The bell rings. You open the door. A stranger gives you a bundle of deliciousness. You fall onto the sofa and put your favourite series on. There are no dirty pots and nothing is over cooked. This is the joy of online food delivery and there is nothing quite like it.
Over the past decade the online food delivery sector has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. Companies like Deliveroo and Careem NOW have brought hot food and happiness to millions of customers all over the world. Then last year the pandemic pushed the industry into overdrive.
The world was suddenly locked indoors dreaming of feasting on their favourite dishes or trying a new creation from the world’s best chefs. People who had never ordered from a restaurant online before were enticed to make the jump. What they found was a wide range of options and competitive pricing that offered them an enjoyable dining experience without the risk of going out.
We are not pretending that people will stop dining out; it is still a precious form of social interaction that will always be enjoyed. But what we are saying is that online food delivery is never going away and it is only going to grow as a market. In fact the market is expected to grow from $107.44 billion in 2019 to around $154.34 billion in 2023. If you are in the restaurant business then you need to be doing online delivery.
How to grow your online food delivery business
1) Streamline your menu
Other than actually savouring a delicious bite of a meal, your menu is where your customers will interact with your brand the most, so make it unforgettable. Simplify to create a memorable interaction for your patrons and to streamline operations for your staff. Put your best sellers at the top of the menu. Get rid of foods that don’t travel well. Your customers would much prefer to have an amazing experience every time they order from you rather than an overwhelming selection of options on the menu.
2) Boost your online order amount
Increase your availability and widen your offerings to expand your market share. Hang on, didn’t we just say you should streamline your menu and reduce your offerings? Yes we did, but now give different ways for people to enjoy those options. Think pre-prepared meals that can be stored and heated at home, party packs, date night bundles with candles and a Spotify playlist, and large order combinations that allow customers to cater for the needs of everyone in their family.
3) Use professional, enticing photos
Draw your customers in and create excitement around what they are about to experience with mouthwatering shots of your food; detailed images make it easier for people to imagine the tastes and scents they are about to indulge in. If you can, spend the extra money to get high quality, professional photos of your menu items, proven to boost sales by up to 30%.
4) WRITE EVOCATIVE, CLEAR DESCRIPTIONS
Make the most of your descriptions to win over customers. Dishes with evocative, clear descriptions often get more sales than unimaginative, ordinary ones. Be aware of allergens and restrictions and clearly mark these on your menu. This will save you time dealing with queries and improve your customer experience. It will also build trust in your know-how and awareness of dietary trends.
5) SET UP YOUR OWN DIGITAL PRESENCE
If you are going to run an online food delivery business for your restaurant then you obviously need to be online. Creating your own website means that you have direct access to your customers. If you don’t have one yet this should definitely be the first thing you do.
Once your website is up and running, consider other channels to create excitement around your brand and grow your community. Social media is the best place to do this. Think about posting images and stories on Instagram with special offers. Showcase new offerings and run competitions on Facebook. A powerful digital presence is fundamental to improving online food delivery sales.
6) EXTEND DELIVERY HOURS
You don’t have to work 24/7 but consider extending your delivery hours to catch all those night owls and early birds. This will expand your customer base and increase revenue.
7) EXPAND YOUR LAST MILE FOOD DELIVERY CAPABILITIES
Leverage third party logistics (3PL) providers to expand your delivery capabilities and reach every little corner of your city. Integrations with these providers enables automated dispatching of drivers, real-time visibility over their location, and transparency over their performance.
8) USE DIFFERENT CHANNELS
Use aggregators like Zomato and Talabat to broaden your reach. Aggregators bring their own built in client list that you can leverage to increase your brand awareness. Using aggregators also gives you a chance to shine against your competitors as it is much easier to compare offerings on their apps. Make sure you glow the brightest.
9) USE SEO
Most online ordering platforms allow customers to search by dish name, dietary requirements and style of cuisine, so it is very important for you to create search friendly descriptions to help you stand out.
Make use of SEO to stay ahead of the game and be visible on Google search, and make sure to use popular search terms in your menu to draw customers to your site.
10) INCENTIVIZE CONSUMERS TO WRITE REVIEWS ONLINE TO GIVE CREDIBILITY
Most people trust the recommendations of former customers and friends to make their choice about where they should eat. Take advantage of this powerful tool to enhance the reputation of your brand. Offer prizes such as a slice of cake, and discounts on future orders for customers who share their experiences on social media and write reviews online.