8 Ways to Increase Restaurant Delivery Sales

8 Ways to Increase Restaurant Delivery Sales

There are a number of key processes you can put in place to increase restaurant delivery sales. In this comprehensive guide, we provide a broad range of strategies you can implement to maximise the results from your delivery service.

Which restaurant delivery system should you use?

There are 2 major kinds of restaurant delivery services; third-party and in-house. Third-party delivery services involve using highly popular food delivery apps like UberEats, Menulog and DoorDash.

If you don't want to use third-party apps, another option is to set up your own in-house delivery system. This means you rely entirely on your own order management and delivery drivers.

There are pros and cons to each approach. The major advantages of third-party apps are:

  • Outsourcing: When you sign up for a third-party app, payment processing and delivery are – at least in part – taken care of for you. Plus, you don't need to worry about building your own website or app to facilitate online deliveries.
  • Large user bases: Delivery apps are seriously popular, with 7 million Australians using a meal delivery service in an average 3 months. When you get listed on one of these apps, you have an excellent opportunity to get your restaurant in front of nearby customers who may never have heard of your business before.

However, there are plenty of reasons to consider using an in-house system instead:

  • Brand control: When using an in-house system, you can rest assured the customer journey is 100% your responsibility. From payment issues to delivery mishaps, you won't have to worry about the actions of non-employees affecting your business' reputation.
  • Customisation: While third-party apps allow you to personalise your listing in a number of ways, there's nothing like controlling every element yourself. You can facilitate deliveries with ResDiary's promotions feature, enabling you to customise your online menu and control how customers interact with your service.
  • No commission: Third-party apps take significant commissions from orders. When you develop an in-house system, you can maintain far more revenue for your business.

Creating an in-house online ordering system as well as having a presence on third-party apps can be valuable, too. You can expose your venue to a wider range of customers on third-party apps while encouraging your established customers to use your in-house system.

How to increase restaurant delivery sales: 8 ways

To ensure your delivery service is meeting its maximum potential, we've assembled 8 of the very best ways you can get more revenue from restaurant delivery.

1. Accurately deliver hot food quickly

The most important step in increasing food delivery sales is to consistently provide excellent service to your customers.

If you're using third-party delivery services, you and your team will need to figure out how to best incorporate these apps into your workflow. For example, will you use your own delivery drivers, or rely on those offered by the app?

When implementing an in-house ordering system, there are many more elements to consider.
Here are just a few things you'll need to focus on getting right:

  • Order management: Placement and fulfilment of orders  relies on a range of sub-processes. Check out our complete guide to order management systems for restaurants for more information.
  • Delivery: Using your own fleet of delivery drivers requires careful management. You'll need to hire the right team, figure out the best delivery routes, and tackle areas such as insurance to ensure everything runs smoothly.
  • Wait times: Throughout the entire delivery process, it's important to keep wait times to a minimum. This requires orders to be processed smoothly, food to be prepared swiftly and deliveries to go off without a hitch.

Above all, remember that providing delicious, hot food quickly is the best way to ensure the ongoing success of your restaurant delivery system. From repeat customers to great word-of-mouth, excellent service will lead to ongoing revenue.

2. Create a delivery-focused menu

It's important to ensure the dishes you offer for delivery are optimised for this purpose.

One of the most important parts of a delivery-focused menu is choosing dishes that will travel well. Dishes which you should have no problem delivering to satisfied customers include:

  • Pizzas
  • Wraps and burritos
  • Pasta
  • Rice bowls
  • Baked goods
  • Stews, Curries, Stir Fries 

Think about the radius of locations you offer deliveries to. If it's a smaller area, keeping dishes hot might be less of a concern. If it's a larger area, you may have to consider options like thermal packaging.

3. Manage and exceed customer expectations

Customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal for any restaurant owner. It's important to understand the expectations that customers have when it comes to restaurant delivery.

Research from the British Food Journal had a range of unique findings when it comes to what customer expect from online food delivery:

  • Customers expect the timeliness of delivery to be clearly communicated. They expect to be promptly notified of any delays, and to be able to track orders in real-time.
  • Customers expect the quality of the product to be on par with what they would receive in the restaurant itself.
  • Customers expect to be able to customise dishes to add or remove certain ingredients.
  • Customers expect to be able to easily change the time or method of delivery.

Understand these expectations and manage them in customer communications. You should also take advantage of customer feedback as another way to clearly understand what customers expect from you.

4. Ensure smooth customer experience

When considering online or over-the-phone delivery, the customer experience is key.

If you're creating an in-house service, finding the right in-sourced process is essential. Do plenty of research to find the best possible approach for you.

Consider how your in-house service can integrate with existing elements of your restaurant. For instance, ResDiary’s promotions can enable you to accept orders for delivery. For customers already using ResDiary, this is a simple implementation.

Also, make sure it's easy for customers to add additional items to their order. You can even recommend upsells you think they will enjoy. This provides a better customer experience while also benefiting your restaurant.

You should also take advantage of customer feedback. The opinions of your diners can help you provide superior service over time. This is just one of the many benefits offered by getting reviews for your restaurant.

5. Reviews and word-of-mouth

Securing reviews and positive word-of-mouth for your restaurant delivery service is crucial for its success. Remember that one of the best ways to do this is to provide consistently excellent service.

However, there are also tactics you can use to get more reviews for your restaurant. Top strategies include:

  • Ask your most satisfied, loyal customers for a review.
  • Use QR codes to directly link customers to a review site. For instance, you could include a print-out in delivery bags which has a QR code and a request for a review.
  • Reply to every review you receive to show that feedback is valued.

If you want to increase food delivery sales, ask your customers to highlight their thoughts on your delivery service. This will help to get the word out about your delivery offering and highlight to prospective customers that your business delivers.

Review scores are critical for success on third-party delivery apps. More than 33% of diners won't eat at a restaurant with less than a 4-star review on online review sites like Yelp. This same mentality is also in place when it comes to food delivery apps.

Additionally, your review score is very important for improving the chances customers will see your restaurant on delivery apps. So ensure you are providing great food to your customers, and take advantage of opportunities to request feedback from them.

6. Enhance your digital menu

A great digital menu is a critical tool in securing more delivery sales. Whether customers access it via an app or a website, it should be designed to be appealing to any hungry diner.

Here are a few ways to take your digital menu to the next level:

  • Imagery: Humans are visually driven creatures. Some well-shot images of your food go a long way to get mouths watering and sales secured.
  • Descriptions: Use more creative descriptions highlighting gourmet ingredients and cooking techniques to show  how amazing your food is.
    Menu optimisation: Ways to optimise your menu include hiding currency symbols, making prices less noticeable to readers, and highlighting unique selling points like dietary markings.
7. Social media and email marketing 

Marketing is a key way you can drive more food delivery sales. Leveraging avenues such as social media and email will ensure more people know about your food delivery, and order from you.

53% of Millennial TikTok users have visited or ordered food from a restaurant after seeing it on TikTok. You can take advantage of this by creating a TikTok account for your restaurant, or engaging with content that is posted about your restaurant.

Once you have engaged with a relevant audience, it should be easy to promote your venue.

Email marketing is another excellent channel to pursue. For instance, ResDiary's promotions function works by sending customers digital menus over email. It therefore integrates perfectly with ResDiary's integrated email marketing solutions.

You can add to your database and personalise emails such as reminding them of their favourite orders. It's the perfect way to implement a food delivery system and promote it over time.

For more tips, check out our complete guide to restaurant email marketing strategies.

8. Work on your branding

Research from the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services found that a company's brand image plays a crucial role in customer's desire to order food delivery from them.

Customers are more likely to be loyal to brands they know and trust.

Here are a few ways your restaurant can establish a stronger brand presence among your customers:

  • Use channels like social media to spread a consistent brand message.
  • Identify unique elements of your restaurant, such as your cuisine, cooking style or customer service approach. Hone in on these points and make them key to your brand.
  • Use your logo in food packaging and delivery driver uniforms.

How to set up an in-house restaurant delivery service

Interested in developing your own in-house restaurant delivery service? Here's a rundown of the most important steps in the journey.

For our full breakdown, see our complete guide on how to start an in-house restaurant delivery service.

  1. Amend your business plan for in-house delivery: In-house delivery can prove to be a major shake-up for any venue. Return to your business plan and revisit its key elements to ensure delivery aligns with the core parts of your restaurant, and is financially viable.
  2. Invest in technology: Technology is a must for a smooth transition to food delivery. Invest in an online ordering system that feeds perfectly into your POS system, inventory management and online restaurant booking system. Also, consider how customers will place orders. Will they simply use the phone, or do you need an online ordering widget on your website?
  3. Delivery vehicles: Decide whether your staff will use cars, vans, bikes or scooters. Also, you must understand your obligations concerning insurance.
  4. Decide on your menu: Decide whether your delivery menu should be identical to your in-house menu or adapted.
  5. Consider your packaging: Next, you'll need to decide how you will approach packaging food for delivery. Consider the use of thermal packaging, whether you will include your branding, and how sustainable your choices are.
  6. Hire and train staff: Hire your own delivery drivers who you know will represent your company in an exemplary way. Also, train your in-house staff for your new delivery system. For example, ensure your staff are capable of accepting orders for delivery over the phone and managing the order.

Enhance your online ordering with ResDiary

ResDiary is the perfect partner for a successful restaurant delivery system. With orders for delivery or takeaway built into ResDiary Promotions, you can easily customise and distribute menus for online ordering.

In addition, ResDiary has over 60 integrations including EPOS, CRM and marketing systems  making it easier to manage in-house and delivery orders together. You can even take advantage of email marketing to spread the word about your delivery offering. ResDiary is a perfect tool no matter what your business needs to get done. Just ask Cassidy Newbold, manager of Bracu Estate:

“We moved from Now Book It to ResDiary last year. The main reason was that ResDiary integrated with our business really well. The marketing and booking functions are really good, and it offers vouchers and promotion. It’s really in-depth, and very versatile.”

Book a demo today and discover how ResDiary can help increase your restaurant delivery sales.

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Disclaimer: This guide is general in nature and does not take into account your individual circumstances. Before acting on any information, you should consider whether this is right for your business.