Doing Restaurant Delivery Right

By ChowNowSep 15th, 2015

The Fall season is a great time to get your restaurant delivery and takeout game in check! With your customers spending more time watching games and getting cozy by the fire, your ability to get them your food is key. In my career, I’ve launched online ordering and delivery service for pretty much everything from sandwiches to raw pizza, from asian buns to quinoa salad bowls. Along the way, I’ve learned a few things that can help you up your game and build your delivery sales:

Top 3 Tips for Doing Delivery Right

Great packaging

Think about the last time you had a takeout or delivery meal. Do you remember the packaging? Did they take advantage of the valuable real estate on the box and containers? Your togo packaging will be sitting on your customer’s counter, table, and coffee table. What a great place to make sure your brand shines. Work with you vendor to look at options for logo and website printing. It is often pretty affordable–especially if you have a high volume takeout business. Another simple way to add some branded power to your packaging is with stickers. Encourage future orders. Link to your website. Ask your customers to Instagram a photo of them enjoying your food and tagging your restaurant in it. An article from Restaurant Nation’s News in February highlighted the efforts of Chipotle and Buffalo Wild Wings in using their togo bags as a key part of their marketing. Are you?

Have solid ops communication plan

When orders come in via the phone or online ordering system, there needs to be a clear through line all the way to the customer’s door. So many restaurant’s don’t give consideration to this important step and end up delivering a lackluster experience to the guest–and confusing their employees along the way. Make sure you have thought through and documented: where order tickets will be placed; how delivery versus pickup will be communicated on the ticket; a clear staging area for delivery orders with space for confirming and packaging extra items; how drivers will be told there is an order; how the bags will be checked and confirmed before leaving the restaurant to avoid mistakes; and a method for drivers and the in-store staff to communicate while on the road.

Have clear driver standards

With your marketing and communication plan locked down, it’s time to think about the delivery method. All too often restaurants  don’t take time to think about the distance between your door and your customer’s table. That ends up with a messy and frequently brand diminishing experience for your guest. Take some time to think about what you want your delivery customers to say about you and your delivery service. Then set these minimum service standards: uniform/appearance of the driver and vehicle; greeting at the door; close at the door (thanks!); the handoff process at the door.

— Mike GaninoMike is a restaurant veteran having served  as COO at Protein Bar and in key roles at Yum! Brands, Lettuce Entertain You, and Potbelly Sandwich Shop. An in-demand speaker and trainer on restaurant and hospitality industry, Mike advises ChowNow on developing the strongest online ordering solutions for restaurants.

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