What you’ll need for a competitive restaurant delivery experience
Restaurant delivery is more than a service, it’s a true experience. People order food not only because they’re hungry, but because they want to be pampered and to enjoy food that they didn’t prepare themselves. In the COVID-19 age, people are ordering more than ever before because they simply can’t, or don’t feel comfortable dining in.
The key to creating the ultimate experience is to identify the right restaurant delivery software. Cloud based delivery management software helps large chains with thousands or millions of orders to give each customer the ultimate experience, without having to do anything manually (besides prepare delicious food).
How can food delivery technology transform the off-premise experience? Let’s take a look.
Digitize and connect
In order to get everything running well and in-sync, restaurant management software will help restaurants connect all aspects of the business. This starts with connecting POS and online sites (be it your own eCommerce site or marketplaces in use). But digitizing and connecting goes way beyond the obvious online/offline connection.
Cloud-based food delivery platforms allow restaurants to connect eCommerce, CRM retail, kitchen, and delivery teams across one or multiple branches. This information sits in the “restaurant cloud”, allowing easy access to workers, drivers, etc.
Digitizing and connecting is the basic platform or foundation on which successful restaurant delivery rests. With orders coming in from multiple locations and going out ASAP, having a single place to manage your restaurant delivery operations will help your restaurant teams give your customers what they’re looking for: quick and delicious restaurant delivery.
Restaurant delivery system software allows you to integrate both marketplaces and third-party delivery systems into one restaurant platform.
This is critical. Why? Because orders from all systems need to come into one centralized place in order to be handled quickly and correctly. With various systems in place at once, restaurants need to be able to receive online orders through technology specifically built for this need: food delivery software.
Dynamic menu management
When you go to dine at a restaurant, the waiter usually begins with the specials and will also let diners know if anything is missing from the menu that day. In addition, many restaurants may have certain menus available only in specific areas or branches and sales may be applicable in various situations or locations.
With restaurant delivery, this becomes an issue. Restaurant delivery POS software must allow restaurants to sync between in-house inventory, differences in menus in different branches, changes, etc. Online marketplace menus are particularly prone to problems as they aren’t updated on a regular basis with specials and changes to menus. There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than placing an order online based on the menu, and getting a phone call afterwards that the product is no longer available. The same goes for out-of-date pricing.
Restaurant management platforms solve this issue by allowing restaurants to sync, edit, and distribute their menu to each channel and marketplace as needed. This is an important part of having a transparent process in place online. When someone places an order online, they see only updated, relevant items and specials, guaranteeing order availability and with it an excellent experience.
Applying technology to flexibly engage with third party delivery fleets
Restaurant delivery service software gives restaurants a unique opportunity: the ability to use analytics to utilize multiple third party delivery fleets when and where they are needed.
Delivery orchestration software, together with restaurant order management apps, allows restaurants to predict and assign orders to third party fleets during peak hours, in order to stay on top of customer demand and ensure high on-time-delivery rates. This is essential, as no one wants to fall behind when peak time arrives.
Some restaurants have decided to abandon in-house delivery fleets altogether, opting for third party providers and crowdsourced fleets. Fleet management software is key to being able to flexibly manage multiple fleets – owned or external – delivering from the same locations and regions.
Read: Third party delivery done right: Why we built a delivery network
Predictive technology for just-in-time order prep and pickup
Just in time (JIT) order preparation technology allows restaurants to remain in-sync with pickup to guarantee that food is ready exactly when the relevant person arrives to pick it up.
Using a JIT order prep solution prevents unnecessary waiting and pickup congestion, ensures inventory quality (be it hot, cold, or frozen) and increases overall output.
JIT order prep technology can go both ways. In the first scenario, order prep is timed around the customer’s ETA at the restaurant. A trigger is sent to the restaurant to start preparing the meal based on reported prep time needed and when the customer is expected to arrive. The process can also go the opposite way. A customer’s notification to pick up an order can be delayed to fit around order prep time, assuring that they customer won’t arrive too early.
Designated space for delivery orders
While the ultimate goal is for the delivery drivers to arrive at the exact second that the order is ready, this of course isn’t always possible.
Therefore, restaurants need to be prepared for drivers coming in for pickups in addition to patrons who are waiting on premise for their orders to be ready. This means designating appropriate spaces for each group of people: on-premise diners, waiting pickup patrons and delivery drivers.
Having the right processes for minimizing wait times is critical, especially given the emphasis on health and safety today. Aiming for fewer people waiting on site should be a major goal in all pick-up operations. When the kitchen, delivery driver and customer are in-sync, wait times are shortened, reducing the number of people on-premise.
Communications and visibility
Restaurant delivery apps give restaurants and their customers the ability to see how order status is advancing throughout the entire order process.
From placing the order, seeing the restaurant receive the order, preparation in progress, driver ETA, and where the driver is on the way, using restaurant delivery management software can provide the transparency that a great off-premise dining experience demands. When people order delivery and see exactly where their order is in the prep/delivery process, it reduces potential anxiety (and in turn reduces time-consuming ‘where is my order’ status calls to customer service teams).
Another important aspect is customers’ ability to communicate with the driver if they need. A delivery tracking app will allow them to safely call drivers with masked numbers in order to relay information about location, preferences, etc.
Restaurants, like every other business with deliveries, must have a contactless delivery option today. Integrating this option into food delivery software allows restaurants to notify customers when their orders have arrived, confirm delivery and even accept tips online.