How Restaurants Can Streamline Delivery Operations
Easy strategies to simplify off-premises dining.
According to financial services firm Cowen, Inc., the U.S. food delivery market will grow from $43 billion to $76 billion by 2022, driven in large part by the rapid expansion of third-party delivery services. Given their rising popularity—particularly among millennial and Gen Z diners—many brands are embracing the third-party system. Others, however, are choosing to eschew the middle man and build or improve their own delivery platforms.
Whichever direction operators choose to take, restaurants need to be sure their delivery decisions make sound financial sense while also providing the consistent brand experience customers expect. Christopher Ager, head of Uber Eats Restaurant Operations, has some advice on how operators can streamline delivery services and capitalize on the food delivery trend—regardless of the platform.
“I get really excited about the ability for delivery to unlock growth for a restaurant business,” says Ager. “But there are key things to think about to set yourself up for success to create customers that are loyal to the business.”
Partner with a third party delivery platform
For restaurants without their own established delivery programs, working with a third-party delivery platform can simplify the process, slash startup costs, and bolster brand recognition—but there’s a drawback. Once food leaves the premises, the operator loses control of the customer service experience. Partnering with a respected, recognizable brand such as Uber Eats is one way to establish trust with potential patrons. The company constantly aggregates consumer data to improve processes, delivery times, and customer experiences.
Keep it simple
In the early stages of the food delivery megatrend, most restaurants made their entire menus available. These days, though, brands have learned that a curated delivery menu not only streamlines operations, it improves delivery times and customer satisfaction.
Diners tend to pick items and combos near the top on the menu—place high-margin or featured options there. And don’t forget to allow for add-ons, such as extra meat or cheese, sides, and beverages that increase check averages. Restaurants can also expand their delivery audience with specials and delivery-only items.
A smooth handoff is critical
The hand-off—the critical time when orders leave the restaurant and are entrusted to a driver—is an operator’s last chance to ensure order accuracy.
“Create a standard operating procedure to check the contents of every order before it’s handed over,” says Ager. “Each restaurant has their own in-store flow, but making sure someone is responsible for putting orders together can ensure there are no mistakes or missing items.” Operators should provide robust training for employees in charge of delivery orders to provide a consistent, quality experience.
Ager also suggests having a clearly-marked, dedicated space for delivery drivers to pick up food. Ideally, this area should be out of the way of in-store flow. Locking in prep times is also key, in order to avoid long driver wait times. “Consistent prep times make it easier for drivers to arrive right when an order is ready,” says Ager. This way, food says fresh and drivers can maximize their earning potential, a win-win for everyone.
For more information on how you can simplify your delivery operations, visit the Uber Eats website.