The organized food sector in India is worth $48 billion, of which food deliveries contribute to $15 billion, paving wider paths and raising higher hopes for those venturing into the food delivery business.
Having a provision for delivery is a great way to increase revenues and profit margins at your restaurant. The culture of digital ordering is flourishing and has completely changed the way traditional restaurants function. To add to this, the beginning of an era of ‘cashless economy’ has seen a significant surge in digital food ordering and the food delivery service sector quite certainly seems steadier.
However, a poorly executed delivery service can completely damage your brand name. A shoddy ordering experience will also hamper the footfalls at your sit-down restaurant, and this is where the necessity of an optimized delivery management arises. Let us look at a few steps to consider before you switch to the food delivery bandwagon.
How to Make the Best of Restaurant Delivery Orders
Everyone in the restaurant space these days is accepting delivery orders. Struck with high rentals and poor sales, a number of restaurants are now even making food delivery as their main business model. With such high competition, you need to ensure that you are ahead of your competition.
1. Using Technology to Accept Orders
- Online Ordering- With an increase in technology, Online ordering has now become the most preferred medium of ordering food. There are a number of food delivery service providers that are popular among the customers such as Swiggy, FoodPanda, Zomato, etc. You can choose which service to use according to your need and preference. You can also have your restaurant’s own Online Ordering mobile app or website which is directly integrated with your POS. If you are using more than one Online Ordering service, then it is essential to choose a POS that automatically collects the orders placed through the various online ordering services. This would save you the hassle of manually calculating the orders at the end of the day.
- Cloud Telephony- For restaurants where the volume of delivery orders is high, and are placed majorly over the telephone, there is a high chance of missing orders. Even if you have multiple numbers for taking orders, at times, they can go unattended, or your numbers may still be busy. To avoid such situation, you can use cloud telephony. When a customer calls on a number, and if the line is busy, or the call is not attended to for some reason, the call is automatically transferred to the next number, and next number, until the call is received. All call logs are maintained, and hence you can keep a track of them.
2. Ensuring Clear Communication
Phone ordering is of course still prevalent, but it can also prove to be inefficient. There are chances of your staff inadvertently taking down incorrect orders or a customer did not explain his order properly. Ensure that your staff is properly trained in communicating with the customers well over the telephone. Train them to politely confirm the order to ensure no discrepancy.
Also take care that you provide clear ordering options so as to make it easier for the customers to understand and place their orders.
3. Assigning Orders and Tracking Deliveries
You can use technology to your benefit for assigning orders to your delivery boys, and then tracking the order once they are dispatched. Through POSist’s Delivery App, you can assign the orders to the available riders. You can keep a track of the entire delivery process, to assess drivers’ performance and optimize routes. It helps you register the dispatch time, tracks your delivery staff and analyses the time it takes for orders to get delivered. This module also assists in categorizing customers as per their order data and optimizing home delivery orders based on that data.
4. Providing Great Service
Great service and providing awesome customer experience is not just limited to when you are serving customers at your restaurant.
Take care that the food delivered is hot- Food that is delivered hot makes your customers believe that the food is freshly prepared while getting served food that is not hot gives an impression that it could be stale, leaving a negative impact on the customers. This could be taken care of by keeping a track of the delivery time and ensuring the orders reach customers on time.
Remember to equip your delivery boys with insulated food bags that keep hot items warm and cool items cool through the ride. For items such as drinks and ice cream, use dry ice to keep them cool and frozen.
- Package food safely in delivery vehicles- Care should be taken that the food does not spill and get messed in the containers because a messed up meal will eventually appear unappealing and less appetizing to the customers. You can implement a different packaging technique and use spill-free containers for orders meant to be delivered.
Give special attention to the necessary add-ons
It can be extremely disappointing for your customers if they order a pizza and find no oregano or chili flakes. The entire experience of ordering food and eating in should be convenient and fulfilling for the customers. Hence, you must ensure that appropriate condiments, napkins, and required tableware are provided along with all your orders.
5. Outsourcing Delivery Drivers
With third party delivery partners like Zomato, Swiggy, FoodPanda etc., or outsourcing freelance delivery drivers as per your requirement, you no longer need to invest in a fleet of delivery boys and vehicles. Outsourcing delivery drivers is an innovative way to reduce the delivery time during unexpected rush hours. It also reduces the overall food delivery costs such as insurance and hourly wages.
6. Proper Address and Client Communication
A lot of orders are delayed not only because the preparation takes long, but also because of the prolonged delivery time. Your delivery guys might find it difficult to reach a given address. This is a tiny hurdle that can be easily managed with proper communication with the customers. Make a call to the customer before taking their order out for delivery to confirm the address and ask for proper landmarks if you think that the address seems incomplete.
Also, use a CRM software that maintains the name, contact details and the address of the customer so as to avoid asking for the address details each time. Provide your riders with a GPS that helps them locate the customers’ address as well.
7. Having a Standardized Delivery Procedure
Outsourcing delivery partners does not mean that you have to compromise on your service efficiency. Specific delivery responsibilities should be assigned to the kitchen staff and delivery drivers. Outsourced delivery drivers should be well versed in their coverage area and make sure that your in-house kitchen staff knows well who is in charge of bagging the orders so that they can keep the orders ready to go. This will leave more time for drivers to match contents properly and avoid any mistakes.
When it comes to food deliveries, you can neither compromise on the time taken for delivery nor the efficiency of the preparations. People ordering food are eager to dig into food as early as possible, and delayed delivery can make them skeptical about ordering from your restaurant the next time. Inaccurate orders, on the other hand, can completely ruin customer experience.
With increased technology and changing demographics, the future of food delivery is now brighter than ever. Hence, you need to ensure that you provide top-notch service even when you are getting your food delivered to your customers.