lady offering a slice of takeaway pizza to her friend
7 Ways to Improve Your Restaurant’s Customer Delivery Experience

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Ordering takeout or delivery from your favorite restaurant is the best thing since sliced bread. But have you ever experienced late delivery, cold food, or a wrong order? 

A negative customer delivery experience can have serious implications for your restaurant. In fact, a staggering 80% of customers confessed to Deliverect that they would blame the restaurant, not the delivery provider, for a poor delivery experience. 

It begins with an angry phone call to the restaurant, extends to customers leaving a negative review online and transpires into them requesting a refund. Heartbreaking.

Don’t let the fear of dealing with a negative customer delivery experience stop you from implementing an awesome food delivery strategy that’s going to make your restaurant delivery channel more profitable.

Read on to find out 7 simple ways you can ensure that your food delivery service results in a delightful customer experience (CX) with every single order! 

1. Adapt Your Menu for Delivery Drivers

customer delivery menu written on a black chalkboard

All food is not created equal. In other words, not all food travels well. With 68% of diners reporting that food quality is the main factor in them choosing a restaurant, it’s imperative that your menu is easily transferable to a delivery format.

If you’re not offering dishes that can withstand the car or bike journey, refusing to use quality ingredients, or simply not using the right food packaging, chances are your delivery agents are going to be handing over non-spherical pizzas or inside-out burgers.

Does this sound like something you’ve dealt with in the past? If so, now is most certainly the time to rethink and modify the delivery experience you offer to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.

For the best food delivery experience possible, rethink your menu. This doesn’t mean you have to completely remove items or create new recipes but rather simply modify what you already offer!

Talk to your kitchen and especially your delivery drivers. Remember, they’re the team members with first-hand experience on the front-lines of doorstep interaction – they’ll have cold, hard qualitative data that will compliment any quantitative customer excellent benchmarks you may already be measuring.

With a shortage in the labor market for delivery-drivers, it pays to keep them motivated and there’s no better way to do that them by giving them voices to enact real change (and providing optimal working conditions, of course).

2. Think About the Food Packaging

brown paper containing food for customer delivery with a sticker holding it together with food delivery written on it

When it comes to delivery, minor details can often be overlooked.

The chances are high that once an order pings through on your POS, the teams’ blinkers are on. The food is in the oven ASAP and the kitchen is solely focused on getting that order to the customer to prevent long wait times (but did you know that customers are willing to wait up to an hour for delivery?).

Don’t get us wrong, your team is right to be worried about wait times, but there are other, minor details that they can focus on to create a great delivery experience – such as packaging.

Think about your brand and how you want to non-verbally communicate your core values to your customer. Do you want to be known as the pizzeria that forces customers to put their pizza on a plate because the box was seeping with grease? Certainly not.

So, the moral of the story is that you should put thought into your packaging! Your customers will likely notice the finer details and your delivery drivers will thank you for preventing stains & stenches in their cars!

3. Incentivize for Online Delivery

the word incentive written on a glass screen in black marker

Today everything moves so fast and we are always thinking ahead. If you don’t avail of an offer as soon as it hits your screen, chances are you’ll miss it. With 69% of customers claiming that loyalty programs incentivize them to revisit a restaurant more frequently, you certainly don’t want to skip this step.

Rewarding your customers with limited-time offers for fulfilling a goal you set is an opportunity not to be missed.

The ultimate hack is to always offer your customers perks and discounts for online food delivery via a delivery tracking link if you’re truly looking to generate revenue from this channel.

Whether you opt for straightforward discounts, free delivery, or promotional deals, keep your customers interested by offering them incentives to order your delicious food again and again.

4. Optimize for Mobile Devices

sushi menu on a phone screen for customer delivery

One of the most crucial pieces of information you need to be aware of when looking to create a memorable experience for your customers that all-important order delivery order is optimizing your website or app menu navigation for mobile devices.

This includes using brief and simple descriptions, good quality (and tasty-looking) images, and making sure the checkout process is simple.

Some of the biggest restaurant brands in the food industry have a killer online food delivery service. We can be sure they prioritized the need for mobile-first optimization in their business model and pay close attention to evolving digital delivery and marketing trends to stay on top of the market – you only have to order once from the Domino’s Pizza app to understand what we’re talking about.

If you’re worried that optimizing your entire website or app for mobile might be a huge task for your team, start small. As long as your delivery page is optimized for mobile, your customers are more likely to have a positive food delivery experience.

Bonus tip: If you’re only listing with marketplace apps like DoorDash, Uber, or JustEat you don’t have to worry about this! Simply ensure you provide these platforms with some appetizing pictures & mouth-watering meal descriptions. They’ll provide the customers, you’ll deliver the food.

5. Send Real-Time Notifications to Customers

notification icons coming out from a mobile phone screen

This step is for those of you really looking to level up the delivery experience for your customers.

Those versed in the art of customer acquisition and retention will have heard the old stat ‘it costs 5x more to acquire a customer than it does to retain one‘ doing the rounds in sales and marketing literature and it still rings true today, even more so in the fiercely competitive food sector.

By doubling down on status updates and ensuring your customers are notified at every step of the delivery process, you’re going to avoid customer complaints to your restaurant about delivery times.

Take it that step further by regularly informing your customers about value-adds such as upcoming deals and offers while they track their orders right to their doorstep.

This tactic will not only establish a great customer relationship between them and your restaurant brand, but it will also incentivize them to order from you again or even refer your restaurant brand to a friend!

Capturing potential customers and nurturing customer retention is an important revenue driver so don’t neglect it.

6. Be Transparent

the word honesty written on cardboard in white ink

After you implement all of these tips and are finding that issues with delivery orders still arise every now and then, fear not. We’re only human after all.

If you find yourself in this scenario our best tip here is to simply be honest. If an issue is flagged before your customer notices, make sure to let them know as soon as you know. This may seem counter-intuitive but it’s most certainly not.

In fact, being transparent with your customers is known to prevent them from taking their complaints elsewhere such as on your website or over on Google reviews or Yelp. It’s also just great customer service and is, well, the decent, human thing to do.

7. Continue to Research, Learn and Adapt

man holding a mobile phone that is receiving multiple online reviews

Customer behavior can be predictable, but not always. That is why it’s important that as a restauranteur you are constantly asking for feedback, researching what your competitors are doing, and maybe even jumping on some new trends (I mean, have you seen the influence that TikTok trends are having on restaurant brands?!).

Once you establish an effective food delivery strategy that works for your brand, your team AND the customer, make sure to keep an eye on how it’s performing. Whether that be on a weekly, monthly or even quarterly basis is totally up to you and your restaurants’ needs!

Always be open to changing and evolving your approach as your business progresses and your customer base grows. You never know what’s around the corner so be prepared to adjust any strategy you already have in place.

So What's Next in Food Delivery CX?

With the food delivery industry set to grow by 18% annually, there’s some enviable spoils to for those intent on nurturing a truly customer-centric food empire. Is your restaurant brand ready to capitalize on this growth? 

If the answer is no, start with a single step outlined above and work from there.

However, if you’re already on the journey to creating an amazing delivery experience for your customers, look towards food delivery technology. 

Delivery software can help you to improve the customer experience and scale your delivery channel while reaping other great benefits such as fulfilling more orders, reducing delivery costs, and expanding delivery zones. 

Struggling to decide which food delivery software is best for your brand? Subscribe to our blog where we publish regular advice, tips & red flags to watch out for when it comes to food delivery software and gearing your business up for sustained customer excellence!

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