In today’s era of food delivery, it makes perfect sense for businesses to change their revenue models in order to attract a bigger audience of potential customers. However, putting in place a successful delivery operation is no easy task, and involves more than simply cooking delicious food, packing it and sending it out the door. Devising a sound business and marketing strategy is of paramount importance, and that’s why we have compiled a checklist to guide you through the process and help you get your delivery business off the ground, the right way.
It is an indisputable fact that once you enter the online delivery world, you’ll be able to reach a greater audience. But that’s not enough. You should be able to know and anticipate the needs of your target audience in order to ensure a reliable inflow orders. How, you might ask?
You already have a valuable data base in your brick and mortar restaurant. Analyze your in-house customer base in order to reach a common demographic. Consider what types of customers visit your restaurant, how much they are willing to spend on certain items and what they value the most from their dining experience. Here, it is important to consider the location of your brick and mortar, because it will inevitably shape the menu for your delivery business. Depending on your location, your target audience might involve families, office workers or students, and their preferences will ultimately help you decide whether you should concentrate on a fast food style menu or a healthy style one. The possibilities are infinite.
Lastly, do not forget to weigh in your competition in your analysis. Determine their customers and their customers’ preferences, and if possible target a completely different audience. If not, think of a way that would make you drastically stand out.
Now, that you have gathered and analyzed all the important data, it’s time for you to specify your online target audience, which should always be larger than the one targeted by your on-premise restaurant. At this point, you should know your target audience’s drivers and turn offs, and how to manage them appropriately.
Having your own delivery service will definitely allow you to have a centralized overview of the entire process. It will also set you back thousands of euros and countless of hours in trial and error. Third- party delivery platforms, on the other hand will provide you with an already tested service, vast exposure and access to various tools and resources. However, they charge commission fees that are sometimes steep.
Needless to say, there are pros and cons, for both in-house and third-party delivery. Our advice is to opt for both. Before you make a commitment with third-party platforms, make sure that their customer base includes your target audience and that their commission percentages will not affect the profitability of your business to a great extent. While working with third-party platforms, you can simultaneously set up your in-house one. Concentrate on your business model, invest in extra staff and new software, acquire a fleet and start with the trial and error period. Once you establish a firm network in place, you can always opt out from the third-party platforms, and concentrate your entire delivery business in-house.
One of the most important investments when starting your delivery business is the selection of appropriate delivery management software. If chosen correctly, this solution should automate your entire process, enable you to work with multiple third party deliveries from a single point, give you a complete overview and consolidated reporting, and manage your inventory and menu across all channels. Remember, when choosing software for your delivery business, it should ultimately save you time and money, increase your efficiency and help you scale quickly.
Transferring your entire in-house menu to your delivery menu is a big no-no. Instead, engineer a new menu with food cost, overhead and delivery expenses in mind. Test the meals you have selected for prep time, packaging requirements, transportability, etc. Once you have compiled circa 20 dishes, do test runs and don’t be afraid to remove items that do not match the criteria.
After you make your final selection of menu items, concentrate on creative names, descriptions and quality pictures. Don’t forget to add modifiers, which will allow your customers to personalize their meals.
By this point you should already have an entire delivery business in place. Now, it’s time to create your brand awareness and grab that big piece of the proverbial cake that is your target audience.
Create a strong social media presence and advertise continuously. Pass around flyers, use your brick and mortar for placing additional adds, send out emails religiously, start offering special deals… Here, even the sky is not the limit. Just make sure that you are consistent, because once you acquire your desired audience, you need to retain it. And you do not retain it with quality service only, but meaningful relationships as well.
This guide summarizes the most important steps toward a successful delivery business. Trident Peak is dedicated to walking these steps for you. Read to get started? Schedule a demo and find out how our team can set up your successful delivery business from scratch.