Checklist to Start a Food Delivery Service for your Restaurant
Offering delivery services is no longer an option when it comes to restaurant businesses. According to a recent survey on food orders in Singapore, almost 70% of consumers order food through online means at least once a month. If you compare the stats, you will see that these consumers can be converted into loyal customers if you can be a part of this delivery community.
Take hotpots for example, a meal that involves many kitchen equipment and a gazillion other ingredients that you can put in the soup. It seems quite a hassle to have that done at home, let alone be delivered. Yet in recent years, food services have gone beyond expectations and the entire hotpot set can now be delivered to your doorstep. Better yet, some restaurants even help you to set up their portable stove, provide all the ingredients packed into boxes for convenience.
It is estimated that by the end of 2020; food delivery apps are going to be the core of most restaurants. Many restaurants have also claimed that they generate 30% orders from online delivery apps and losing such a significant percentage can really put them in serious trouble.
Diving into this new leg of service can be daunting. Here is a (near) complete checklist of things to look out for to set up your restaurant delivery service to ensure a smooth transition.
1. Check on your Available Human Resources (Kitchen & Admin)
Particularly the kitchen line, many restaurants are not structured to cater to the rigors of a delivery service. At specific times of the day and of the year, say holiday seasons, restaurants should expect to see higher volume of orders. It is essential to adjust the typical kitchen line, including manpower and menus to fit with the influx of orders.
Pro tip: Employees on the line should have proper foodservice training to handle the workflow so that the service is efficient and streamlined such that it doesn’t affect the dine-in services. Waiting time is a huge no-no for many of these customers.
From the back-end point of view, there are a few questions to ponder over. Do you want to separate the ordering apart from everything else so that you can keep track of the costs separately? OR bundle it all together in one expense?
If you prefer to keep the expenses separate, which some restaurants do practice because their delivery menu and their in-store menu are different, you may require additional staff to handle the paperwork. For some establishments, the volume of delivery orders get so large that they are treated as another entity altogether.
Pro tip: Large volumes of paperwork can be daunting for your staff. Consider streamlining the invoice processing workflow with adopting new technology. Through FoodRazor, separating expenses among different outlets or segmenting the cost within an establishment is as easy as a few clicks. You can easily see the exact amount of current spending broken down by supplier, products, and outlet.
FoodRazor is an invoice management system specially designed for restaurants, cafes, catering businesses who want to automate their invoicing processes, get food cost updates in real-time and cost analysis reports for maximum efficiency. This platform will make sure that you have every resource at your fingertips to make the most with the least amount of effort.
2. Upgrade your Current POS system
Perhaps investing in upgrading your current POS system to handle delivery orders should be of high priority for your establishment. The newly-upgraded POS system should include options for online orders, deliveries and be able to consolidate customer data which can be tracked within the same system. That way you won’t get confused over your Front-Of-House operations and you get a clear overview of what needs to be done.
Pro tip: There are plenty of POS systems you can choose from, but you need to ensure that the system is tailored to your restaurant's specific needs. Weigh your options and go for something that enables you to simplify your operations.
3. To Join a Delivery App OR Not?
Many platforms provide the platform for online food ordering. Users can log onto these apps and be able to find the nearest restaurants and food outlets through a single app. These apps charge a commission from restaurants and brands based on every order that is placed through the app. When a user places an order through these apps, the order details are forwarded to the restaurants and the app’s in-house delivery boy delivers the food orders to the user’s locations.
Pros of Joining a Delivery App
Joining an app can land you more new customers and sales as you’re tapping on the current customer base of users from these apps aside from those that already know of your establishments.
You can focus on the food without worrying about managing the online systems
You get a chance to showcase your menu to millions of new consumers
You can save your development (and sometimes marketing) budget
Cons of Joining Delivery App
You will have to pay a certain percentage of commission for every order placed through the app
The delivery app can access your customer’s data and can sell your customers to any other competitor
For any extra marketing effort to differentiate your brand from others on these apps, extra cost is required
You have to offer promotions and promos to get better responses from the consumers of the delivery app
How much can you really make from offering a Delivery Service?
Image from Bloomberg Opinion
Pro tip: If you are not willing to pay a commission to the third party and want to generate maximum profit on sales, having your own delivery system may be a better choice. But make sure that you have all the required resources for the operations.
4. Customize a Takeaway Menu
Not everything tastes just as good delivered as compared to dining in. Some menus turn soggy and some turn bad especially if they don’t reach your consumers quickly enough. Before completely offering your entire dine in menu as your delivery menu, go through your menu once again and decide if your food is going to taste just as good if they’re delivered. A good dining experience is appreciated be it at the restaurant or as a takeaway.
Some questions to consider:
Will the taste be the same when it finally reaches the customer?
Will it become soggy or lose its structure?
Will it taste the same after being reheated?
Pro tip: When you create your food items for the delivery menu, only include items that you’re positive will provide the same dining experience as eating in the restaurant.
5. Proper Food Packaging
To maintain the optimum condition and presentation of the food items delivered, you will need to examine and re-examine your packaging choices to ensure that your menu is not compromised.
Don’t be afraid to invest a little more money into proper packaging if it ensures that your food remains hot or cold without spilling, falling apart or turning soggy. If it’s required, spend on tight, insulated or ventilated packaging along with all of the insulated bags, ice packs and packaging necessities you might need.
The better your orders survive the scooter ride, the more likely your customers will keep coming back for more.
Food For Thought
Adding a delivery service to your restaurant is like having additional income by using existing space and facilities without opening a new outlet. In fact, you are earning extra money using the same fixed costs. There is a tremendous opportunity to grow your customer base by adding an off-premise component to your business.