Online food delivery has been around for decades, but became an essential part of the restaurant landscape in 2020, when COVID-19 restrictions forced many restauranteurs to close their dining rooms. While pizza is a mainstay, today’s consumers have become accustomed to the convenience of having everything from sushi to falafel landing on their doorsteps, arriving freshly made courtesy of their favorite restaurants.
If you own a restaurant and aren’t currently offering delivery services, you’re missing out on a significant opportunity to earn more revenue. In such a competitive industry, you can’t afford to overlook anything that gives you an edge. Here are some crucial concerns to remember before you start offering online food delivery.
1. Consider Your Menu
Ideally, meals you deliver to your customers should have the same quality as they would if a diner ordered them in person. If a meal is cold, mushy, dry, or otherwise unappealing upon arrival, it won’t reflect well on your brand. Test the foods at different distances and for varying amounts of time to see how they hold up. For instance, you might want to store sandwich condiments and toppings in a separate container to prevent the bread from getting soggy.
When you create your online food delivery menu, evaluate the complexity of your usual offerings and remove any dishes that take your kitchen staff extra time and effort to prepare.
2. Promote Your Delivery Services
While loyal diners will surely be excited to learn they can enjoy their favorite menu items at home, offering online food delivery is an ideal way to attract new customers who might not be aware of your business otherwise. Getting the word out on social media is free. If your budget allows, consider ordering inexpensive promotional materials like magnets and pens with your phone number and website URL printed on them.
3. Improve Packaging
Carefully choose packaging materials, including temperature-controlled storage, to keep deliveries safe and intact. According to the CDC’s food safety tips, food out for delivery shouldn’t stay at room temperature for more than two hours. That number drops to one hour if the temperature outside is higher than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Add Some Unexpected Bonuses
Adding surprise extras to a customer’s order can be another valuable tool to help you stay competitive in the online food delivery marketplace. Think of the fortune cookies, chopsticks, and condiments that come with an order of Chinese food. Though these small perks aren’t strictly necessary, they can be a pleasant surprise in someone’s day and make your restaurant top of mind the next time they don’t feel like cooking at home. Get creative and consider what makes sense for your business, whether you toss in a handful of mints or create coupons people can use on future orders.
Why Work With Us?
Smartphone apps like Postmates, Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub have made delivery a way of life, especially for younger consumers who have grown up with the technology at their fingertips. There’s no doubt online food delivery is the cornerstone of the restaurant industry, and successful restauranteurs must embrace it. The question facing you is not whether your restaurant should deliver, but how you’ll make it a reality.
At The On Demand Company, we understand the challenges facing restaurant owners in today’s marketplace. When you partner with us, we’ll work with you to scale, brand, and promote your business. We will also establish your presence on the most popular delivery apps to target hungry diners in your area. Get started today.