3 killer tips to build and grow your restaurant delivery business
You can’t deny the strong growth of food delivery business and the impact it has on the restaurant business. With an annual growth rate of more than 20%, food delivery has quickly become a billion dollar business. Here are 3 tips how you can build a strong delivery business for your restaurant.
Build a channel for ordering that you own
If it comes down to food delivery, many restaurant owners go for the quick win and list their restaurant menu on UberEats, GrubHub, Postmates or Doordash. It’s an easy way to get into the delivery business and to reach out to many hungry customers. But, on the long run there are some significant downsides on working with these so called 3rd party delivery platforms.
First, it’s the commission fees these 3rd party platforms charge you. Some fees go up to 20% on each order, and these fees are rising every year. But maybe even more important is the fact that you’re working on the success of some other company. Delivery platforms like UberEats or Doordash are known for the lack data sharing. As a consequence, you’re pretty much in the dark when you want to reach out to your customers. If you decide to stop with a delivery platform like UberEats or Doordash, you lose your business.
So tip number 1, start today on building and promoting your own, restaurant owned channel for ordering. Don’t get me wrong here, you can still list your menu on Doordash or UberEats, but don’t be fully dependent on these.platforms. See these platforms as a nice way to reach out to customers but don’t rely on it for the future of your restaurant business.
How to build a successful channel for ordering? There are many ways to do this but think about simple things like accepting phone orders. You can also make use of your website and turn it into a place where people can order. At Table Duck, we bring it even further by letting people order via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. It’s fully automated due to a chatbot that handles the conversations. We’re doing that to lower the hurdle of placing an order, because it’s like chatting with friends.
Promote ordering directly at your restaurant
Once you’ve decided how to take delivery orders directly, it’s time to promote it. Tip number 2 is to build a communication strategy around your ordering channel. This sounds complicated but it isn’t. First you map out all communication channels you can use to promote ordering directly at your restaurant. Below some examples:
- Social Media: Let your followers know that you can order directly at your restaurant. Trick here is to keep repeating the message. So plan and schedule more than one post.
- Paid Media: With paid advertising on Google and Facebook, you can target only people that are living in your delivery zone. It’s a very effective way to drive traffic. But if it’s not done properly, it can be costly.
- Your website: Probably you have website, and with a bit of luck with a lot visitors too. On the homepage you can easily promote direct ordering at your restaurant.
- Instore promotion and flyers: Put a nicely designed flyer with each pickup or delivery order. But also promote direct ordering in you restaurant with banners.
Before you go crazy with you communication strategy, you also need to think about an incentive. What is it in addition to great food that you’re giving to your customers? It might be cheaper to order directly at you restaurant, or you offer free perks like a drink. At Table Duck, we will help you build and execute on driving traffic to your ordering channel.
Aim for repeat purchases
Winning in food delivery is a marathon, not a sprint. The trick here is to make people loyal to your restaurant brand and great food you serve. It’s often forgotten but repeat purchases drives a healthy and profitable food delivery business. But loyalty doesn’t come easily and is lost in an instance. Tip number 3 is about how to get loyal customers.
So how to get your customers in repeat mode? First, make sure they have a great first experience. Important here is that you know when a customers is actually a new customer. Differentiate the experience for your first time buyers with adding a free perk like a can of soda. Add a personal note too that you really appreciate their business. Top it off with a strong promotion and I guarantee you that people will come back.
At Table Duck for example, the chatbot re-engages with customers automatically. We do this with personalized and relevant message like “Hey John, it’s Friday night, do you want to reorder your favorite pizza again?”
If you want to take it a step further, you can start with a loyalty program. Reward you most loyal customers and surprise them. Important here is that you can keep track of who your loyal customers are.