Over the last year, restaurants worldwide have had to overcome challenges that prevented them from opening their doors and serving their customers.
Food aggregators and online ordering channels offered fast-acting restaurants an alternative mode for generating sales. But it also resulted in a significant increase in the number of new listings on these apps, increasing competition and making it more difficult for restaurants to be seen by potential customers. Uber Eats, for example, added 380,000 restaurants to its application between 2019 and 2020, compared to 120,000 the year before that.
While being listed on food delivery apps is now essential for survival, ranking high on them has become more critical than ever. High rankings require a concerted effort by the restaurant or kitchen to maintain a positive customer experience, largely determined by the quality, speed and consistency of food delivered. Here are 6 actionable ways for restaurant owners to rank higher on these platforms.
1- High ratings
We rely on reviews in every aspect of our lives. Around 88% of customers consider ratings and online reviews as valuable as personal recommendations. Whether it's online shopping, booking a holiday, or even choosing what to watch on TV, we naturally seek the opinion of others. Ordering a meal from a food delivery service is no different.
On average, positive reviews are known to produce an 18% uplift in sales
Does your concept have a sufficient number of online reviews? Are they positive? On average, positive reviews are known to produce an 18% uplift in sales.
Give your customers what they want, and incentivize them to leave you a positive rating. Here are some tips:
- Offer handwritten thank you notes; people are increasingly looking for personalized services and this is a great way to win the hearts and minds of your customers.
- Give out a complimentary dessert, like chocolate or a fortune cookie; this can go a long way.
- Make it fun and ask customers to tag you on your social media channels.
- Leave reminders in your restaurants or hand out business cards.
- Train your staff to capitalize on happy customers and ask them to leave a positive review.
- Build a special landing page for reviews and share it with your customers; offer them something in return like a discount voucher on the next order.
2- A diverse menu
Most food delivery apps categorize menus by the type of cuisine offered by a restaurant. This helps users find exactly what they are looking for with ease. If you can expand your menu by providing French, Thai, Italian, Indian, and Chinese dishes, your restaurant will appear in many more categories.
Although increasing your visibility will likely increase the number of orders, it's crucial that it does not come at the expense of your delivery time. Ensuring that you deliver on your promises is more important than the diversity of your menu.
3- Mouth-watering photos for every menu item
How many times have you seen someone take a photo of their food and upload it to Instagram before eating it? And do you order food online without looking at the pictures first? Unsurprisingly, simply adding photos of food to your menu page can increase sales by 30%, meaning higher conversion rates for both the restaurant and the food delivery app.
Adding photos of food to your menu page can increase sales by 30%
Every item on your menu should feature a mouth-watering image that stops your customers from endlessly scrolling down the list of options. We’ve posted a guide featuring ten excellent tips on producing fantastic food photography that will make your meals stand out from the crowd.
4- Order accuracy
There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than to wait for an order to be delivered, only to find out it was missing an item or didn’t account for the modifications or special notes requested. When customers receive a wrong order, they’re bound to complain to the food aggregator who will either issue credits or a refund and consequently penalize the restaurant for the subpar customer service.
Minimize the manual work required for order management, and put checks in place to ensure that every order dispatched meets the customers’ requirements and special requests.
5- Decreased delivery time
According to the national business research institute, waiting time is the sixth most important factor influencing customer satisfaction.
Customers typically place orders when they’re hungry, and so their satisfaction is all but guaranteed if food ordered arrives quickly; but customers aren’t the only ones impacted by this.
Food delivery platforms favor restaurants that have low food prep times and don’t make drivers wait at the restaurant, effectively enabling them to increase the number of deliveries a driver can make per hour and positively impacting their profitability. The platforms also calculate the average time required to prepare an order based on previous orders, so it is important not only to shorten the time, but to do so consistently.
Automating the order lifecycle and obtaining visibility over the end-to-end process is a critical enabler to reducing order throughput time and ensuring a smooth handover between the different parties involved.
Waiting time is the 6th most important factor influencing customer satisfaction.
GrubTech provides software for restaurants and cloud kitchens to automatically receive orders from various channels and brands into a single screen, giving visibility into order prep time as well as estimated time of arrival of drivers to streamline the entire process. No hassle and no more manual work required.
6- Special offers and other featured categories
Most food aggregator apps have a section dedicated to special deals.
Think bigger than discount codes that eat into your profits. Instead, offer special set menus that provide greater value and increase the average spend of your customers looking to replicate the restaurant experience in the comfort of their homes.
The range of promotions you offer will only be limited by your imagination. There will also be sections dedicated to featured or top picks for meal categories depending on the time of day. How to get on these sections is a closely guarded secret by each food delivery platform. However, these offers can help unlock the mine:
- Offer guests ‘buy two coffees and get one free’.
- A lower-priced set menu that includes an appetizer, main, dessert, and bottle of cola, or a set menu for lunch rush hour.
- Offer a top-selling drink to a customer that has never ordered it before.
It’s important to know that no promotion is successful without first identifying and analyzing your existing customers’ preferences and top sellers.
It’s also essential to know the margins of every menu item. This can help you think up creative bundles that, together, give you the profit margin you’d like to get. For example, you could just give away free fries to all customers for a short timeframe, or offer free fries to customers whenever they buy a cola.
Follow the advice in this post to increase your ranking on food aggregators, build loyalty with your customers and keep them coming back for more. Once again, a personal touch and treating every customer as a unique individual will go a long way to making them repeat customers.
If you are serious about improving your ranking on food delivery apps, remember to keep the prep and delivery times low but the quality of your meals and customer service high. Maybe it’s also time to think about retiring the fragmented kitchen tech preventing you from being a big hit on every food delivery app.
Get the balance right, and your restaurant could appear on the featured list of Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Food Panda, and Talabat sooner than you think.