Although several restaurants across the country started to reopen last year, diners continue to rely on takeout and delivery options. The coronavirus pandemic essentially brought an increase in demand for online food delivery.
According to Statista, before the pandemic, the online food delivery sector’s share of the restaurant market was only 9 percent. But with COVID-19, the figure increased to 13 percent, with an expected rise to 21 percent in 2025.
With an influx in food delivery demands, restaurants have to revamp their delivery procedures to boost order fulfillment and comply with governmental health guidelines and increase the bottom line amid the pandemic.
Though it can be a tough challenge for food businesses and restaurateurs to keep the balance, there are several ways to ensure a great delivery experience and the safety of their employees and delivery drivers.
#1 Designate a Delivery Specialist
It is a deal-breaker for customers if their order gets messed up — like when you get their order wrong or some parts are missing in the order. When this happens, it could mean losing potential future business with these customers.
To prevent any wrong order or missing parts, your restaurant should consider assigning a staff member or two for each shift to handle all the aspects of the delivery process.
These designated employees are task to do any of these things:
- ensure accurate order
- double-check special requests
- mark bags with timestamp and names for easy identification
- place orders on the designated pick-up area.
By taking this measure to designate staff members to handle the delivery process helps avoid confusion and ensure a streamlined operation for your delivery orders.
#2 Prepare for Influx of Orders
Handling the increased number of delivery orders and keeping social distancing protocols can be tedious. Nonetheless, you may consider the following advice to ensure the health and safety of everyone going in and out of your restaurant:
- Designate a pick-up area for delivery orders, preferably near the door or by the drive-thru station window.
- Label tables, racks, or shelves by delivery service and alphabetize pick-up sections. This way, not only do you help delivery drivers cut back time spent searching through orders, but you also help minimize the food bag contacts.
- Adjust time for food preparation. Delivery drivers also hate having to wait a long time for food to be prepared and packaged for delivery.
#3 Observe Proper Food Packaging
Improve customer experience by ensuring delivery orders arrive at your customers fresh, intact, and at the right temperature as if they are eating at your restaurant. You can achieve this by packaging delivery orders properly.
Apart from ensuring your customers’ satisfaction, proper packaging helps make the job of your delivery drivers much easier.
Consider investing in the following food packagings:
- container that helps insulate hot dishes
- leak-proof containers for sauced foods
- ventilated containers for foods that would go soggy from condensation
- tamper-proof containers.
#4 Clarify Delivery Instructions
Delivery drivers often face difficulty finding the right house or apartment unit when out on food runs. Your restaurant can help them, though, by noting down details about the delivery address.
Ensure that your drivers have the following information at hand:
- proper delivery address
- correct apartment building to go to
- gate codes, if necessary
- other details, such as any broken buzzer or doorbells and area to leave the delivery.
#5 Clear Communication Line Between Deliver Driver & Customer
Miscommunication and delivery problems often happen if your restaurant is using a delivery app when taking down orders. To remedy these issues, help establish a line of communication between your delivery driver and customer.
You can do so by ensuring that both driver and customer have the means to contact each other directly. That way, if there is confusion on the delivery instruction or if the driver is having difficulty finding the address, a quick text or phone call could resolve it.
#6 Set Extra Safety Precaution for Drivers
Your delivery drivers deserve extra attention amid this COVID-19 pandemic. Ensure they remain safe and healthy while making food runs. Provide hand sanitizers, face masks and shields, and disinfecting wipes. Apart from that, ensure they follow COVID-19 protocols when making deliveries.
Your drivers should also follow safe driving policies while on the road. Ensure they have a valid driver’s license and follow local and state traffic laws. You may also enroll them in a basic driver safety program, like a 4-hour basic driver improvement course online.
During these trying times, you and your staff must observe the best practices to follow when making food deliveries. With these tips, hopefully, your food business continues to thrive amid the pandemic.