- by Alex Alper |
- December 8, 2020
- Off-Premise Dining | 10 min read
4 Steps to Exceptional Food Delivery
In a year of constantly-changing consumer trends influenced by the pandemic and an influx of shuttering businesses too, restaurants all around the world are shifting to takeout and delivery instead of maintaining a more traditional focus on dining in.
Although delivery has become a more important revenue stream for restaurants in recent years, COVID-19 has made it especially crucial to pivot primarily to off-premise revenue streams. Naturally, customers have different priorities and interests when it comes to getting food delivered rather than dining in-person at a restaurant. What can you do to maintain your brand and provide a superior customer experience when you’re relying so heavily on this new trend of online ordering?
Quick and Easy Experience
Customers like to order on-the-go so they can pick up their favorite meal on the way home or have it meet them at their door. Your menu should be easy to access and peruse on mobile devices, even categorizing sections so customers can quickly find what they’re craving. If they have to work too hard for a meal, they’ll look somewhere else. Use simple descriptions and titles too: While it may be tempting to try and stand out with well-worded, clever descriptions, ultimately customers just want to know what’s in a dish and add it to their tab with one tap.
Segmenting your brand might also be beneficial if you sell a variety of different items. For example, if you’re a burger restaurant but happen to have a stellar seafood dinner menu, consider separating the two out so it’s easier to find online. People tend to be pretty specific in their searches, so you’ll reach more of your intended audiences if you show up under the right keywords and there are clear signs pointing customers to your online menu.
Since getting fancy with your titles and fonts might hurt more than help, consider finding other ways to stand out. Any online menu should include pictures that draw customers’ eyes to certain dishes, whether that be best-sellers or neglected items that you want to promote. Take clear, high-definition photos that show off your best work.
Then, of course, you have to actually deliver the product as promised. Customers won’t return if what arrives at their door doesn’t match up with expectations. Since the travel itself can ruin food, now would be a good time to curate a delivery-only menu with these considerations in mind so you only offer that will hold up on the road.
If you’re having trouble keeping food well-maintained up to the point of arrival, it might be time to revisit how you package meals. If food slides around, you should invest in smaller or compartmented boxes; if it arrives soggy, maybe you should poke holes in the box to let the food breathe. Experiment with the right packaging method for whatever your menu offers so customers always get food as good as they would if they came in and sat down.
Increasingly often, restaurants give customers a chance to tailor their experiences to their individual preferences and dietary restrictions. The ability to add or substitute ingredients begets happier customers, and satisfied guests are more likely to return and become loyal to your business. “Build your own” options are also quite popular since modifications tend to have small price tags that add up when creating a meal from scratch.
With the right Point of Sale technology, you can automate upselling prompts that encourage customers to add to their bill as well as keep track of sales data to measure how well your tactics are actually doing. With eatOS, our restaurant technology auto-generates reports to show you how much money you’re saving and making by integrating advanced Point of Sale devices into your daily operations.
Speed and Convenience
Restaurants’ top priorities should always include fast, convenient service. Part of the reason that delivery is so popular is that it’s much easier for customers to click a few buttons and get their favorite meal right to their door than it is to go out or cook for themselves. With the pandemic, people expect safe business practices on top of quick checkout and service.
As you’re paring down your menu to prioritize food that holds up well during delivery, you might also take care to include dishes that you can cook in bulk so there are no slowdowns during your peak hours. Capitalize on the rush, don’t let it hold you back.
You need to account for the time it takes to go from your restaurant to their door since customers consider that part of how long they wait for service. It’s just one more consideration to add to the list when you pivot to a different opportunity for revenue. Choose a delivery radius that you can reasonably handle; the time it takes to drive to the farthest perimeter shouldt negatively impact food quality or temperature. If you’re using a third-party delivery platform, determine which one best aligns with your goals. When you choose eatOS as your Point of Sale provider, we give you a branded merchant app that makes taking online orders quick and easy without costly third-party commissions.
Offering delivery services is practically a must in 2020, as contactless and low-contact off-premise ordering options are some of the few safe choices left. That’s why it’s important for restaurants who want to begin takeout and delivery to understand how to cultivate a more positive customer experience even when their workers never come face-to-face with guests, which was previously the most crucial aspect of all good customer service.
With a workable and intuitive interface, customizable menu options, authentic and clear descriptions, and fast and easy-to-use virtual menu, your customers will be happy to make the switch to contactless service. With this pandemic ongoing with no clear sign of stopping, and businesses all around the country shuttering once again as new regulations come out and cases surge, smart restaurants know it’s time to give safe delivery a try. Use these tips to make your new off-premise ordering system a great success.
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