food delivery route optimization
by Otilia Dobos

Restaurant customer satisfaction regarding food delivery is directly affected by:

  • electronic service quality
  • food quality
  • the restaurant ordering app
  • the behavior of the delivery workers
  • the delivery time

60% of consumers declared that the speed of delivery is a deciding factor when they choose a restaurant. The optimal waiting time should not go over 60 minutes and, ideally, strive to get close to 30 minutes.

If you want clients to choose your restaurant in the first place and then order from your place time and time again, you must learn about food delivery route optimization.

What Is a Delivery Route?

When you own a restaurant, you are faced with a big choice. You know customers want to order your food online, but how will you go about it?

Will you choose your own free online ordering system that makes it easy for clients to order? Or will you take part in food aggregators that want you to pay huge commissions and where your restaurant will lose visibility amongst many other competitors?

If you choose the second option, they will take care of the delivery process for you, but you may notice you don’t get many orders and the management fees will eat into your profit.

If you choose to use an in-house online ordering system, you will offer clients great service quality as they can order directly on your website in just a few clicks and are kept in the loop after they place their order.

Now, you just have to take care of the food delivery. This is where the important question comes in: what is a delivery route?

Put simply, creating a delivery route is the process of planning the most efficient way to get the food to your clients, factoring in traffic, delivery priorities, and vehicle capabilities.

Why Is Food Delivery Route Optimization a Must for Your Restaurant?

Doing food delivery route optimization at your restaurant will ensure you have optimal delivery times that make clients happy and encourage them to become regulars. Here are other benefits you will enjoy if you start the process now:

  • More satisfied customers: with excellent service also come positive reviews that will influence other people to become clients as well;
  • Reduced costs: fuel and car maintenance are not cheap and will affect your profit at the end of the day. With efficient food delivery route optimization, you ensure you spend as little as possible, while still making the deliveries promptly;
  • Increased efficiency: if you have better-planned routes, you can deliver more orders in a shorter amount of time. With increased productivity comes a bigger profit;
  • Happier employees: drivers may find their jobs very stressful if they are constantly hurrying and interacting with dissatisfied customers whose food deliveries are late. If you optimize delivery routes, drivers can safely do their jobs and have positive interactions. Moreover, your employees will want to work for you long-term, which is a big bonus when the restaurant industry is constantly facing a hiring crisis.

5 Tips & Tricks for Optimizing Your Food Delivery Route

There are two ways you could do food delivery route optimization: manually or with the help of dedicated software. You can try to do it manually, but it will take a lot of time and effort and you may make mistakes that the software wouldn’t do.

There is a reason we now rely on GPS to guide us, and we don’t use printed maps anymore. It is just faster and more efficient.

Here are some tips on how to optimize your food delivery route and get the perfect software for your restaurant:

1. Use a delivery route software that easily integrates with your online ordering system

Your online ordering process should be easy both for your clients and for your employees. That’s why you need to have an online ordering system and food delivery route software that integrate seamlessly.

This way, your clients can place an order online, on your website, or through your dedicated app and you can give them an exact estimation of when their food will arrive, so they won’t be waiting in the blind.

On your part, after you confirm the order with the order-taking app, you won’t have to add the address manually, it will be automatically imported into the food delivery optimization software, so drivers have an accurate plan for their day.

Click here to see a list of food delivery route optimization APIs that are compatible with the GloriaFood online ordering system.

Create a seamless online ordering process for you and your clients Choose a delivery software that integrates perfectly with our efficient online ordering system

2. Look for an option with real-time tracking

To prevent disgruntled customers, delivery errors, or any type of mistake, you must use a delivery software that offers real-time tracking.

This feature will not only allow you to provide customers with an accurate estimated time of arrival, but it will also enable you to monitor your drivers by tracking their exact location.

3. Choose a software that integrates with mapping services

Imagine this situation: you give your driver the exact addresses he must deliver to and the order he must do it in, but you don’t provide directions.

This means that every time he turns on the car, he must input the new address and wait for the mapping service to work, wasting time that could be spent more productively.

Instead, if the food delivery route optimization app you use integrates seamlessly with mapping services such as Google Maps and Waze, drivers will be continuously guided to their next address.

What’s more, the indications will be updated in real-time to account for traffic, accidents, weather conditions, or any other factors that impact driving.

To further customize and enhance your delivery route software, you might consider the option to hire software developers for tailored solutions.

4. Take advantage of the dashboard to monitor the deliveries

The food delivery route optimization software may do most of the work for you, but you are still the decision maker. The program can calculate the best routes, but it can not account for personal problems, such as a driver needing to take time off.

You should always keep an eye on the dashboard to see if all deliveries are working according to plan. While monitoring, you may notice that you need to reschedule deliveries or change drivers for efficiency or other unforeseen reasons. The dashboard allows you to directly make changes with no unnecessary steps.

5. Be aware of your fleet vehicle capacity

Most people create an optimization plan only focusing on food delivery distance, ignoring the elephant in the room, which is the vehicle capacity.

What are your delivery workers using to do their job? Is it a car, a scooter, or a bike? Each one of these has a limit to how many food orders they can fit.

For example, you can’t have a delivery worker on a bike getting orders to 10 people at once, even if he is on the best route and they are all in the vicinity. It will just be physically impossible.

Therefore, keep in mind when you use the food delivery route planner that you should either input the maximum orders per driver or manage the deliveries yourself from the dashboard to account for vehicle capacity.

Final Words

The key to your restaurant’s long-term success is satisfied customers who become regulars and promote your business to other people. The easy way to make clients happy is to offer them a great online ordering experience, from placing an order in seconds to receiving it on time.

Do your research and find the best software for food delivery route optimization that integrates perfectly with your online ordering system and mapping services.

photo of GloriaFood blog writer Otilia Dobos
Otilia Dobos

Otilia Dobos prides herself on well-documented, easy to understand and SEO-optimized content, both short and long form.