how to improve delivery efficiency
by Laura-Andreea Voicu

Are you looking for a way to deliver more orders daily while preserving the same quality of service your customers expect of you? Then look no further. I’ve put together a list of tips to help you learn how to improve delivery efficiency and boost online restaurant sales. Let’s get into it!

How to Improve Delivery Efficiency and Sell More Food Faster

1. Prioritize orders by date/time and location

Order prioritization is one of the pillars of delivery efficiency. Prioritizing orders depending on location and the date and time of the delivery can help you save fuel, deliver more orders faster, and improve your drivers’ delivery experience.

An excellent way to improve delivery efficiency is to accept orders in advance. Customers can schedule orders hours or even days in advance, allowing you plenty of time to plan for them and work them around your daily orders.

Enable scheduled orders to increase your restaurant’s efficiency Provide customers with the option to order food in advance at any time

Next, you need to prioritize orders by location. If you have several orders with the same delivery time in the same area, have your drivers deliver them all at once to avoid multiple trips back and forth.

Additionally, optimize the delivery route, so the driver takes the shortest route possible to every order without sacrificing the integrity and quality of the food they’re delivering.

Respecting the estimated delivery time will increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. If the food arrives cold, customers will think twice before ordering from you again.

You might also like: 10 Restaurant Website Promotion Ideas for Delivery & Takeout

2. Create a separate counter for delivery drivers

If you do many deliveries every day, you might benefit from creating a separate entrance/counter where delivery drivers can pick up the orders.

First, this means they won’t have to wait in line for other customers to pick up their order or talk to the hostess, which would delay their delivery.

Second, they wouldn’t disrupt the dine-in experience, which is a concern some customers have. According to Oracle’s Restaurant Trends survey for 2022, 29% of customers believe that the dining atmosphere is negatively impacted by drivers picking up delivery orders.

Moreover, 45% of respondents feel they have to wait longer for their in-person orders because of online orders, and 38% feel like restaurants prioritize delivery orders over in-person customers.

Having a separate entrance for delivery drivers would ensure no friction between dine-in and delivery, making dine-in customers feel as valued and important as ever.

3. Analyze traffic patterns

Traffic bottlenecks are one of the main culprits of delayed delivery orders. You must first identify them based on rush hour traffic and peak delivery times to avoid them.

For example, many people order takeaway in the evening, after coming home from work, or even on the way. 5 to 7 PM will always be busier than usual, with people leaving work and drivers delivering food.

While you can’t do anything about traffic jams, you can learn how to improve delivery time by analyzing the traffic in the areas you deliver. Identify the busiest streets and find alternative routes to avoid them.

If rush hour traffic will affect your delivery time, make sure you update your estimates to avoid disappointing customers. Otherwise, they will expect their food to arrive earlier than you can deliver it.

You might also like: How to Improve Food Delivery Service

4. Use delivery heatmaps to determine high-density order areas

Are you looking for a magical delivery efficiency formula to help you sell more food faster? We might not have a genie in a bottle, but we do offer delivery heatmaps in your restaurant’s admin dashboard.

how to improve delivery efficiency with heatmaps

These heatmaps help you identify high-density areas to optimize your delivery routes and organize shifts better. They can also help you rethink the areas where you deliver if they’re not working out for you.

On the other hand, if you want to convince more people in low-density areas to order from you online, you can create and distribute flyers in the area featuring a discount code for first-time orders.

Using our handy flyer generator, you can create online ordering flyers that promote your website and will motivate new and existing customers to place orders. For free.

Create your own online ordering flyer to boost delivery sales Distribute flyers offline to bring business online

Plus, managing flyers is a breeze with a customized web portal.

5. Listen to your driver’s feedback

Want to know how to increase delivery orders? Then listen to your drivers. They’re out there on the road, taking the city’s pulse and interacting with customers daily.

Have they noticed a specific area they never make it to on time, leading to dissatisfied customers? Adjust the estimated delivery time for that area.

If some drivers prefer specific neighborhoods because they know them better, give them the chance to deliver there. It will work in your favor, too, because they’ll get around easier than others could.

Actively inquire about your drivers’ ideas on improving delivery efficiency and always listen when they come to you with an idea.

P.S.: Keep an eye on your online reviews for delivery feedback from your customers. It’s a neat trick that can help you improve your service and please more customers.

6. Give customers an accurate estimation of the delivery time

Customers hate waiting, especially when they’re hungry. But what they hate even more is a restaurant not sticking to their estimated delivery time. This will hurt your sales and mess up your delivery schedule.

It’s enough for one order to get a wrong delivery time for all orders in that area delivered by the same driver to be delayed.

Accurately estimating the time it will take for an order to get delivered from the moment you accept it is beneficial to you, your delivery drivers, and your customers. Everyone wins!

You might also like: How to Increase Food Delivery Sales

7. Allow customers to track their delivery in real-time

Another thing that would improve delivery efficiency is giving customers the option to track the driver on the map in real-time. This will provide a much more accurate estimation of how close the driver is and how soon they can get their hands on that delicious food.

Full transparency about the status of their order from the moment they place it will increase customer satisfaction and reassure them that you are prioritizing their order.

All the restaurant delivery management systems we integrate provide customers with real-time order tracking. Learn more about how to integrate them with your online ordering system here.

8. Digitize the delivery process

Using online ordering systems, delivery management systems, and other delivery efficiency software eliminates unnecessary paperwork and brings your restaurant to the digital age.

Imagine wasting time accepting orders through the phone or not having any way of tracking your delivery drivers. This can lead to order errors, disgruntled customers, and a loss in profits. Consider investing in task management software that can streamline your operations behind the scenes.

Not to mention that accepting delivery orders online gives you access to crucial order data and reports. You can use these to improve delivery efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Read more: Innovative Food Delivery Ideas to Promote Your Business

9. Consider route management software

Optimizing the delivery route is much easier when you have a tool doing it for you. With route management software, you can calculate the most cost-efficient routes based on a number of variables, including traffic, weather, and more. This type of software also typically offers features like real-time tracking and ETAs, so you can keep your customers updated on the status of their delivery.

Creating cost-effective routes will boost productivity, lower costs, and reduce delivery carbon emissions, which will make your restaurant more environmentally-friendly.

10. Factor in driver breaks

Finally, keep in mind that your drivers aren’t robots. They take lunch breaks and smaller breaks throughout the day. If you don’t plan for these breaks and factor them into the delivery schedule, you will create unrealistic expectations for both the drivers and your customers.

Orders will get delayed, and you even might miss some of them because you don’t have drivers available. In conclusion, everyone loses.

Plan for a longer lunch break and smaller 15-minute breaks several times a day, and delivery will run like a well-oiled machine.


Improving delivery efficiency is a simple matter of organizing yourself better, relying on tools that can do the hard work for you, and communicating with your drivers at all times. By optimizing your food delivery business model and incorporating these best practices, you can create a streamlined and cost-effective system, enabling you to handle higher order volumes without compromising on customer satisfaction.

Apply the tips above to your food delivery strategy, and you’ll notice online sales rising in no time.

photo of GloriaFood blog writer Laura-Andreea Voicu
Laura-Andreea Voicu

Laura-Andreea Voicu is an experienced content writer with a knack for marketing and SEO. She creates guides and resources designed to help restaurants grow their presence online and boost sales.

She has been featured on the Oracle Food and Beverage Blog and wrote for Search Engine Journal, Clutch, Sender, Venngage, Quickbooks, and many more.

Find me on LinkedIn.