Whether you’re considering launching your own native delivery platform or utilize third party delivery apps, delivery isn’t going anywhere. While people are staying home and ordering in, restaurants need to get creative to stay connected with their customers and maintain their brand image and engagement.

The first thing to consider is whether you want to continue using third party delivery apps or implement your own native delivery platform. The convenience of delivery apps is appealing, however the high commission fees can be a deterrent. Many restaurants that were not delivering before were avoiding it because of the high commission fees of third party apps, and those are the restaurants that are most likely to jump on board with native delivery.

Consumers are likely to support ordering directly from the restaurant, as they are becoming more aware of how harmful high fees can be to restaurants in the current climate. Food & Wine magazine even published an article titled “It’s Time to Delete Your Delivery Apps”, encouraging customers to order directly to ensure all profits go to the restaurant. So this is a great time to implement a native delivery platform.

Have you been using third party delivery apps and you’re not sure how to transition those customers to your native delivery platform? Start by including promo materials in all delivery orders letting customers know that you offer in-house ordering. To incentivize their switch, offer a free item or appetizer with their first order.

Another important aspect to focus on is making your commitment to food safety clear. Customers want to feel confident in how their food is packaged and handled once it leaves the restaurant. Food should be packaged with tamper evident labels or seals. It’s even better if both the food container and bag are sealed. You can also share about your contact free delivery methods and sealing via social media and email communications to ensure customers know that you are implementing policies to keep them protected. 

Another consideration is that your packaging is the main touch point that customers have with your brand. They’re no longer experiencing the inside of your restaurant or interactions with employees. Your packaging is the main opportunity you have to connect and engage with them. Consider adding an 800 number to packaging to ask for their feedback. Digital engagement should be a large focus as well, so keep in touch with customers via social media and email.

Whether your restaurant was delivering before, or this is a whole new frontier, this is an opportunity to meet the moment and adapt. Even when restrictions are lifted and restaurants are allowed to re-open, it’s unlikely that people will be flooding back into restaurants in large numbers. People will understandably be cautious, so building a strong delivery client base is vital. This is a great time to pivot and utilize this slower time to re-train employees and implement new technology. With the right focus, you can emerge from this as a stronger business.

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