Building an in-house restaurant delivery team in 4 easy steps

May 14, 2021

If your restaurant is offering delivery, it’s likely that you’re relying on food delivery apps to enable the service. While it has been great to tap into the infrastructure that these apps provide, the fees charged can erode any of the profit from food delivery. Research shows that on top of a 15% of commission on orders, on average another 15% then goes on the delivery service if you’re using their processes and teams.

It may have been acceptable to lose 30% profit from your delivery channel when it represented a small percentage of your revenue and gave your business its only revenue – but as many industry experts are predicting – restaurant delivery is here to stay!

  • Ninety-two percent of restaurant customers who are fully vaccinated plan to continue ordering online at least as often as they do now, while just 8% plan to return to dine-in as they did prior to the pandemic (source restaurantdive.com)

So while during the pandemic, most restaurants became reliant on delivery for survival, customer now customers expect it, and this channel will remain a priority channel, long after the pandemic has passed. 

For restaurants to get back to profit, they will have to operate a more profitable delivery business and for us creating an in-house delivery team is the only way to achieve that.

This can seem like a slightly daunting task and there’s not a great deal of advice available on how to go about it. For that reason, we have outlined a step-by-step guide for you to create your own in-house delivery team in a simple and straight forward way.

Step one: Set up a delivery management system

Managing multiple drivers and deliveries efficiently in a relatively short window of time is close to impossible without a technology system. This is why it makes sense to start by choosing the right software solution for your restaurant(s) in terms of features, price and support.

VROMO restaurant software, the only software tailored to restaurant delivery, is an all-encompassing system that will integrate easily with your POS system, automate your entire delivery operation, give order tracking to your customers and comes with a driver’s app that is simple to use.

Step two: Decide on what your needs are

To properly assess your delivery needs and hire with intention, you to know the following:

  1. What is your average order volume per night?
  2. How far of a radius are your customers on average?
  3. What are your busiest delivery times?
  4. What is your target revenue via delivery per week?
  5. What are your margins from delivery at the moment?

Once you have this information, you can calculate your ideal order volume, delivery times, and, therefore, the number of delivery drivers you will need for your team. You’ll also be able to calculate a fair wage for your new employees.

Remember to assess each of the restaurants in your chain individually as each location will have very different needs.

Step three: Create an attractive ad for delivery drivers

Delivery apps have seen a huge influx of ‘gig economy’ drivers who are attracted by flexible working conditions. But what if you could do the same but these drivers would be dedicated to your restaurant or chain. You can hire delivery workers under freelance contracts depending on your local labor laws, and organise their working times directly.

You can put out ads specifically for the times and locations you need which allows people to self-select for your exact requirements. Or you can onboard delivery drivers that are generally flexible and allow them to set their own schedules each day/week.

When you are advertising for drivers, you may want to indicate how much your drivers can expect to earn per hour. Generally speaking, remunerating your delivery drivers works like this.

  • You agree on a base pay. This could be:
    • a flat pick up fee and flat delivery fee
    • Percentage of your delivery fee
    • An hourly rate
  • Your delivery management system can then help calculate the total pay per delivery, depending on the size of the order, the wait time, and the distance to travel.
  • It is good practice to give your driver 100% of their tips which VROMO software allows you to do easily! When a customer receives their delivery, they will also receive a link which allows them to leave a credit card tip for their driver.

As a rule of thumb, food delivery drivers earn on average $13-17 an hour, depending on the location.

Step four: Take on experienced drivers, screen applicants or outsource

With applicants coming through, be sure to look for previous experience in food delivery or evidence that they have worked with Lyft, Doordash, UberEats etc as this will remove the need for any training.

Otherwise, you’ll need to check that each driver has:

  • A clean driving history with no DUIs or warnings
  • A suitable vehicle for delivery
  • A professional demeanor
  • Can abide by strict hygiene standards (that are ever more important in today’s day and age)

Another option is to outsource some or all of your delivery using a DSP or Delivery Service Provider. Here you can hire their drivers while still managing your own delivery system. Many restaurants use a number of their own drivers but then use DSP drivers for any ‘over flow’ volume. 

Contact us at VROMO for a free demo, for advice on managing your in-house team or to find the best DSP in your area.