Some restaurant chains have balked at the risks and costs of delivery.
Last year, Shake Shack said its burgers and fries were "not intended to be eaten half an hour after they were cooked" and delivery didn't "necessarily fit really well" with its brand, according to Bloomberg.
The chain recently struck a nationwide delivery deal with Grubhub, but Garutti cautioned that "delivery is a hard business" and Shake Shack's food is "hard to deliver and we need to do it really, really well" on its last earnings call. He added that delivery orders are more expensive to fill due to the commissions it pays to delivery partners and higher paper costs.
Launching a high-quality delivery service isn't simple either. One challenge is "working out all the operational kinks" including "when to fire off the order," a Dunkin' Brands executive said at a conference in June. "Obviously a cold coffee, if it's meant to be hot, it's not a very satisfying experience."
Shake Shack is going as far as designing restaurants with separate pick-up areas for digital and in-house orders to "honor our guests who continue to come to Shake Shack," Garutti said on the call.
Meanwhile, Yum Brands — owner of Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell — is closing stores and reopening them in more appropriate locations for delivery. It expects the repositioning to boost sales, reduce costs for its franchisees, and improve its customer experience.
Launching delivery can also mean higher packaging costs. The Cheesecake Factory recently rolled out containers that ensure its food can "travel at the appropriate temperature" and "retain the integrity and the look and feel of the food" customers receive in its restaurants, company president David Gordon said on its latest earnings call.
Luckily for Chipotle, it has largely avoided those costs thanks to its foil-wrapped burritos. "Our food travels really well off-premise," Niccol said at a conference in June.