Tips to Start a Delivery Service at Your Restaurant
Statistics show that 12 percent of customers expect food delivery from a restaurant. The estimates may be on the higher side, but the signal is clear; more people expect restaurants to offer a delivery service. If you’re a restaurant, it makes sense for you to jump into the foray and set up a delivery service. If you are not sure how to start, these tips will help you start:
1. Prepare your kitchen
Peak time is already hectic enough, and your staff must look forward to non-peak hours for a little rest. But with deliveries, pick time will be even busier, and non-peak times will see workload increase. The increased workload can easily cripple your kitchen, leading to frustrated customers, both at the restaurant and on the receiving end of deliveries.
Check how your kitchen handles volumes, how orders are managed, and whether you can handle more requests during peak hours. Have an order verification process set up whether you are dealing with a third-party delivery company or doing it internally.
2. Food quality and safety transit
How long will it take your delivery to reach the customer? Will the food still be hot and safe from contaminants when they receive it? These are questions you need to answer before you start offering delivery services. If you plan on doing it internally, you need to purchase delivery bags that will hold the food, keep it safe, and warm. Purchase your bags from a company that offers different types of delivery bags to cater for different meals. For instance, the bag used to deliver pizza will be different from the one used for beverages. Also, will you be using a car, motorcycle, or bike? This will determine the type of bag that’s best suited for you. Backpacks are great for motorcycles and bicycles, while you can use almost any bag if you are using a car.
3. How big do you want to start?
When starting a delivery service, proceeding cautiously is the best option. For instance, you can limit your delivery to the immediate neighborhood and limit dishes to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You should take into consideration the number of vehicles you will need for delivery. Managing a fleet of vehicles is a full-time job and you must see to it that you start with a workable number. There is an event driven technology from Vantiq which could be used in managing the fleet. The real-time user interaction in these applications might help improve the customer experience. Ensuring that the vehicles are all in good shape and safe to use; implementing fleet management and dashcam software from the likes of Lytx if required; inculcating good on-road practices for your drivers, and much more considerations come into the picture here. You must also check what your customers prefer if you want to maximize your sales. Decide if you wish to deliver all meals or start with easy ones such as pizzas, sandwiches, and salads.
4. Marketing your delivery service
Marketing is the wheel that drives sales. It does not matter how much planning you do if no one orders from your service. Distributing flyers in the neighborhood, using social media, and your website are some of the ways to get the word out there. You can also consider including your menus in all carryout orders, post on local bulletins boards, use restaurant digital signage, and issue press releases on local media.
Mistakes in delivery are costly. Have someone to double-check orders and see that everything necessary has been included. Some days will be overwhelming because of the tons of orders, but these days will mean the most profit. Plan early so you can handle them with grace.