Preparing your
brand for delivery

Restaurants who are successful with dine-in may still find food delivery to be uncharted territory. Here are some best practices to navigate the digital food space and be successful on the food delivery platforms.

Setting up delivery platform accounts

Once you are ready to start delivering food, it is time to get setup on the delivery platforms. To reach as wide an audience as possible, you should make your food available on as many available platforms as makes sense for your business. We recommend at least the main four (Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates, and GrubHub) as well as any of the local platforms (such as Favor in Texas). Be sure to connect with the delivery support teams to make sure your backend tags are set up correctly.

Aggregate your orders

Integrating all platforms into a single tablet is a great way to improve kitchen operations. CloudKitchens is providing Otter software free of charge for 3 months. Otter combines orders from all platforms’ tablets onto one screen, and includes a business management tool that allows you to see your weekly sales, trending items, and order issues across all your delivery partners. To learn more about Otter, contact sales@cloudkitchens.com.

Tailoring the menu

Your restaurant is likely to see greater success with delivery if you take a few minutes to think about your menu and make sure it is set up for delivery success. We recommend removing items which take more than 20 minutes to prepare or won’t travel well. Having a menu that is easy to navigate, with accurate and up-to-date menu items is also helpful for a great customer experience. In addition, ensure customization and add-ons are enabled, such as desserts, drinks, and a small upcharge for that extra sauce someone requested.

Marketing your delivery service

The three keys to success on a delivery platform are visibility, conversion and retention. First, make every effort to get as many people as possible to your page. Second, once they are on your storefront, you need to get them to order. Finally, once they order, you want them to order again. You can also create in-app bundle deals right in your menu. Ask your delivery platform customer support rep for help with bundling.

Finding the right packaging

It is important to put just as much thought into your packaging as you do the food you deliver. At a minimum you want to ensure the food is properly sized, sealed and separated for hot and cold.

Pictures please

People love photos of food. Some delivery apps give you pictures for all items, but be sure to have photos on as many apps as possible.

Preparing your
staff and physical space for delivery

A great customer experience is key to repeat customers, and that requires operational excellence. Consistent prep times and a low defect rate are critical and there are a few things you can do with your staff and physical space to facilitate this.

Designate an area to receive orders

With so many different ways to receive an order, it is important to designate a specific location to complete this function. This space should have direct access to your POS, delivery tablets and phone.

Designate an expeditor

Having a member of your staff devoted to welcoming drivers, carefully packaging orders and performing a final order check before hand-off is critical to operational excellence.

Designate an area to prep online orders

Delivery can make large rushes in orders which can traditionally be controlled by the size of your dining room. To help you prepare for this rush, a separate space for online orders can help you stay organized and limit errors.

Control driver check-in

Keeping drivers organized during the pick-up process can not only help improve the delivery process, but protect your dine-in experience as well. Have clear signage to a separate pick-up area just for drivers. If appropriate for your location, also consider specially designated parking.

Delivering a great customer experience

Creating a strong connection with a customer can be difficult when there is so little direct contact. However, there are a number of things you can do to make sure the experience is as positive and memorable as possible.

Clearly communicate

Both before and after the order, make sure expectations are clear. Have clear descriptions which include any allergens and make sure to immediately remove any items from the menu which are out of stock. If there is a back-up in the kitchen or a problem with an order, make sure you reach out to the customer immediately.

Make it easy for customers to find you

There are many things you can do to make your brand more visible, both on and off delivery platforms. On a delivery platform having great photos, clear descriptions and proper tagging are essential. Off the delivery platforms, build up the rest of your online presence on social media, google and sites like Yelp. Make sure your online “open hours” are accurate, and try to keep consistent hours throughout the week.

Strive for high accuracy

Customers are happy when the right food shows up when the app says it will. Having accurate prep times is a big driver of an accurate ETA. Low defect rates are also critical to ensuring customer satisfaction. Double-checking the order before it leaves the restaurant and stapling the bag shut are great ways to drive higher order accuracy.

Train drivers for excellence

If your restaurant has its own drivers, make sure they are prepared to handle any customer complaints. They should also be familiar with your menu and know how to contact the restaurant.

Do something special

This could be anything from great branded packaging to a handwritten note inside the delivery packaging. Get creative to make sure every customer not only remembers your food but they remember your brand as well.

Delivery best practices consultation

Sign-up for a consultation with a member of our staff on the best practices of food delivery or our Otter order management software. Let us help you improve your brand and physical space for delivery while also improving your customers experience.

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