Takeaway and delivery: eight questions answered

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

Takeaway and delivery: eight questions answered hospitality Coronavirus

Related tags: Coronavirus, delivery

With restaurants still able to offer the delivery of food and drink, delivery aggregator Just Eat shares its advice on how best to do it

1 What are the key things any restaurant should consider when looking to do takeaway/delivery?

In the current climate, offering delivery can have a significant impact in helping to stay open for business. The key things to consider are:
Method of delivery​ - you can either opt to deliver yourself and hire delivery drivers or redeploy your front of house staff to do the deliveries. Alternatively, you can use an aggregator’s fleet of couriers. If you opt to self-deliver you will need to consider business insurance for your vehicles.
Your menu​ - don’t try and replicate your dine-in experience. With rising food costs and difficulties currently sourcing certain ingredients, your focus should be on offering a simpler, stripped-back menu that you’re confident you can deliver. Lead with profitable items that are easy to prepare and will travel well.
Alcohol​ - if you’re considering selling alcohol, you will need a Premise, Personal, (On and Off licence) and late night licence.

Operations​ - speed is king. Consider how your operations can be optimised to ensure the customer receives their meal within 30mins of ordering. You’ll need to consider how you’re tracking and managing phone orders, takeaways as well as delivery orders; how delivery orders are integrated with your POS; how to set up your prep area so staff can work in a way that complies with the social distancing guidance; and, having a designated order packing area and courier waiting area, ensuring that couriers stay two meters apart from restaurant staff at all times.

2 How do they work with third party businesses such as Just Eat?

Working with a third party has many benefits because you can tap into their customer base and expertise. On average restaurants on Just Eat take 4,000 orders a year and 12 million people visit the app or website, which would give you unprecedented reach. In order to work with an aggregator, you need all the usual paperwork to show proof of ownership, proof that your business is registered with the council and with the Food Standards agency (FSA) or Food Standards Scotland (FSS). You will need an FSA rating of 3 or above or a Pass in Scotland, in order to sign up with Just Eat. If you’re considering working with Just Eat, visit our webiste.​ Just Eat has announced that it’s waiving the sign up fee and offering 33% commission rebate for independent restaurants until 29 April. It will also continue to pay restaurants weekly and relax any arrangements with independent partners that may be in place, to enable them to work with other delivery aggregators.

3 What should they do about packaging?

It’s important to get the packaging right as it can make the difference between your food arriving piping hot or lukewarm and unappetising. It goes without saying that you need packaging that will remain sealed during the journey, to ensure your food is presentable when it arrives. Choose wisely, don’t necessarily go with the cheapest option. The Just Eat Partner Shop https://partner.shop.just-eat.com/ has plenty of options including an eco range of recyclable and biodegradable packaging, as well as stickers to seal bags.

4 In terms of menu, what are the most suitable dishes that travel well?

Most cuisines travel well, try and avoid anything that needs cooking to precision or to a customer’s taste, such as steak. The key to making sure your dishes travel well is getting your packaging right. Package each dish separately and make sure you don’t combine hot and cold in the same bag. Likewise, keep drinks outside the main bag. If you’re doing self-delivery, make sure your delivery drivers use a hot food bag to keep the dishes as warm as possible during transit.

5 How much of a menu should be made deliverable to make it work?

In general you could do well with three to four starters, six to eight mains, and two or three desserts. It doesn’t need to be extensive. Make sure to include drinks and sides, as more and more people are following government advice to self-isolate so won’t be able to go to the shop to buy things like drinks. If you’re serving multiple day parts, make sure you have the right dishes so customers can get the food they want, when they want it. Not very many people want a double cheeseburger for breakfast. Use your aggregator’s data to understand customer ordering behaviour and structure your menu so that you are leading with the most popular delivery dishes. Just Eat collects over 1 million data points per day on over 2,700 different topics which feed into our in-app personalisation and communications to customers. This means that we are able to pass on data that enables you to offer the best possible experience.

6 How can they market their delivery scheme?

The key is to tap into your existing customer base and the local community. Use social media to let customers know that you’re now offering delivery and which postcodes you’re delivering to. Flyers posted through the door are great to reach the local community who are stuck at home and looking for meal inspirations. People want to support their local, independent businesses and if they can still enjoy the food they love at the same time, it’s a double win. Don’t forget to highlight your new menu and opening times if it’s changed, and most importantly how customers can order. If you work with an aggregator they can also help promote you to their customer base through their own marketing. Whenever a new restaurant joins their platform Just Eat sends an email to customers in their area.

7 What are the common mistakes they must avoid?

Don’t try and deliver the entire restaurant menu but instead focus on the food that will work best for delivery. Don’t try and replicate your dine in experience at the cost of speed and be operationally set up - make sure you’re optimised for delivery.

8 What is the reality of offering delivery? What can they expect?

Peak times will be the same because typically customers order delivery at the same times that they would traditionally eat in. Peak times would still be the same, so set up your business for delivery accordingly. To drive off-peak trade and orders earlier in the week, you can participate in promotions such as Just Eat’s Cheeky Tuesday, where you can offer customers 20% off every Tuesday. You can still maximise revenues  through offers and upsell. There’s functionality to show customers suggested sides, drinks or desserts, after a menu item is added to the basket. From experience it leads to higher average order values. If you opt to work with an aggregator, you will benefit from dedicated support. Just Eat has a field based account management team, telephone support, as well as a head office based Strategic Account Management team focused on you and serving your customers.

Related topics: UnitedWeStand

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