In a World of GrubHub, Marketers Need to Step Up
In a World of GrubHub, Marketers Need to Step Up

It’s up to marketers to even the playing field in a world where convenience is king.

The consumer has said it loud and clear: they are willing to pay more for your food to be delivered than to eat it in your restaurant.


Convenience has trumped everything else – including the quality of the product.

Now, it’s up to marketers to even the playing field. It is your turn to take back control. Here’s what you need to know:

1. The quality of product has been devalued by the convenience of getting your food delivered to my home. How? Well, we all know that most foods have the highest quality fresh out of the oven. Thus, when that product gets to our homes 30 minutes to an hour later, the quality has declined. But the consumer doesn’t care. They are happy that your food arrived to their house. This is powerful.

2. The consumer is willing to pay a premium for your food to be delivered. In fact, they are willing to pay more than it costs to be served your food in your restaurant. Convenience has won out over all of those crazy dollars you have spent to build out your beautiful restaurant.

3. The amazing part of this delivery process is that you are not in charge of the delivery of your product. GrubHub is to blame when things go wrong. This is good and bad. The good is that someone else is to blame. The bad is that someone else is to blame – someone who doesn’t report to that manger you put in charge to product your brand.

4. GrubHub is your direct competitor. They have the everything menu. They can give the consumer any food they want whenever they want it.

So, those are the facts. Now comes your turn to own marketing. You will have to – before the consumer becomes so deloyalized (yes I created that term – trademark pending). How?

1. Own your experience through the eyes of your customer. Make sure you are truly dialed into how your customer craves your experience and product. Don’t fancy the fixtures if they are unnecessary – cater to the customer.

2. Don’t miss marketing opportunities like special holidays (national wing day, national pretzel day, national hot dog day). Create opportunities to pull the customer into your store with a special social moment.

3. Don’t use social media to simply push a “buy my food” message. Use it to create demand and education in what you are selling. Have conversations. Create a reason for the customer to come to your social pages, like secret specials, information and education.

4. Make sure you are connecting the communications silos (marketing, advertising, PR, social and digital) around all of your LTOs to maximize exposure.

5. Create in-store loyalty incentives. Give to your customers in exchange for them giving to you!

6. Measure. And measure again. GrubHub is really a technology company in the market of data. They are owning retargeting. They are understanding the buying behavior of your customers. They are stealing your customers and introducing them to other brands.

In today’s GrubHub world, marketing has never been more important. It is time to step up your game. What would Blockbuster have done had they known the ultimate outcome of Netflix? This is your chance. Own your processes and cycles. Press the pedal down to protect your restaurant’s future.