Step-By-Step Tips to Launching Delivery for Your Restaurant
The on-demand world has changed the landscape of many
industries, and is pushing more restaurants into offering food delivery. While
some stores may struggle with concept of a growing “external” clientele at the
expense of in-person dining, the reality is that delivery is increasing net
sales, and could account for 11% of all restaurant revenue within the next
couple of years (to the tune of $32 billion). In an industry that can often
stay static, this growth opportunity is one that can’t be ignored.
Adopting food delivery in a traditional restaurant format
can be challenging, and may seem downright inconvenient at the start. But the
potential can certainly make the effort of navigating new technology, employee
training, and operational adjustments worthwhile. Plus, if you already offer
take-out services, the extra step of delivery (either in-house or via 3rd-party)
can increase your reach and bring you a new loyal customer base.
Many restaurants have jumped on board to meet this growing
demand. Here are some tips to help you get started and successfully launch your
Designate Delivery Space
While in-house dining prep space may technically work for
preparing delivery orders, the overlap could be problematic for operations.
Designate space specifically for delivery to streamline operations, and prepare
staff that it may cut into existing prep space.
Still rockin’ that POS from 2003? If you can upgrade, it may
be worth it store-wide. But if your existing system doesn’t accommodate online orders,
you may have to integrate another computer or tablet into the mix—but designate
a location where the device(s) will live. Be aware of wireless needs too: are
there dead spots in your restaurant where you can’t get signal? Make sure the
order-receiving device doesn’t live in one of those spots—and verify that
delivery orders are reliably communicated to the kitchen.
Name a Dedicated Delivery Employee
It may be tempting to offload delivery orders to FOH staff
when the number of orders is minimal, or at least manageable. But growth in the
area can quickly overwhelm servers and slow down in-house dining service. It’s
recommended that once delivery orders average 30 per day, a dedicated delivery
employee is warranted. This employee takes the orders, expedites food, prepares
the packaging, and checks/verifies the orders before handing them over to the
delivery courier. Include marketing materials with each order to nurture
customers and encourage repeat orders.
The biggest unknown in delivery is the condition of the food
from the time it leaves your restaurant to when it arrives at its destination.
It’s worth the investment to do all you can to provide the best experience to
the consumer (winning their trust and encouraging repeat purchases). Packaging
is key, and should be:
Treat Delivery Couriers Like Family
Your delivery couriers are the bread and butter of the whole
process, so it’s critical to reduce any barriers to their ability to succeed at
their job. Whether they are in-house staff or a 3rd party provider,
empower them to provide great service and great quality food deliveries to your
customers. They need to be able to:
Consider rewarding great couriers with gift cards or food
vouchers—they are critical to your business and a happy courier equals a happy
Delivery is the demand of the future (and present), and with
a few focused steps, you can set your delivery program up for success.
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