5 tips for restaurants on how to arrange a working and profitable delivery
Alexander Sokolov, the owner of the chain of online restaurants Smilefood, regional representative of the SUP in the Odessa region
After many weeks of stagnation, after desperate attempts to redesign the business, after losses and reductions, the representatives of the foodservice sector are now sure of only one thing - the authorities will not help lift their business from its knees.
Based on forecasts for quitting quarantine, the full opening of restaurants and cafes will be one of the last stages. So ahead there are still some weeks of deep knockdown.
Delivery and takeaway work only partially helps to overcome the crisis, because, according to research, customers search in Google delivery from their favorite restaurants only 1.36 times more often than a year ago. Today it is just a chance to stay afloat. But, if you want to make a food delivery not temporarily, but a permanent part of the business, you should know the main features. We learned them for all 7 years of working in this sphere.
One of the most important elements. A primitive plastic box can kill all the impressions of a dish. Such a box devalues the food that is in it. Any brand manager will confirm: packaging is a giant component of sales. Make sure that the food in it does not lose its aesthetic appearance along the way. For example, the burger will not decay into the ingredients, if it will be tightly compressed from all sides. For the delivery business exclude positions from your menus, that cannot be transported to the client without losing their appearance. It will be perfect if the packaging will be paper and memorable. For example, our pizza box is removed like with cakes - upward, not sideways. It is much more convenient, albeit more expensive on 12-14%.
Even the most loyal customer can get angry if he will need to wait two hours for the order. Therefore, we never place our production facilities in the city center, because it is a problem to be fast in this case. If your restaurant is located in the center, then forget about cars. Your couriers should use bikes, scooters or public transport. But remember that two-wheeled vehicles are more prone to theft. If we are talking about a restaurant chain, it is more convenient to regulate and redistribute a load of each unit using CRM. We do the same in Odessa: when the system sees that some unit is 70% loaded, then even if this unit is not in the order-zone, the system will send the order to him, in order not to overload the one that is on 100% loaded. After all, an overloaded unit will take longer to prepare an order, and, as a result, this will affect the overall time.
3. Support of the orders
Even if the staff is not large, for the delivery you need a person who checks with the clients do they need regular or educational sticks? Maybe a double serving of sauce? Where exactly is the entrance to the courtyard of the client’s house located - from the end or the backside? Payment by card or cash? Then he will put the order data into the system, mark special requests or the availability of a bonus card, and next time he will kindly offer a choice of a new item or a discounted position. People love attention. Another option is a chatbot. But it could be not convenient for all categories of consumers.
Couriers are the face of our company since in our case these people are the only ones with whom the client contacts offline. They are always amiable, always in a good mood, smell good, and are cleanly dressed in branded equipment. And at the same time, each of them is able to ruin the work of hundreds of people in a company in two seconds, if he only somehow communicating with the client in an unfriendly way. The mission of the courier is similar to the mission of the waiter, but even more responsible. Keep this in mind when assigning people to this position.
The extra cost of dishes in the restaurant includes the atmosphere and service. Accordingly, take-away and delivery dishes should be cheaper. Leave only the most requested hits from the menu for delivery or use ABC analysis to determine the marginal positions. A virtual showcase - a website, or even better a website + application - should be colorful and convenient. Make it clear to the client that your kitchen is sterile. This will now become one of the most important factors.
Finally, I advise you not to forget that people use the delivery of ready-made food when they have money and no time. Now the situation is exactly the opposite - the majority have little money and a lot of time.