As a restaurant owner, the online food delivery wave is impossible to ignore. Seemingly everyone uses convenient phone apps to get food delivered to their doorstep with just a few taps these days. If you haven’t already, it’s high time to get on board with providing an online food delivery option for your restaurant customers.
Implementing an online food delivery software for restaurants provides numerous benefits that can significantly impact your restaurant’s success. From expanding your reach to streamlining operations, online ordering helps drive more sales and enhance the customer experience. In today’s highly competitive dining landscape, having an efficient delivery system is critical for reaching people where they are — which is increasingly online.
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Why You Need Online Food Delivery
First, recognize that food delivery is only growing in popularity year after year. Customers appreciate the unmatched convenience of getting their favorite meals easily delivered to their home or office. An online ordering system allows you to tap into surging demand with the food delivery options diners clearly want.
Additionally, you don’t want to miss out on valuable business just because a customer doesn’t want to dine in or pick up an order. With more people gravitating towards delivery, not providing this service means losing sales. People who may have otherwise ordered from your restaurant might simply go elsewhere if you don’t cater to their preferences.
Finally, online ordering puts your restaurant front and center in the delivery market. This heightened visibility and accessibility leads to so many advantages when executed effectively.
Key Benefits for Your Restaurant
Expanded Reach and Customer Base
One of the top benefits of food delivery software for restaurants is increased visibility to droves of hungry consumers. An app appearance exposes your brand to many more potential customers — not just those who walk or drive by your physical location.
You effectively expand your geographical reach as customers discover delivery options in their neighborhood. Someone a few blocks farther than your typical dine-in customer may happily order delivery. Online visibility casts a much wider net for attracting business.
With more eyes on your restaurant, you’ll organically draw in delivery orders from new customers. People who may not think to visit your establishment or even know you exist will find you on apps they already use. This is free advertising to a captive audience of locals specifically looking for meal options to order.
Capitalizing on the popularity of food delivery apps allows your restaurant to tap into this demand. Each additional order you receive through these channels enlarges your total customer base.
Increased Sales and Revenue
Naturally, expanding your reach and customer base lends itself to increased sales and revenue. Every delivery order that comes in adds directly to your top and bottom lines. Beyond just the sale itself, chances are that satisfied customers will return for more orders or visit your restaurant next time they want to dine out.
Online food delivery essentially provides restaurants with a supplementary income stream. Instead of relying solely on in-house dining or pick-up orders, delivery opens a brand new sales avenue. With more options and exposure, customers have more opportunities to purchase from your restaurant.
Using data and analytics from your food delivery partner, track how much incremental business gets added from your online ordering system. Estimate how delivery expands your typical customer capacity for any hour or daypart. Understanding these sales impacts allows you to continuously optimize your operations and marketing tactics for delivery success.
Enhanced Customer Convenience and Satisfaction
Today’s on-demand culture means that customers expect and reward convenience whenever possible. Your restaurant having reliable delivery capabilities is no longer just a “nice-to-have” perk — it’s a must-have.
It’s simply easier for consumers when they can access your menu, customize orders, and purchase a meal for delivery in just minutes on their phones. Saving them time and hassle with a streamlined process earns major points.
Speedy and accurate deliveries are also integral for customer satisfaction. Make sure you have top-notch packaging to keep orders intact, provide delivery ETAs, and address any issues promptly.
Customers will be thrilled that you offer food delivery as an option alongside dine-in and takeout. Meeting this demand ultimately translates into repeat business and brand loyalty.
Streamlined Operations and Reduced Costs
Believe it or not, adding online food delivery can also lead to operational efficiencies for restaurants. Routing orders electronically from an app or website directly to your kitchen cuts down mistakes from manually entered orders.
You spend less time clarifying order details which improves order accuracy. Ingredients are also better prepared and portioned since you can view exactly what a customer requested.
For staffing, you may be able to reduce how many hosts, cashiers, or phone order takers are needed since that business gets absorbed online. Those labor savings offset the costs of partnering with a food delivery provider.
Delivery logistics themselves are handled by drivers employed from delivery services like Uber Eats and DoorDash. You don’t have to hire your own fleet which saves substantially on overhead expenses. Plus, customers pay for delivery fees directly — not your restaurant.
Altogether, integrating this new stream of business can optimize your existing resources. Tech-enabled orders along with outsourced drivers create cost efficiencies your bottom line will thank you for.
Improved Brand Visibility and Marketing
Getting discovered on popular food delivery apps gives your brand a powerful spotlight. Consumers actively browsing options on Uber Eats or Grubhub will notice your restaurant alongside competitors.
Your branded profile sits on that virtual shelf for potential customers to find. Distinctive menus and mouth-watering food photos entice app users to order from your establishment.
These platforms also provide a vault of customer data and feedback to restaurants. You gain insights into your most popular dishes to help perfect menu offerings. Real customer ratings and reviews boost your credibility to new users as well.
For spurring growth, restaurants can coordinate targeted promotions with delivery services too. Strategies like offering first-time customer discounts or happy hour delivery-only specials lure in new business.
The marketing angles with online food delivery are nearly endless. Optimizing your brand exposure and leveraging data analytics provides incredible opportunities to stand out from the competition.
Executing an Effective Online Delivery Strategy
To fully capitalize on these benefits, restaurants have to intentionally develop their online delivery services. You want to ensure customers receive top-notch service that reflects well on your brand when ordering online. Below are some best practices for rolling out a stellar system:
Choose the Right Delivery Platform
With so many delivery providers out there, explore your options thoroughly before jumping in. Compare service levels, order functionality, customer support policies, and any associated fees.
Factor in your restaurant’s profile and target demographic as well to determine the best fit. A fine dining establishment may not align well with a mass delivery operator used mostly for quick-service chains. You want longevity from this partnership so vet choices carefully upfront.
Pay attention to the specifics in any contract before signing and be sure to negotiate where possible. Having favorable terms mutually protects interests so that this arrangement propels both of your businesses forward.
Optimize Menu and Pricing
Menus require some adaptation for online delivery to convey offerings accurately. Precision with items, descriptions, photos, and pricing fosters good customer experiences.
List sizes, ingredients, prep methods, etc to set proper expectations, especially for higher cost entrées. Account for packaging necessities in item presentations as well.
Ensure menus are error-free and keep them updated. Descriptions should be brief but compelling like they would on your restaurant tables.
For pricing, decide if premiums need added to offset operational expenses related to delivery. Typically packaging, drivers, and commission fees tack on costs you’ll want to recapture. Yet don’t overprice compared to competitors or dine-in prices as that deters orders. Finding the sweet spot for profitability without turning off customers takes thoughtful analysis.
Also consider discounts or delivery-only promotions so prices stay reasonable for customers while still making money. New users, big orders, off-peak times, etc. all represent opportunities for selective deals.
Implement Efficient Processes
With a sudden influx of delivery orders alongside normal restaurant traffic, bottlenecks happen easily. Avoid frustrating delays by creating structured workflows between your kitchen and delivery drivers.
Post clear instructions for staff roles in preparing packages, checking orders pre-bagging, staging finished meals by driver assignment, etc. Invest in top-notch packaging to prevent spills or tampering issues in transit.
Tablet devices dedicated to managing orders as they arrive keep things moving smoothly. Drivers should have easy access to pickups without disturbing operations.
Work closely with your delivery provider to pinpoint and troubleshoot process challenges. Every step should focus on quality control and timely fulfillment. When executed well, extra sales from delivery integrate seamlessly without overburdening your staff.
Lastly, track delivery metrics to address problems. Customer ratings, average prep times, order accuracy percentages, etc. all help strengthen performance. Poor marks damage credibility with app users so stay diligent.
Analyze Data and Feedback
Pay close attention to all data streams available. Your delivery partner provides information about order frequency, delivery zones, popular menu items, customer spending habits and more to help guide decisions.
Blender this delivery data with your restaurant’s in-house transactions for holistic business insights. You might spot menu tweaks, marketing opportunities, or potential process pivots from studying trends.
Customer feedback is equally enlightening for the restaurant. App reviews and ratings offer transparent opinions on everything from food quality to delivery speed. Dig into criticisms to pinpoint where your system misses the mark through the customer’s lens.
Let data guide experiments with menu changes, driver routing adjustments, or add-on services people request. Numbers and direct customer opinions are invaluable resources for systematically optimizing operations. With small tweaks here and there, profit margins and satisfaction rates soar over time.
The era of food delivery is here for the long haul. Savvy restaurants will embrace delivery with open arms given the immense advantages for sales, efficiency, brand visibility and sticking to consumer preferences.
Constructing your delivery services thoughtfully takes work, yet the benefits cannot be ignored. Take steps to ingrain online ordering seamlessly with help from the right technology and delivery partners. Emphasize quality in every phase while analyzing data to fuel innovation.
When online food delivery works in harmony with your in-house operations, you open avenues for business expansion. More customers placing more orders, however, they prefer, is the recipe for any restaurant’s success.