Article contributed by Vromo
There is no denying that the food delivery industry will continue to grow following its watershed moment during the pandemic. In fact, the value of the online food delivery market is expected to equal $217m by 2026.
More than 80% of customers admit they would blame the restaurant, not the delivery provider, for a poor delivery experience. For this reason, enhancing the delivery experience is an essential step to take if you’re trying to increase the number of positive online reviews your restaurant receives.
An optimized delivery channel will not only increase customer satisfaction, it will also help you to capture more customers and increase your off premise profitability. If you’re serious about how to improve the delivery experience and make your restaurant more profitable in 2023, follow these 3 simple steps.
1. Reduce Your Delivery Times
If faster delivery times are not at the top of your to-do list in order to improve customer satisfaction, you’re missing a trick. After all, the quicker the delivery, the better the experience.
Improving the delivery experience begins with automation. By using the right software that is integrated with your POS system, you should be able to reduce your average delivery times by up to 30% with little or no manual intervention necessary.
Using the right system will automatically dispatch jobs to drivers based on a set of rules you choose including ‘availability’, ‘distance from restaurant’, ‘vehicle type’ etc. By automating the dispatching process you are ensuring that the optimum driver is selected every time regardless of whether you are using an in-house driver fleet, a 3rd party fleet or even one of the marketplace fleets. Additional features such as route optimization and order stacking will ensure that deliveries are reaching your customers in the fastest time possible and that both the output and income of your driver team is maximized.
2. Communicate With Customers in Real-Time
When it comes to food delivery, managing the expectations of your customers is vital.
Customers expect delivery within a narrow time frame and are conscious that the quality of their food will deteriorate if there are delays. On busy nights or during times where traffic is problematic, delays are inevitable and for customers, this can cause some delivery anxiety.
The simplest way to manage your customers expectations is by providing them with real-time order status by using a dispatch system that automatically sends them a live map which tracks their delivery drivers progress.
Best in class delivery tracking will also allow your customers to message the drivers directly and vice versa, meaning your restaurant will not have to deal with phone calls related to delivery. Even during periods of high demand, when deliveries might be running behind, customers will be satisfied because they have live updates and know exactly what to expect.
You can even use this opportunity to engage with your customers while they wait for their food by offering them a discount on their next purchase or the option to tip their delivery driver.
With our customers having sent almost 2 million tracking links via SMS to their customers, we know that the click-through rate to branded content is 78%. In addition, the average view time of this content is 4 minutes meaning customers are eager to engage with your brand while they wait for their delivery. Therefore, this is the perfect opportunity to capture your customers’ attention and build brand loyalty!
3. Take Advantage of Marketplace Delivery Apps
The food delivery industry has come to depend massively on marketplace apps for online ordering and delivery. They have a lot to offer when it comes to capturing more customers so it is essential that you list with them all.
Listing with all 3 marketplace apps will undoubtedly bring lots of new customers, repeat orders and revenue. Will it cannibalize a little of your direct customer volume? Yes. But the incremental volume will outweigh this. At a cost of 15%, this makes sense. But where the economics fail to stack up is paying that additional 15% for the delivery aspect of the service.
Many restaurant brands have moved to a self delivery model where they use their own drivers to deliver all orders. With the right dispatch system, this makes commercial sense. Furthermore, during times of high demand or when they have a shortage of drivers, the right system will automatically direct the affected deliveries to a 3rd party fleet so that fulfillment is never compromised.
For those that prefer to outsource all of their deliveries to a 3rd party provider, there are many options. You can choose to have all volume delivered through a single delivery marketplace provider at significantly reduced rates or you can use one of many local 3rd party fleets available through your dispatch system provider. You’ll find that the rates available are significantly lower and can lead to savings of up to 24%.
Once the right fleet solution for your restaurant has been identified with the best price and coverage, you will be able to expand your delivery areas or extend your trading hours because profitable fulfillment is no longer a concern.
- Remember, online food delivery is expected to amount to 217m by 2026.
- Rethinking your delivery model and getting the delivery experience right for your customers will help your restaurant brand to capitalize on this growth potential.
- Begin the journey to improving the delivery experience by reducing your delivery times, communicating with your customers and using the right fleets.
- These simple steps will not only improve the experience for your customers but also drive efficiency and profitability back into your delivery channel.
For more tips visit our website, where we offer even more insights into how you can scale your restaurant delivery channel in 2023.