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How to Improve Your Restaurant’s Delivery and Takeout Program

When customers order takeout or delivery, they’re hungry. Now. So, delayed delivery times, inaccurate orders, or unappetizing food presented in leaky, messy containers can ruin the entire experience of ordering takeout or delivery. 

But, with the help of new technology, more efficient delivery options, and by taking a hard look at your current takeout and delivery program, your restaurant can offer a better, tastier takeout and delivery experience to customers.

In order to improve your restaurant’s takeout and delivery program, it’s critical to focus on four key components.

4 key tactics to improve your restaurant’s takeout and delivery program:

  • Offer online ordering 
  • Create an optimized takeout and delivery menu
  • Update your packaging
  • Prepare your delivery drivers to succeed

Offer online ordering

To begin, one of the best ways to improve your restaurant’s takeout and delivery program is to offer easy online ordering. If you’re strapped on time and staff, third-party services like DoorDash, Ubereats, Postmates, and Grubhub will take care of online ordering, payment, and the delivery of your food.

However, if you are using more than one third party service, it’s critical to use a platform that automatically integrates all orders onto a single device. This cuts down on order confusion, and creates a more efficient system for restaurant staff to fulfill orders. 

Or, your restaurant can also offer online ordering directly from your own website or online menu.

Why use your own website or menu? Creating an online menu for your restaurant ensures your restaurant earns the maximum revenue from each order. Read: avoid paying third party commission fees. Even better? You’ll maintain valuable customer data for your own marketing.  

Want to build an online menu for your restaurant in 5 clicks? Dash can help.

Create a takeout and delivery menu

Another great way to improve your restaurant’s takeout and delivery program is to create a specialized, simplified takeout and delivery menu.

To start, make sure this online takeout and delivery menu is easy to read, includes mouth-watering descriptions, and includes an obvious CTA to add items to the online cart.

Additionally, be sure this simplified takeout and delivery menu focuses on items that will travel exceptionally well.

To make sure customers get the most delicious tasting delivery or takeout food, consider:

  • Offering hardier foods that can withstand transport like pre-packaged sides, sandwiches, undressed salads, noodles, and grilled meats or vegetables.
  • Avoiding items with a tendency to fall apart, melt, or spill during transit. 
  • Researching how to make meals taste just as good at home. Be sure to provide specific and detailed reheating instructions with each order.
  • Try to deliver foods at their proper temperature.

Also, be sure to always include special add-ons like hot sauce, condiments, salt and pepper, and more into every takeout or delivery order. There’s no disappointment like a pizza delivered without red pepper flakes, oregano, or parmesan!

By streamlining your menu, considering which meals will transport best, and paying attention to the details, your restaurant can ensure a great takeout and delivery experience for customers, every single time. 

Update your packaging

Next, another way to improve your restaurant’s takeout and delivery program is to update your carryout packages and containers.

First, assess your current takeout containers:

  • Are the packages and cups sturdy?
  • Do containers prevent leaks, spills, and drips?
  • Are boxes easy to open and close?
  • Do boxes stay closed?
  • Do drinks stay cold or hot in their cups?
  • Do napkins hold up or shred immediately?

If your current takeout and delivery containers are subpar, it’s time to find packaging that works.

Next, consider the presentation of your takeout and delivery food inside your current boxes, containers, and cups. Does the food look appetizing inside the container? Or is it prone to slipping, sliding, flipping over, or sloshing around? If food appears less than tasty in your current packaging, hunt down more appealing containers and cups. Takeout and delivery food should always be presented beautifully, just like a meal served in-house.

Third, now is also a great time to re-evaluate the eco-impact of your takeout containers, cups, utensils, napkins, and carrier bags. Did you know almost 60% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable or environmentally friendly takeout or delivery containers? If your current packaging is less than environmentally friendly, consider swapping to a greener option.

Also, if you’re already using eco-friendly takeout and delivery containers, broadcast this to consumers to earn trust and gain approval.

Prepare your delivery drivers to succeed

Finally, one more tactic to improve your restaurant’s delivery and takeout program is to prepare your delivery drivers for success.

In order to help your delivery drivers succeed, be sure to:

  • Have a standardized delivery protocol. Where do drivers pick up food? Who gives out orders? How do drivers receive customer addresses? Create a protocol so everyone can be on the same page.
  • Assign a specific kitchen staff member to handle delivery or takeout orders. This staff member should manage double-checking orders, including special add-ons like condiments, and bagging.
  • Ensure delivery drivers understand their coverage area and have access to GPS.
  • Make sure drivers always have the correct address and the orderer’s phone number.

And, if your restaurant is strapped, consider outsourcing your delivery drivers with a service that offers access to drivers from DoorDash, Postmates, UberEats and more.