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How to Improve Your Restaurant’s Food Delivery Time

Written by
October 4, 2023

Ways to Reduce Food Delivery Time

Timing is everything when it comes to food delivery. Customers are willing to wait for the convenience of delivery, but they have their limits. Ideally, you want to get customers their food as quickly as possible. Not only will it make them more satisfied, but it will also ensure that their food gets to them fresh, enhancing the quality of their experience.

This is why restaurants always look for ways to reduce food delivery time. You want to hit that sweet spot that doesn’t overburden your staff while also making customers happy. This article will give you some tips for keeping food delivery time minimal. Make sure to get in touch with the Superorder team if you want to optimize your delivery operations. Superorder can help you optimize your food delivery operations and reduce delivery time. In the meantime, read on for our delivery tips.

Why is it Important?

Delivery and online ordering are commonplace in the restaurant industry now. Customers love the convenience of ordering their favorite food at home and businesses can add a steady source of revenue to their regular operations. However, this revenue can quickly decline if you do not meet customer expectations. The competition is fierce, and customers are fine with choosing competitors who can deliver them fresh food and a better customer service experience.

Restaurants need to make an effort to provide customers with quick and efficient delivery to avoid losing their business. Consistently negative delivery experiences can tank your restaurant rating and that side of the business can dry up. It can also affect your brick-and-mortar location. If you have a bad online reputation, you may also take a hit to in-person traffic.

Instead, you can avoid these outcomes by implementing an efficient delivery process.

Communicate With Your Drivers

Your drivers are your feet on the ground. They know what is working well with the delivery process and what isn’t better than anyone. It’s a good idea to communicate with your drivers on a regular basis and learn their pain points. 

Your drivers will be able to give you insights into delivery routes and your delivery area especially. For instance, if your service area is too large, they’ll be the ones who know where the limits are. They’ll know how much bigger the service area can be if they're consistently making deliveries under the time window. All of your staff are important parts of the delivery operation process, but your drivers are the ones who get the food to its ultimate destination. Make sure to get their opinions on how things could be run more efficiently.

Organize Orders By Location

You need to ensure your orders are prioritized and separated by location and the order in which they come. Naturally, orders that are further away will take longer to get to. But if these orders come in after other charges, how do you manage them and make sure all deliveries make it to their destination on time? One way to ensure things go smoothly is by ensuring you’re adequately staffed. If you have enough drivers, you can send them out without issues and get everything where it needs to go. But not every restaurant has a delivery army. 

If you see that you have multiple orders in similar locations, you should send one driver that way to make the deliveries all at once. This can save them time and ensure your deliveries reach the end customer within the expected time window.

Another option is using a food delivery management system to help you organize and prioritize your orders. Your management system will help you get things under control, and you’ll have less on your plate. It can tell your drivers where to go first to optimize delivery routes.

Many restaurants also utilize third-party apps to support their delivery operations. When you use apps like DoorDash and UberEats, drivers will be sent to your restaurant. In this case, you don’t have to worry about organizing routes since everything is done on their end. You use some control, which can be necessary for restaurants inundated with delivery orders.

Order prioritization can be tricky, but with the right tools, you can make your deliveries on time and optimize your delivery windows.

Pay Attention to Traffic

If you’re in a large market, traffic can be the bane of your delivery operations. Working around rush hour and other peak traffic times can be difficult. Your customers know traffic, so they may expect their orders to take longer during peak hours. Make sure your online ordering reflects the extended delivery times so you can set proper expectations for your customers.

If you know where the traffic usually is, you can also plan alternate routes for your drivers to optimize delivery times. While this won’t always be possible, it will help you prepare for multiple traffic scenarios. This is another case where food delivery management systems and third-party delivery apps can help. This technology lets you optimize your routes even when traffic is bad.

Provide Accurate Delivery Times

Many customers can be patient, but that patience quickly disappears if you exceed the estimated delivery window. You should ensure your delivery estimates are accurate no matter what time of day. If you’re overpromising and under-delivering, customers are going to get frustrated and be less inclined to order from you in the future. They may even choose to leave a bad review due to their dissatisfaction.

These worst-case scenarios can be easily avoided if you are upfront about your delivery times. If a customer orders during dinner time and it’s rush hour, it’s perfectly fine for you to list the estimated delivery time as over an hour. The customer will see this and recognize it. If they still choose to order during busy times, knowing how long it will take, that means they’re likely ok with waiting. But if you say it will take 30 minutes or less, they will be angry when that doesn’t happen.

Allow Customers to Track Their Order

A great way to avoid customer confusion is to provide delivery tracking. This allows them to see where their driver is in real time easily. It also builds trust between the restaurant and the customer. If your customers can see that their order left the restaurant promptly, but the driver is stuck in traffic, they’ll be less likely to question the long delivery time.

It also minimizes customers trying to reach out and find their order. If they have no order tracking, they may call your busy staff and try to discern its location. If they have order tracking, they can just pull up their phone and find out. It simplifies things for all parties involved. Order tracking can easily be integrated through food delivery management systems or third-party delivery apps.

Invest in Quality Packaging

No one likes cold or ruined food. You might get your customer their order in 20 minutes, but if the food is sub-par, they’ll be frustrated and disappointed. You should invest in quality packaging that keeps your food intact throughout delivery. 

If you’re delivering hot or cold food, your packaging should help keep that temperature. For instance, wrapping a hot sandwich in foil will insulate it much better than wrapping it in foil. You should also provide your delivery drivers with insulated bags to store the food in until the order arrives.

Your containers should also keep your food intact. For instance, your customers should never get soup that is spilling out of a punctured container. Make sure your containers are strong and able to keep your food in the same state it left the restaurant in. Spill-free containers and drink holders will help ensure your customers get their orders the way they’re meant to be.

Fast delivery is great, but your customers are ordering quality food first and foremost. Make sure you deliver them a great product every time.

Utilize Technology to Streamline Operations

You may have noticed one consistent theme throughout these tips – delivery technology can make things a lot easier. With food delivery management systems, online ordering and third-party delivery apps, you can automate a lot of the processes we discussed above.

Technology can organize your order prioritization, optimize delivery routes, give customers tracking and automatically update estimated delivery times based on the time of day. It also provides customers with a line of communication with the restaurant and delivery drivers if need be. You can also use technology like third-party delivery apps to outsource many of these tasks. It’s also possible to do a mix of third-party and in-house delivery operations to pick up slack when needed.

On top of these perks, delivery technology can provide you with actionable data and analytics to further improve and optimize your delivery operations. In the modern restaurant industry, it’s well worth investing in these technologies to make life easier and to drive revenue for your business.

If you’re looking to improve your delivery operations and reduce your delivery times, Superorder can help.

Delivery Drivers

Easily Manage Your Restaurant With Superorder

Superorder makes managing your restaurant and delivery operations easy. Superorder can implement your online ordering, set you up with top-notch delivery management technology and help you optimize your deliveries. Contact Superorder today to learn more.

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