There’s no doubt the pandemic accelerated off-premise business, including food delivery, and it’s still growing. The global online food delivery market is expected to hit $151.5 billion in revenue and 1.6 billion users in 2021 – a 10% jump in a year.1
The growing desire for “anytime-anywhere” food offerings is a result of people working differently, therefore people are eating differently. Some employees may never return to the five-day office work week again. Consumers are looking for convenience and efficiency. Delivery has become routine during the pandemic and according to different industry experts, this is something that will likely stick around when the pandemic is behind us. The following are our tips to optimize delivery for your business to capitalize on the continued growth in the meal delivery market.
The key to winning is convenience
Customers want ordering and paying for food to be easy. The most convenient options are winning and will continue to drive growth. Digitization helps make all aspects of delivery more convenient, and all generations more commonly accept it as everyone has been forced to adopt more digitization in their lives. Digitization is so pervasive that efficiently delivering food without online tools is not an option. It starts with seamlessly connecting ordering and payment with technology. Focusing on the customer’s digital experience is also key—from estimating delivery times to food trackers to showing how far away the food is. It’s been proven that average check sizes of online orders are larger, so maximize the convenience of using your company website and ordering interface.
Streamline your operations and menu
The work of restaurant employees has changed tremendously. Many staff members were laid off. Those who remain now have more on their plate–from additional cleaning efforts before and after each guest due to the new hygiene expectations, to managing the significant increased demand in drive-thru and takeout/pickup orders.
A smart strategy to help employees and boost productivity is to simplify menus. Current trends show a need for fast meals at low prices. Guilty pleasure foods remain very popular. At the same time, vegan and healthy foods are quickly increasing in popularity as well. Consider how much time it takes to prepare each meal in addition to its popularity and profitability—then adjust accordingly.
Choose the best food delivery system for your business
Restaurant managers and operators have several delivery options to choose from, each with unique pros and cons. They are all designed to help you make up for lost foot traffic, access new customers, and increase revenue, but consider what would work best for you.
Each delivery option has pros and cons
Your own delivery system using your website and phones
- Offer free delivery incentives
- No paid commission
- More control over the guest experience and your brand
- High operational (IT set-up) costs
- Fighting for the attention of consumers
- Hire, train and manage your own delivery staff
A third-party IT system but your own delivery team
- More control over the guest experience and can connect to the customer yourself
- No high IT set-up cost
- Lower commission to be paid
- Hire, train and manage your own delivery staff
A complete delivery system through third-party
- Powerful digital platforms with millions of active consumers
- Access to more consumers
- More orders per consumer and in general through the platform
- Get data insights about customers to help build your business
- Avoid (IT) investment
- You will have no control over your brand
- High commissions
- No direct communication with your guests
Third-party delivery has grown significantly in recent years, with companies like DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Postmates, among the leaders in this space. These days, a lot of restaurant operators opt for third-party delivery companies as they are more convenient and leverage the “network effect”. Meaning that the value of the network to a user increases when another user joins the network. The more the number of customers on a platform, the more incentivized restaurants would be to be present on it and vice versa. Third-party delivery platforms are already set up, ready to go, with an available fan base. All that restaurant operators need to do is list their brand and start selling to consumers.
Regardless of the delivery system that restaurant operators choose, hygiene is top of mind for consumers. It is important for restaurants to ensure that they have thorough hygiene and food safety handling when it comes to delivering orders.
Be the brand people love
Brand awareness is also key. You want people to see your brand, think about food, get hungry, and place an order. The goal is to create a loyal fan base and be easily recognized amongst others. You cannot afford to get lost in the crowded digital environment. For example, things like custom printed napkins, a handwritten note, a free appetizer, or a free sample of your newly created dish will go a long way.
Support extra hygiene measures for delivery drivers and consumers
As your meal delivery orders grow, ensure you’re promoting hygiene measures, such as the following:
- Contactless delivery: Follow the steps consistently: Ring bell, step back, and ask consumers to take food out of the bag. Sanitize your hands, grab the bag, and depart.
- Cashless payments: Make it easy and convenient to be paid without contact, sharing pens, or exchanging cash and coins.
You can even take advantage of personalized napkins to promote the hygiene measures you’re taking to protect drivers and consumers.
Food delivery has already risen around the country and will only continue to grow. Ultimate convenience is winning and will be the growth driver. Learn more about the latest tools, hygiene knowledge, and solutions from Tork that can save time so you can focus on creating a memorable experience for guests.
1 American Journal of Transportation: Online food delivery market to hit $151.5B in revenue and 1.6B users in 2021, a 10% jump in a year