How to build a successful takeaway and home delivery service.
There’s no better time than now to build a successful takeaway and home delivery service for your restaurant. While Covid-19 forces customers into hibernation, this channel becomes our essential lifeline.
It’s hard to know what the market will look like when we come out of this situation, but one thing we do know is that takeaway and home delivery will be the first lifeline that we will depend on as business as unusual returns.
That said, this lifeline can easily become a millstone around our necks if not executed properly, so today we’re going to look at what takeaway and home delivery channels might be best for your business.
AND, by downloading my free Takeaway and Home Delivery Cheat Sheet at the end of this post; I’ll walk you through all the best tips and tricks for making your offering as strong as possible for dine-at-home customers.
Lean, Mean and Nimble
Before we dive into how to build a successful takeaway and home delivery business, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is just one tool at your disposal to help ensure the wellbeing of your business, now and in the future.
Needless to say that it plays a critical role in bringing revenue in, but parallel to this you need to make sure the rest of business is well set up to minimise money going out.
You’ll need to ensure your business runs lean and is nimble enough adjust to an uncertain market. Don’t worry though, I’ve got ya here, there will be plenty of posts coming up to help with this! – Stay tuned.
When thinking about takeaway and home delivery there are bunch of channels available to you, and in most instances there will be opportunities for you to leverage more than one.
Or take-out as it’s called in some markets, couldn’t be simpler and the great news is that you retain the full margin. It relies on your customers being aware of your offering and being prepared and able to come and collect the meal. So you need to make sure you’ve carefully thought about:
- Making ordering as simple and convenient as possible;
- And, that your location allows for easy collection, particularly in terms of vehicle access.
Being able to offer home delivery is a substantial benefit to your customers, however carefully consider the real cost of offering this service. Staff and vehicles are expensive. Think carefully about whether you are going to be able to adequately service your customers, especially when it’s busy. If you provide poor service, late or cold meals, you’re likely to loose that customer forever.
Takeaway aggregators exist in most major markets. These guys essentially act as a portal that helps customers search for takeaways in their areas. Examples of these are Menu Log, Delivery.com.
The great benefit of working with this sort of business is that they help put your menu in front of your target market when they’re looking to purchase. It’s also a great way of acquiring new customers.
Of course they will charge a fee for this service, so you’ll need to consider whether there is a suitable return on your investment. You’ll also need to manage your own delivery and/or pick up.
There are loads of companies offering mobile ordering systems which allow customers to order from their phones and then collect their order when it’s ready.
Their fee structure is often very affordable and in some cases they will integrate seamlessly with you POS system. The great advantage here is that you make ordering really easy for your customers, and depending on your platform, will gather really rich customer data.
When selecting the best mobile ordering solution for your business consider carefully:
- The user experience for your staff and customers;
- The number of people currently using the app;
- The marketing reach it will provide; and,
- Integration with your POS system.
Uber Eats is the most ubiquitous player in most markets, however there are plenty of other players here such as Deliveroo and Grub Hub.
Their fees may seem high at first, however, they provide some very powerful benefits in terms of marketing to a large and relavent audience, and making both ordering and delivery as convenient as possible for your customers.
They also offer some great analytics and are the ‘go-to’ home delivery platform for a huge number of customers.
Strong players in this category have incredibly powerful reach and will put your restaurant’s offering in front of customers at the time they’re looking to buy.
This is extremely powerful; and if you’re not there when these customers are looking to purchase, they’ll simply buy from someone else.
So which one is right for you?
Only you will know which option is going to best suit your business but here are a few questions I would encourage you to consider when you make your assessment:
- What is the true cost of each channel? Consider fees and commissions alongside your cost of marketing and delivery.
- What is the return on the investment likely to be from each channel? Remember, the cheapest option may not be the best.
- Which channel is going to get your offering in front of the highest number of potential customers?
- What channels are your customers most likely to be using? If you’re not using that channel, your customers may be purchasing from someone else.
- Are you well set up to service the demand you are likely to get from each channel?
Remember, you’re not limited to just one channel; you can easily use a combination of these, and right now I’m encouraging my clients to utilise as many of them as possible.
The most important thing is that you’re putting a real emphasis on your home dining offering, and driving it as hard as you can.
Feeding the Funnel
Whatever home-dining channel you utilise, you need to ensure you are actively feeding as many customers as possible into your ‘sales funnel’ – there’s no point in just sitting there waiting for the phone to ring.
I’ll show you how to do this in the cheat sheet, but make sure you have made it as simple as possible for customers to place an order with you . . .
Is there a strong ‘order now’ call to action on your website. Is your online menu easy to use? And, if your customers find you on social media, are you leading them to being able to make a purchase.
IN SUMMARY . . .
Building a successful takeaway and home delivery service is your business’ vital lifeline now and for a long time to come. And even when times are normal, it still provides a valuable revenue stream for most restaurants and cafes.
To ensure you’re capitalising on this part of your business:
- Utilise as many sales channels as you realistically can;
- Understand the true cost and benefit of each channel; and,
- Make sure you are actively funnelling as many customers as possible into these sales channels.
Ten X your takeaway or home delivery revenue by downloading my cheat sheet!
Includes more than 20 tips and tricks to help make your home delivery business hum.