It’s a question more restaurant operators are asking this year, as the cost of third-party delivery has increased beyond consumers’ and operators’ comfort zones. According to the National Restaurant Association’s annual State of the Industry report, an average of 13 percent of restaurants have stopped using third-party delivery services – even though delivery continues to be in demand by consumers. The trend was especially apparent outside of the quick-service category. While only 7 percent of quick-service restaurants severed their ties with third-party delivery companies, 17 percent of fine dining and coffee and snack businesses did so. The research found that instead of forgoing delivery altogether, most restaurants are taking the function in-house. The move can give operators greater control over food quality and safety, speed of delivery, as well as a larger share of profits. But it does require some planning and resource management. If you’re considering it, determine what geographic areas you want to serve and during what hours, how many staff you will need to support the effort, how they must be trained on everything from technology to off-premise food safety, and how you will mitigate your business liability if problems were to arise in the course of a delivery. What technology and tools could support you? Could a delivery management platform help? Test your service over a set period and track what went well and what needs to be improved. Also think about if and how you will promote this offering to guests – and if and how you want to use it to convert more orders to carry-out. In any case, collect data on how your delivery is going – both with regard to delivery times and reactions from customers.