Online restaurant delivery services are so popular today that they are responsible for bringing in millions in sales to the food industry every year.
The popularity and success of food delivery can be attributed to customers’ preference for eating inside their homes and workplaces. The ability to enjoy one’s meals without the need to travel is definitely a convenience that nearly everyone wants to relish.
Moreover, online food delivery services allow people to browse through dozens of restaurant menus within a few minutes. Because of these, customers can easily order from establishments and dishes they haven’t tried before.
Because of these reasons, if you are a restaurant owner, adding a delivery service to your menu is something that you should consider doing. Aside from boosting sales, it will help you keep up with the competition.
This particular food service is an excellent marketing tool, as well. It will encourage brand recall among the hundreds of people that will see your restaurant name, logo, contact details, and address on your delivery van, bike, and person. This, in turn, will also help increase sales and profits.
Setting Up Your Restaurant Delivery Service
Before you go through the initial process of setting up this delivery service and investing in food delivery management software, you need to assess its feasibility first. If you own a fine dining restaurant, you will have to nix this idea since it is highly likely that your dishes won’t hold up well while in transit. You will only end up providing food that won’t meet your customers’ expectations.
This, of course, will only lead to returns that will cause a loss of sales and bad publicity.
But if your restaurant serves food that can maintain its quality while in transit, follow these tips to set up your delivery service successfully:
1. Update your POS system
Upgrading or getting new POS software that has delivery management features should be your first course of action if you want to serve food to customers who are not physically in your restaurant.
The best POS system that will help manage this service well should have online ordering and operation control features. It should also allow you and customers to track orders in real-time. Lastly, it should be able to keep customer information which will help facilitate faster food preparation and delivery for repeat customers.
If you are already using POS software, find out if it can be upgraded to integrate food delivery management. If not, you will have to replace it.
Whether you update or get a new one, make sure the system you choose can be customized to meet your business’s specific needs.
2. Stock up on the necessary supplies
To make sure food stays hot or cold (depending on the product) and reaches customers that way, you need to have plenty of insulated or temperature-controlled take-out containers and delivery bags.
Examples of these are:
- Deli containers
- Paper and hot cups
- Paper bowls with lids
- Salad bowls
- Insulated food delivery and catering bags
Make sure you get good-quality ones so that they can stand up to frequent use. If possible, have them customized as well to include your brand name, logo, website, and contact details so that they can function as extra marketing tools.
Additionally, invest in supplies made of sustainable and recyclable materials and which can be reused to do your part in reducing waste. This is also a great way to show that you are running an eco-friendly business.
3. Prepare your kitchen line
Once your delivery service is up and running, expect the kitchen to be busier than usual. As such, you have to ensure that your back-of-house team is ready to take on more work.
If you think you need to hire one or more employees, do so before you roll out your delivery service. You have to train your people in any additional food preparation steps and the right packaging techniques as well.
Lastly, have your kitchen staff undergo proper food service training to ensure the workflow is always efficient and productive at any time of the day.
4. Finalize transportation
Aside from getting additional kitchen staff, you will also need to hire your delivery persons. You have the option of getting people to be a part-time delivery staff or as full-time ones whose only job is to deliver food.
The biggest dilemma you may have to face at this stage, though, is investing in company vehicles. Buying a car or motorcycle will cost you a lot of money. Having them customized and getting the necessary permits or licenses also means additional expenses.
Scooters and motorbikes are the most popular option for delivery vehicles, especially in high-traffic areas. They are easier to equip and maintain. Additionally, they will save you money on fuel consumption.
5. Create a delivery menu
Although it would be great to have all your dishes available for delivery, this may be impossible for certain items. Unless you want to spend more on customized packaging, it would be best to make a menu specifically for your new service.
Choose from among your existing menu items those that can maintain their quality and taste while in transit. By doing so, you will prevent the hard-to-carry dishes from slowing down work in the kitchen.
Make sure these dishes do not require special packaging as well to avoid spending more money on this venture.
Starting a delivery service is a fantastic way of expanding your business without the need to open a new branch. Even if you have only recently opened your restaurant, it will help you keep up with the competition, drum up publicity, and boost your sales.