Delivery has been on the rise, with 9% of US restaurant sales in 2021 consisting of delivery orders. Because of this, more and more restaurants have been adding a delivery option, with some establishments being delivery and takeout only.
Suppose you’re new to offering delivery, thinking about providing delivery, or looking for ways to improve your current delivery operations. In that case, this list of expert delivery advice should help. We’ve gathered the best insights from our customers who offer delivery in hopes that it can guide you down the right path.
1. Set Up a Dedicated Dispatch Station
Veteran operators recommend having a dedicated dispatch station to minimize mistakes when delivery orders are assembled and assigned.
“We like having two POS stations. We can do takeout and delivery easily on one while we’re taking orders on the other. And when we get really busy, we can take orders on both.” - Paul Knaysi, Pablo’s Pizza
Some operators go even further and designate a dispatcher to oversee all orders and assign deliveries.
“We rely on the delivery manager or assistant manager to dispatch deliveries. They have in-depth knowledge of the delivery area and with SpeedLine. Plus, they can track how long drivers have been out and when they will be back. It helps the whole process to have someone in charge.” - Lexy Frautschy, Ian’s Pizza
2. Track and Time Your Deliveries
For any high-volume delivery restaurant, the ability to track deliveries and drivers is critical. While it is possible to keep track of one or two drivers and a handful of tickets manually, it quickly becomes a headache as orders and drivers multiply. As the number of delivery staff increases, so does the likelihood of missing slips.
An advanced POS system sorts, dispatches, and tracks delivery orders from beginning to end. Meaning your POS system will need easy-to-use controls for assigning deliveries and the ability to track late deliveries and overdue drivers.
“Our SpeedLine POS shows us which orders are out for delivery, and which ones are outstanding. It gives us the ability to better handle our deliveries and better manage the whole process.” - Niko Frangos, Rascal House Pizza
A sound delivery dispatch system also allows you to set quoted delivery times, so your staff can let customers know upfront how long it will take before their pick-up, or delivery order is ready.
Some POS systems use delivery zones in conjunction with quoted times to account for the distance a driver will have to cover to make a delivery. This feature provides greater control and granularity when you dispatch drivers.
“Our delivery zones through the SpeedLine system aren’t in a circumference. I try to keep it at an 8 or 10-minute range from the store. I feel like it makes sure the product is a lot better when it gets there.” - Adam Shorter, Cosmo’s Pizza
Other systems auto-calculate the out-the-door time for each order automatically. SpeedLine POS, for instance, takes into account current kitchen production load and daily trends—so you can be more confident than ever when you quote your customers a delivery or pick-up time.
3. Upgrade to a Mapping Dispatching System
Efficiently getting orders out the door efficiently is only half the battle; you also need drivers to make their way safely and quickly to their delivery destination. A POS system with visual dispatch capabilities will solve this challenge with easy mapping of deliveries and turn-by-turn driving directions.
"What's nice about the SpeedLine mapping is that it takes you right to their door. You're not strolling down the street trying to find an address on someone's house that you can't see the numbers." - Bill Siwicki, Pizza Works
At just a glance, you can see the exact location of each delivery order and their proximity to other active deliveries.
“The best way for me to do delivery is using a radius and zooming in, which is a feature that I love from SpeedLine. You open up the dispatch screen, and you're seeing the map with 10 or even 15 deliveries at a time. Usually what I will do is click on the first one that needs to go out, then I'll hit the map button so it'll zoom me right into that one, and I'll just see what other ones are around it. And then I can click on them to see if they're ready.” - Domenick Colandrea, King’s Pizza Pronto
The system can provide directions for a specific address or map the best route for a run with multiple addresses, making deliveries easier on your dispatcher and drivers.
"Now we have the screens that show all of the deliveries up on a map. So you can look and know what pizza orders can go together. The tracking of who’s taking what, and what can go together is huge.” - Chris Garcia, Frankie’s Pizza
Having these mapping features helps to reduce drivers’ delivery times and increase customer satisfaction. It is also a great feature when training new drivers.
“We’ve introduced SpeedLine’s new mapping system and it’s made a world of difference. I used to spend four or five days training a manager on how to dispatch drivers. But with this mapping tool, it just saves me so much time, it’s great.” - Carmen Maurella, Papa Joe’s
4. Prioritize Driver Safety
No one wants to work somewhere that doesn’t provide a safe work environment. The problem is that a driver is spending much of their time at locations that are out of your control. But there are still things that you can do to help your drivers stay safe from clock-in to clock-out.
“We teach our drivers to look at the area and see if it looks like a safe delivery. If they don't feel safe, if there's a dog in the yard, call the customer and ask them to secure it. Put their safety at the forefront. Even when it comes to driving, if it's snowy roads out there, the delivery driver needs to make the call on if they feel safe driving.” - Gabe Connell, HotBox Pizza
5. Cross-Train Drivers For Maximum Labor Efficiency
If there isn’t another delivery readily available to be picked up when your driver returns to the restaurant, then they need to be able to lend a helping hand wherever they are needed. Otherwise, you’re wasting valuable man-hours on having someone standing around and waiting to go out on another delivery.
“When our drivers come back, we ask them to do dishes or tidy up the front of the house. They may also cut slices or put finishing touches on a pizza.” - Lexy Frautschy, Ian’s Pizza
For drivers to adequately perform in-house jobs, they’ll first need to be cross-trained by someone in that position.
"When they first get hired, we cross-train. But in the beginning, we trained for a set position so they can get comfortable with it and then move on to the next area in our stores." - Mary Kay Haas, Pizza Factory
6. Audit Delivery Costs
“When we got SpeedLine, we sat down and took a look at our menu and pricing. We realized we were not covering our costs. There was no profit margin for us in the pizza delivery. We started tracking the pizzas we sell most and restructured our menu and pricing. Our food costs used to be in the mid-thirties. Now, with SpeedLine, we got it down to the low 20 percent mark.” - Lexy Frautschy, Ian’s Pizza
A key part of delivery costs or going to be the labor hours. So it’s important that you pay attention to your labor costs in your POS system. You can even compare it to sales numbers and then use this information to generate a highly effective and cost-efficient schedule for the week ahead.
“Our SpeedLine POS provides us with detailed delivery numbers. Just by being aware of these numbers, we can often tell where we could schedule one more person to really help us cut down delivery times.” - Lexy Frautschy, Ian’s Pizza
Auditing your delivery costs will also allow you to distribute your funds to the appropriate areas in order to provide the best customer experience possible.
“Packaging, the boxes, they are a very expensive part of the cost. You really have to figure that into the cost of your product if you want to keep a good, quality product going out to your customer.” - Bill Siwicki, Pizza Works
7. Promote Teamwork and Friendly Competition
A cooperative team is an efficient one. So as an owner or manager, most experts would highly recommend doing whatever you can to promote more teamwork and friendly competition within the workplace.
“We give our employees a stake in how well we do. We have competitions and bonus payouts. We do lots of parties and staff trips. It keeps morale up and creates a great atmosphere and low turnover.” - Lexy Frautschy, Ian’s Pizza
Having the right POS can make it much easier to establish friendly competition in the restaurant.
“SpeedLine is very, very accurate, and it records everything. One of the things that everyone loves to do is look up our labor stats for the day. Drivers will look at how many runs other drivers have taken, and they’ll realize that they have 10 more than their coworkers because they’ve been taking the closer runs. Without prompting, they’ll volunteer to take the longer runs to even things out.” - Lexy Frautschy, Ian’s Pizza
If you’re interested in learning other delivery tips, check out our delivery management ebook.
Posted on Fri, May 06, 2022 @ 08:05 AM.
Updated on May 6, 2022 @ 3:30 PM PST.