How to Optimize Your Restaurant Delivery
Off-premise delivery is more popular than ever before. Many restaurants have pivoted toward delivery-only models, while others have adopted new delivery procedures to accommodate pandemic demands. At the height of the pandemic, third-party food delivery services exploded. The four biggest companies took in $5.5 billion in revenue in just five months. Even beyond the pandemic, off-premise dining is here to stay. Learning to optimize your restaurant delivery is critical for competitive restaurants.
Choosing Your Delivery Service
The first question you’ll need to answer is whether or not a third-party delivery service is right for you. In your quest to optimize your restaurant delivery, you can either develop your own off-premise strategy or opt into whichever third party might be the best fit for your operations. Either way, you can support customer demand for take-out and delivery, though each method comes with its own benefits and drawbacks.
A third-party service, for example, can make things simple for your restaurant. You most likely won’t have to deal with hiring new team members, insuring delivery vehicles, and setting up an online ordering system from scratch. Still, third-party delivery services can come with high fees, leaving the restaurant with a much smaller slice of the revenue.
In one viral instance, Grubhub appeared to charge a restaurant about 70% of its acquired earnings. While this instance may have been an outlier, with additional commission and service fees, it speaks to many restaurant experiences with delivery services.
Alternatively, managing an in-house delivery team can come with a host of benefits. One study found that this approach can be 46-50% cheaper than conducting deliveries with the assistance of third-party apps. Simultaneously, perfecting your delivery strategy requires integrating new tech, new employees, and new expenses. These changes often require a shift in both your business model and the layout of your restaurant.
Regardless of the approach, there are strategies you can employ to maximize your shipping and delivery potential.
Maximizing Delivery Potential
How you optimize your restaurant delivery is only as good as the tools and processes you employ. Third-party services will take many of these concerns off your hands, but you might see your revenue potential dip. Even if you decide to use a third-party service, you should maximize your restaurant’s potential to smoothly integrate delivery.
Here are five strategies for streamlining your shipment and delivery processes for maximum potential:
- Use Route Efficiency Tools – A fleet of around 50 vehicles loses $320,000 per year in traffic congestion alone. Fortunately, GPS tracking and dashboard tech innovations make it possible to improve delivery routes to improve coordination and cut down on lost time and money.
- Prioritize Transparency – Transparency is a great way to help customers feel like their orders are moving along exactly as they intended. Your guests will appreciate the kind of real-time data that you can get from a robust kitchen display system rather than less accurate order trackers. From making driver GPS locations available to customers to sending SMS text notifications at certain points in the process, transparency is a helpful trend in modern restaurant delivery apps.
- Maintain Dedicated Delivery Staff – Regardless of whether you adopt a third-party delivery service or not, you’ll need to keep certain employees on top of the delivery orders. Restructure duties within the restaurant to ensure that a dedicated team can handle the online orders.
- Consider Employing an Order Management System – With so much of your guest traffic split between various off-premise channels and sitdown guests, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Capacity management software helps prevent bottlenecks, and off-premise order aggregators are excellent tools to help optimize your restaurant delivery.
- Analyze Your Data – Perhaps the greatest benefit of integrating with an online order service is that it allows restaurants to collect valuable customer data. This data helps restaurants manage inventory and prepare for supply and demand fluctuations while prepping food delivery. In turn, data analytics can offer all kinds of actionable insights to every level of your business.
- Grow through Marketing – Among the insights offered by data are understanding customers to support your marketing efforts. From popular menu items to personalized customer preferences, your data will help you craft targeted marketing strategies like personalized ads and coupons. As a result, you can fuel business growth.
These tips and strategies can help you create an efficient in-house delivery service or optimize a third-party app. As a result, you’ll have a delivery infrastructure that keeps customers continuously satisfied and interested.
But don’t stop there. Further, streamline the quality and safety of your deliveries through ongoing reviews of your processes.
Streamlining Shipments for Quality and Safety
One often overlooked aspect of optimizing your restaurant delivery strategy is the logistics of getting the food to your guests quickly and efficiently. Restaurants face various challenges, from differing climates to food products that have to stay hot or cold. Shipping food safely and keeping its optimal temperature is an issue that takes innovative solutions to ensure customer safety.
Here are some tips for keeping your food fresh and tasty en route, regardless of the season:
- Secure your delivery packaging for transportation.
- Create a delivery process that minimizes time from cooking to delivery.
- Use insulated and moisture-resistant packaging.
- Consider a tracking and labeling system for greater awareness.
- Constantly review your procedures.
By developing packaging and procedures for smooth and streamlined delivery, you’ll get fresher food out to your guests quickly. This will benefit satisfaction and increase the demand for your delivery service. Whether you operate with the help of a third-party delivery app or take care of everything in-house, these benefits stand to boost your social proof in a world increasingly interested in having food delivered to individual homes.
How to Optimize Your Restaurant Delivery Conclusion
It’s no small task to optimize your restaurant delivery and one that will likely continue to evolve. With off-premise dining channels expected to hit $154.34 billion by 2023, following these tips and strategies can help you streamline and enhance your delivery process. With route efficiency tools, transparency, and data-powered decision-making, your restaurant can build a competitive edge that carries you into the future of foodservice.
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About the Author
Beau Peters is a creative professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he’s learned a slew of tricks of the trade that he enjoys sharing with others who have the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work. When he is not writing, he enjoys reading and trying new things.