how to improve food delivery service
by Laura-Andreea Voicu

Food delivery campaigns are gaining momentum due to the dire situation most restaurants are in. Restaurateurs are being forced to adapt to a new food delivery business model if they want to survive. Fortunately, there are small things you can do right now to make the most of your online food ordering service. Here’s how to improve food delivery service as a restaurant owner in 2021.

How to Improve Delivery Service as a Restaurateur: 7 Tips for Success

1. Make it easy for customers to order food anywhere, anytime

The central aspect of your food delivery strategy should be to make your online food service available to as many potential customers as possible. For example, did you know that mobile devices generated more than 50% of the world’s website traffic in the third quarter of 2020? People are on their phones a lot, browsing social media, watching videos, but also ordering food.

It makes sense, then, that your website should be mobile optimized and load just as well on any mobile device as on a desktop. Furthermore, the moment customers visit your website, their eyes should naturally fall on the order button. From there to placing an order, there are just a few steps. My point is, make the ordering process as easy and intuitive as possible. No extra clicks, no menu hidden away in your website’s footer.

Customers are also starting to use social media as a place to order their favorite products. So, the marketing strategy for your food delivery service should also include big social media platforms like Facebook. Enable your customers to order straight from your Facebook page using the “Start Order” CTA button. Instructions on how to install it here.

how to improve food delivery service with facebook ordering

You can also make your delivery service more accessible and attractive by getting your own branded mobile app. This way, loyal customers can order from you with just a tap of a button. To encourage people to download your restaurant mobile app, offer app-exclusive promotions and discounts.

branded mobile app

Other food delivery business ideas include offering scheduled delivery and the possibility to pre-order your meal when you make a reservation. Comfort and convenience are two of the main reasons why online food delivery is popular. Having the option to schedule a meal delivery, so you don’t have to stop what you’re doing in the middle of the day takes that one step further.

2. Use data to adjust your schedule and delivery radius

Restaurant analytics are vital for the constant improvement of your operations. Gathering and analyzing data about your existing ordering customers can help you optimize your delivery service.

One way in which you can do that is by analyzing your busiest times and adjusting your schedule and delivery workforce accordingly. For example, if people tend to order more later in the day, especially very close to closing time, maybe it’s worth considering staying open a bit longer. Similarly, if there are holidays in which people order more than usual, adjust your schedule to get more business.

Analytics can also help you figure out which delivery areas are the most profitable and whether your delivery radius is too big or too small. If delivery takes you longer than estimated, you might want to deliver more closer to home.

The GloriaFood online ordering system comes with a very handy heatmap that shows the most active zones. By analyzing those zones, you can develop unique promotions and offers customized to those customers’ needs.

online ordering heatmap

3. Introduce various payment and fulfillment options

Especially now, with COVID, customers want to pay and get their food delivered with as little contact as possible. So, here’s how to improve food delivery service by catering to their needs: introduce brand new features that will keep them safe. Allow customers to pay online, via card, PayPal, and more so they don’t have to exchange unsanitary paper bills.

As for order fulfillment, give foodies options like no contact delivery where the driver leaves the order in front of the door, rings the doorbell, and leaves or minimum exposure pickup such as meeting outside the restaurant or at curbside. This will make customers feel safe ordering from you.

covid fulfillment options

4. Streamline the order acceptance process

Food delivery logistics can be a headache for restaurant owners. Still, the truth is the entire process, from accepting the order to delivering it, should be optimized for happy customers and a steady order flow.

First of all, you need an order taking app that is easy to use and allows you to accept an order in just a few taps. Also, from the app, you should be able to share an estimated delivery time with your customers and print the orders for the kitchen.

At this point, if possible, you should have a dedicated team that is in charge of preparing and packaging delivery orders, separate from the dine-in team. If that’s not possible, you should at least have a dedicated order packing area that won’t get in the way of day-to-day restaurant operations.

Finally, the delivery person should be on stand-by and retrieve the order bag ASAP without imposing on dine-in customers or waiting for a long time in front of the restaurant. This will make it seem as if you can’t handle both dine-in and delivery traffic.

5. Come up with new marketing materials and promotions

Wondering how to increase delivery orders? One surefire way to do that is to promote your delivery service everywhere. From your website to print materials like flyers and stickers, customers should know that they can now order food from you online (and where to go to do it).

Any good marketing strategy for an online food delivery service includes promotions that are exclusive to that platform. Always have at least one promo active to reward customers that choose to order food from your restaurant. The promos should be easy to spot on your website, and at the top of your menu, so no one misses them.

restaurant menu with promos

Add a flyer in every takeaway bag that contains vital information like the website customers can place orders on, your contact information, your logo, a delicious-looking photo of one of your most popular dishes, as well as your social media profiles.

Learn how to increase food delivery sales without spending a lot of money. Subtle home delivery food advertisement doesn’t have to be expensive to work.

6. Pay special attention to food presentation and packaging

It’s true; your online food marketing strategy should revolve mainly around how your food tastes because that’s the main attraction. However, that doesn’t mean the way it looks and the packaging is not important. Small details can make a difference.

For example, don’t forget to add safety seal stickers to every bag to guarantee food freshness and integrity. Add small freebies like wet napkins personalized with your brand name and logo or stickers featuring your Snapchat code so customers can add you as a friend for a 10% discount.

Personalized thank you notes are a great way to show customers you appreciate their patronage. It also shows that there’s a human being behind the brand taking the time to write a few friendly words.

Last but not least, you have to think of food delivery optimization. Not all menu items travel well, and it’s better not to deliver them at all rather than them arriving at your customers looking like a jumbled mess. Consider removing those items that don’t travel well from your delivery menu and replacing them with something more appropriate.

Don’t worry about this costing you customers. Fans of some of your dine-in-only dishes will have a reason to visit your restaurant to enjoy them.

The packaging is also essential to a positive online ordering experience. Only use high-quality packaging that will keep the food hot, safe, and looking its best. For bonus points, don’t forget to add your branding on all packaging.

Closing Thoughts

Learning how to improve food delivery service as a restaurant owner in a full-blown pandemic can be challenging. Luckily, it should all be part of a larger digital marketing strategy for restaurants that is no longer optional in this day and age but necessary.

When everything is hitting you all at once, use the food delivery marketing ideas above as a lifeline. Remember, it all starts with having a reliable online ordering system and prioritizing customer satisfaction.

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 delivers business-optimized content to help restaurants boost sales and grow their brand.

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