With the arrival of smartphones and mobile applications, the world of restoration has had to adapt to new trends and technologies. Today, a restaurant that does not offer a delivery service is losing many potential customers and the opportunity to expand its business. If you have a restaurant and want to know how to increase your delivery sales, keep reading!
What is a food delivery service?
Food delivery is a type of service that companies offer to make deliveries of food items that customers buy online or by phone.
How does it work? The companies receive the order and process the information related to the products that have been purchased, the transaction and the customer to whom the delivery is to be made. Then, they either work with third-party apps who take care of the delivery logistics or have their own delivery fleet to get the products to their customers’ location.
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, food online orders have increased exponentially due to safety reasons and there is no sign that indicates that this trend will reverse in the future. Food delivery is also very convenient for customers. After all, who can resist receiving food from their favorite restaurant at home in just a few clicks?
Food delivery service is also timely, which is very important nowadays considering that people are increasingly busy. Plus, when you’re hungry, you don’t want to wait around forever for your food to arrive. It therefore comes to no surprise that one of the main criticisms customers have about food delivery platforms is related to their wait times. User reviews often highlight delays in delivery, which can negatively affect customer satisfaction (especially if you externalize delivery to third-party apps).
Here are the two main types of food delivery service:
- In-house delivery: Restaurants take care of the delivery logistics themselves thanks to an online ordering system and their very own delivery fleet. Employees are in charge of collecting the order from the restaurant and taking it directly to the customer’s location.
- Third-party apps: These are intermediary platforms, which give visibility to restaurants and manage delivery logistics for businesses. Restaurants therefore have no control over how long it takes for their food to get to their customers’ doorsteps.
What is the purpose of food delivery?
The purpose of food delivery is to provide customers with the option of eating at home and save time that they would otherwise invest in going to a restaurant or cooking at home. It’s a great way for restaurants to increase their sales, attract new customers and expand their operations
Pros and cons of online food delivery services
- Convenience: Customers can binge-watch their favorite Netflix shows at home and get their food delivered without having to move from their couch. The convenience factor attracts different types of customers (not just millennials!). Parents also benefit as they can feed their children when they are too exhausted or don’t feel like cooking.
- Discover new customers and restaurants: More and more restaurants are opening an online sales channel so customers have more choice when it comes to online food delivery. For restaurants, this is a great opportunity to reach customers that might otherwise be difficult to reach.
- Less overhead: If delivery becomes an important part of your restaurant business or if you shift to a ghost kitchen model, you can save on overhead costs (rent, staff, etc.).
- Increased ticket sales: With UEAT’s online ordering system and delivery ecosystem, customers report an increase of 37% in overall sales and 41% in average ticket sales.
- Makes up for reduced foot traffic: Due to COVID-19 and strict restrictions in different parts of the world, a lot of restaurants have experienced reduced foot traffic. Many establishments are also only allowed a limited number of guests at the same time. Offering online ordering and delivery allows restaurants to offset this lost income while reaching new customers.
- Wait times: Ordering food online can quickly turn into a negative experience for customers when there are delays in service. Longer wait times can be the result of different factors such as the weather, traffic, the complexity of food orders or how busy a restaurant is. To avoid this, some restaurants offer their customers the option to pick up their orders from their establishments (discover what curbside pickup is!).
- No atmosphere: A big part of a restaurant’s success is related to its vibe or atmosphere. Since food delivery is an online experience, every time a customer orders online there is one less client in the restaurant.
- More expensive: Customers generally pay delivery fees when they order from third-party apps. Similarly, restaurants that work with these apps give up a large part of their revenues (up to 30%) in commissions.
- Less control over the customer experience: If food arrives poorly presented or cold at your customer’s house, this can negatively affect your restaurant’s reputation if clients post negative reviews. You have more control over this (compared to third-party apps) if you deliver the food yourself as you can train your workers and control the quality of service.
How does restaurant food delivery work?
Carrying out food delivery service may seem easy, but the truth is that there are several elements of logistic that intervene in the operation of delivery which have to be precisely synchronized. That being said, here is how restaurant food delivery works:
- The restaurant receives an order, processes the information of the purchased product, the transaction and the customer.
- The establishment prepares the order, proceeds with the packaging of the food items and with the organization for the dispatch.
- The company plans distribution, designing distribution routes to make all pending home deliveries safely and on time.
- The restaurant then hands over the food to be delivered to its own delivery fleets or gets a driver from a third-party app such as Deliveroo to deliver the food.
- The company follows up on the delivery of the food and makes sure it was successfully delivered (photos, signed receipts or other).
Tips to improve your restaurant’s online food ordering and delivery sales
Have a customized app and website
With UEAT’s white label restaurant ordering app, you can take digital personalization to the next level. Our team takes care of creating a white-label mobile app that reflects your restaurant’s branding and menu. We take care of everything from customization to App Store approval. You also get complete integration with your UEAT online ordering platform and an integrated in-app loyalty program. If you don’t have a website, we also offer website creation and hosting services to generate more traffic and streamline your customer support.
Invest in an online ordering system
There’s online ordering and then there’s UEAT. Our next-generation online ordering platform removes friction points, increases your average ticket size, and jump-starts your conversion rates. With our platform, you can achieve an increase of +37% in restaurant delivery sales, +32% in conversions and 41% in average ticket size!
RAI™ is our smart recommendation module, which is more like your perfect employee. Why? Because it automatically and systematically offers a personalized online ordering experience to your customers. Contrary to conventional online ordering systems, RAI™ doesn’t bombard your customers with pop-ups and cheesy online marketing tactics. RAI™ knows what menu items to feature and when to showcase them. You can effortlessly configure RAI™ to present menus, menu items and products based on time of day, days of the week, seasons, and specific holidays or events.
Diversify your delivery strategy
Truth be told, restaurants should not rely solely on third-party delivery apps to deliver their food if they don’t want a large chunk of their revenues to go to waste (commissions from third-party apps can go up to 30%). Getting a customized online ordering system and exploring delivery solutions is a great way to maximize their revenue streams. UEAT’s online ordering platform connects to your delivery systems, whether you own a fleet, use fixed-rate marketplaces, or local delivery providers.
Why should you diversify your delivery strategy?
- You can eliminate profit-gouging commissions.
- You can access critical data to optimize your operating expenses.
- You can boast the highest conversion rates in the restaurant industry, maximizing the ROI of your online ordering system.
Create a Google My Business profile
One thing that you cannot overlook to improve the positioning of your restaurant in search engines and get discovered by customers is to create a Google My Business profile. All you have to do is enter all the information related to your business such as your address, phone number, hours of operation, photos, social networks, website, payment methods and the link to place orders at your restaurant. Google My Business also allows you to create campaigns to promote your business and link it to food delivery applications.
Deliver your products in quality packaging
To provide excellent service and build customer loyalty, you must use quality packaging. Think that good packaging guarantees an experience similar to that of a service in your restaurant. In addition, reflecting the brand of your restaurant in a creative way will make your customers remember your brand and increase its visibility.
Start by making deliveries in your neighbourhood
A key aspect of online food delivery is speed of service. The less time it takes for delivery, the better. To do this, you must first focus on the street of your restaurant, then on the neighbouring streets and so on until you reach the entire neighbourhood. Eventually, you may be able to permanently detach yourself from food delivery platforms to try and sell without them. You can also leverage local delivery options to deliver your food in a timely manner and avoid huge commissions.