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8 red flags that signal your restaurant needs help with food delivery

Restaurant food delivery services have exploded in recent years, with multiple new restaurants entering the scene. If orders have slowed for your restaurant business, it may be down to one of these red flags.

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red flags flowing in the wind

Navigating the changing landscape of food delivery: Is your restaurant keeping up?

The United States is the second largest food delivery market in the world, behind China, bringing in $22 billion in revenue in 2021, while the global food delivery industry is projected to grow to $320 billion by the year 2029.


Food delivery services have exploded over the last couple of years, with thousands of restaurants and food businesses jumping in to offer online ordering and delivery options to hungry customers, but with more businesses offering delivery, it’s no longer a way to stand out from the competition.


With a growing number of consumers ordering delivery, experts say that those same consumers are spending more on each delivery order, and becoming less loyal to specific food delivery apps now that the local delivery market has grown to more than 500 providers. One great example is the RMDA!


If delivery orders have slowed down at your restaurant despite the demand for delivery, you’re receiving new customer complaints as a result of a poor delivery experience, or you’re seeing an increase in last-mile delivery problems you may need help with your existing food delivery operations.


Or alternatively, you may need help choosing the right delivery management software for your business.


Read through the following eight red flags, taking note of any that you recognize happening in your own restaurant. They may be the reason that demand for your restaurant food delivery has experienced a dip!

1. Cancelled orders

Customers are canceling their orders due to long delivery times.


During busy weekends, or when you’re experiencing a labor shortage, your in-house delivery team may experience a backlog of orders, causing longer delays and customer complaints.


Consider partnering with one (or multiple!) local delivery service providers to ensure you can fulfil 100% of your order volume during peak times and for out-of-area orders.

delivery driver on a scooter with a red food bag on the back

2. Paying out refunds

You’ve been refunding orders due to food arriving cold, missing items, or the customer receiving the wrong order.


Check into restaurant delivery software that can optimize delivery routes and offer intuitive ETA, ensuring that food is made just before delivery agents arrive, keeping it hot and fresh for a positive customer experience.


Pro Tip: Not only can food delivery software help you to achieve a more efficient delivery process, but it can also help you save up to 24% on the cost of delivery with exclusive low-cost delivery fees!

a delivery driver holding a mobile phone with the vromo driver app displayed on the screen

3. The phone is ringing off the hook

Customers regularly call your restaurant or customer service line to ask where their order is and when it will arrive (even if it’s a third-party delivery service doing the fulfilment bit!).


In order to provide a comprehensive, positive delivery experience for customers, sign your restaurant up for a service that allows customers to track delivery staff right to their door.


Allowing them to track their order in real-time will help to eliminate angry order status calls.


For more on this, check out our guide on how to improve the food delivery customer experience!

A vromo delivery tracking link with the papa gino's logo on a mobile screen

4. You don’t offer online ordering

If the only way guests can currently order your food is through your website or by calling you, that’s a major issue.


Did you know that you can work with third-party delivery providers, be listed in their apps, and still retain all your customer information?


A hybrid delivery solution with multiple delivery partners could be what your business model has been missing.

sushi delivery menu on a phone screen

5. You lack control

You feel like you no longer have control over the customer’s journey within your restaurant.


When you have easy-to-integrate technology that helps automate delivery management, offering delivery in-house via your own drivers and/or through third-party delivery providers doesn’t have to be difficult.


It can even enable you to control every step of your customer’s journey.

the term red flag written on a sheet with a flag above it

6. Engaging with customers is hard

You don’t have a way to track or send promotions to existing delivery customers.


When you use a hybrid delivery solution that helps you retain your customer’s information, you’re able to instantly send your loyal customers coupons, discounts, a rate & review link, and even retarget them with specific promotions.


Papa Gino’s did exactly that, and witnessed an increase in 5-star reviews!

customers leaving a positive review on mobile device

7. Communication is at a standstill

When your in-house drivers set off on their delivery route, you don’t have a reliable way to communicate with them.


When your delivery drivers forget part of an order, how do you normally reach them?


The best solution is real-time chatting capabilities linked to each order for immediate and clear instructions on orders when and if needed.

a delivery driver in a blue jacket handing over a salad to a customer

8. You consistently reject orders

You regularly turn down delivery orders on busy nights when you can’t afford to send a staff member on a delivery.


When you decide to partner with third-party and local delivery companies, you eliminate the need to turn down deliveries.


Your staff handles what they can, and the extra deliveries can be outsourced to third-party delivery providers who are waiting for your call.

a piggy bank with red dominos falling to the left and blue dominos standing to the right

How did your restaurant’s delivery service do?

If one or more of the above red flags sounded familiar to you or your restaurant, it may be time to revisit your delivery management process.


But remember, baby steps. You have to walk before you can run.


Before committing yourself to becoming a technology-focused restaurant business owner, see what basics you can optimize first!


Once you do that, and find yourself ready to take the next step, we’d love to taco ’bout it with you!