It’s no surprise that COVID-19 changed the world. From the way we live to the way businesses function, many things have changed. Restaurants implemented many changes to protect their staff and customers. One of the ways restaurants have tackled this challenge is by offering delivery. Many restaurants started delivering and, through trial and error, they’re making it work. Delivery might seem like a good thing, but it can make things complicated for the restaurants. We put together a guide explaining various ways restaurants can optimize their delivery service, so read on to learn more.
Rethink the Delivery Method
There’s nothing worse than ordering food for it to arrive soggy and cold. This happens because food that’s made for in-person dining isn’t made to travel. When you dine at the restaurant, the food is brought out right away. When you order delivery, it must sit for a few minutes while it’s in the car. One of the ways restaurants can optimize their delivery services is by rethinking their delivery method.
Since some dishes might not travel well, rethinking the delivery method is essential. For example, a restaurant that makes burgers might have issues with delivery. The bun might get soggy, so consider packaging the bun separately from the burger. If your restaurant makes ramen, consider separating the broth from the other items. There are many ways to get creative with packaging to ensure food is delivered properly and fresh.
Test Out Different Pricing
The margins are tight for restaurants. You want to make sure you aren’t spending more than you’re making. With delivery, things can get a little complicated. It’s common for places to increase the price of items for delivery purposes. Increasing the price by ten to fifteen percent is one way to approach this issue. Since the pandemic has changed the way people do things, many people order delivery on a consistent basis. There’s been a boom in delivery, so it’s acceptable to charge a delivery fee. In fact, nearly every delivery service has fees. It’s common for people to pay upwards of five dollars extra just to have their meal delivered. As a restaurant, you can charge that much too. If you have your own delivery service, make sure you’re charging a delivery fee.
You can also experiment with pricing your dishes differently. If you usually make family-sized portions, consider switching to smaller portions; this means people will order more. Rather than having one big dish that’s thirty dollars, consider offering smaller dishes for fifteen or twenty dollars each. You can also keep the big portion and charge more. Test out what works best for your restaurant and your customers. You might end up more profitable if you try pricing things slightly different.
Take Care of Employees
Think about who delivers your food. Think about who makes your food. These are the most important people in the business because without them, there’s nothing. Make sure the employees at your restaurant are taken care of, especially during this time. Employees that feel supported by their workplace perform better. If you want your business to run smoothly, take the time to talk to your employees. Ask them what they need to work more efficiently. Find out what is working and what isn’t. It’s also important to make sure your employees are healthy, so encourage open communication. Make sure you have enough staff to cover people if they’re ill or overworked. Employees communicate with the customers, so make sure they feel supported. If you deliver food directly to the customer, make sure the employee is responsible and has a safe, reliable vehicle. Make sure the delivery person is comfortable driving in snow or rain to ensure they aren’t stressed out while on the job. You want to make sure all employees are taken care of because they’re what keeps your business running.
Make Sure the Kitchen is Efficient
Efficiency in the kitchen is vital to a successful business. There’s a lot a restaurant can do to make their kitchen run more efficiently. Start by assigning specific tasks to each employee. Someone should oversee daily prep to ensure ingredients are ready to use. That individual must be consistent, as this must occur daily. The beginning of the day is the most important time. Make sure everything is clean and organized before opening the restaurant. If everything is ready for the chef, things go much smoother. Any prep you can do ahead of time is going to benefit everyone involved. Not only will things be easier, but the food will be ready faster. This is sure to make the customer happy.
Another way to make the kitchen more efficient is by preparing stations for certain dishes. If your restaurant makes multiple different dishes, this is a good way to prevent cross-contamination. Cross-contamination is serious, especially for anyone with food allergies. Separate stations may not be possible for smaller kitchens. For smaller kitchens, it’s important to stay organized and clean. Make sure to clean the station off immediately after use to ensure there’s no cross-contamination. Food safety is extremely important and cannot be left off, even if you’re trying to be more efficient.
Implement Contactless Delivery
Contactless delivery is safe and it’s also a time saver. Rather than waiting for the customer to open the door, the food is placed near the door. The flaw in many delivery services is that the restaurant doesn’t have control over what the delivery service does. Although it may seem convenient to have another company deliver our food, think twice about it. Having another company deliver the food won’t absolve you from responsibility. If the customer isn’t satisfied with how their meal arrives, the responsibility can fall on the restaurant. Consider investing in your own delivery method to ensure the food is properly handled.
At Emerald Transportation Solutions, we’re proud refrigerated truck manufacturers. If you’re looking for a vehicle to optimize your delivery services, we’re here to help. We offer new and used vehicles in various sizes. We have compact vans as well as 28’ trucks. We have over 55 years of experience building and selling refrigerated vehicles, so there’s no doubt in our minds that we can help you. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions. We’d be happy to help!