor Bunzl, as restaurants try to ensure the quality and integrity of their food during delivery. There are some simple solutions, such as using separate containers for cold and hot food, but she also encouraged operators to research innovations in packaging styles and materials to find what works best for their food.

The Reinhart Live expo also included chef demonstrations, with Patrick Schultz from Bonewerks Culinarte cooking a variety of duck breast dishes, along with new product showcases from vendors. 

Chuck Boie of Street Vision Foods
slices hickory smoked beef brisket

Reinhart’s Jordan Palusky prepares
a rice mix to serve with jumbo shrimp
at the company’s food show in St. Paul.


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