While the offering is largely the same as eat-in. Namely, delicious, restaurant-quality food delivered, the approach is a little different. With that in mind, we have a few tips to all our new food businesses who are offering food deliveries for the first time.
Train staff in telephone skills
While the majority of the ordering is done via the app, further communication will usually be by phone. If our own experience is anything to go by, some staff who are amazing face to face can struggle when talking to customers over the phone.
Make sure everyone likely to be dealing with customers over the phone know the basics of telephone etiquette.
Provide accurate wait times
One complaint we see a lot in the industry is around wait times. Telling a customer their food will be with them in 20 minutes and it turning up 45 minutes later is a good way to lose custom.
Even if you have to drive to different areas of town to test, make sure you have an accurate idea of how long it takes to drive somewhere. Add that to the time it takes to prepare and pack the food and use that as your wait time.
Don’t forget to factor in rush periods too!
Separate dining and delivery prep
A key lesson we have taken from some of the restaurants already with Buzz-it is to separate prep areas for eat-in and for takeaway and delivery. Having a separate pass and packing area can also help.
That’s especially true when things get busy. You don’t want food getting confused and slowing down the expediting so keeping things in their own areas can really help!
Offer a delivery-specific menu
You will likely already know that some of your dishes will travel better than others. Adapting your menu, or offering a specific delivery menu, can work to your benefit here.
Simple menus work best for food delivery. Dishes that travel, that can be reheated if necessary and packaged separately all perform well.
You also have an opportunity here to add dishes exclusive to deliveries. This can help uptake of the service by being able to access dishes not available in the pub or restaurant.
Have a process for handling complaints
Most restaurants I know have an informal way to handle complaints. Address the guest in person, remedy the situation, make apologies and move on. Deliveries will usually take an online or telephone format and while the approach should be the same, the methodology will need to adapt.
It will be the same for online reviews. The approach of acknowledge, apologise (if appropriate) and action should all be the same but the way in which you do those things should be different.
Consider your freebies
Chinese takeaways have prawn crackers, Indian takeaways have poppadoms. What will you offer? A simple, cheap freebie can make a genuine difference to how people view your business and make a real difference to how often they order.
Culturally appropriate freebies usually work best but you can offer whatever you like. Garlic bread works for pizza so there is no rule here.
What lessons have you learned after adopting delivery? Any wisdom to share with newcomers to delivery?