Bad traffic doesn’t just make your drive home a nightmare, it also negatively impacts your restaurant’s delivery. But you can avoid traffic delays by switching to a delivery system that largely uses bikes and scooters, which is one of the most popular delivery trends right now. Before you trade in your vehicles for these more eco-friendly options, read this handy guide to understand how exactly it will affect your business.
Benefits of Bike/Scooter Delivery
Why should you start using scooters and bikes for deliveries? Well, besides the obvious advantage that it reduces your restaurant’s carbon footprint and helps the environment, there are a few key benefits that you need to know.
They Result in Faster Deliveries
It might seem counterintuitive, but in certain situations, a bike can actually get your food to the customer faster than any vehicle. This tends to be true in heavily-populated settings, especially downtown areas. Cars are very limited in where they can go and are entirely dependent on the flow of traffic, which is very debilitating for your business during high-traffic times. On the other hand, bicycles are often given their own lane to use, which allows them to pass vehicle after vehicle stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Even once you arrive at the customer’s location, a driver is going to need to find a space to park their vehicle before completing the delivery. Someone on a bicycle or scooter can easily park in front of almost any building and head inside within a matter of seconds. Not to mention, there’s no need to worry about getting a parking ticket or having to validate parking receipts later on.
Delivering via bike or scooter rather than a vehicle can shave vital minutes off of each order, allowing you to maximize the number of orders you can handle each hour. This means more sales for you, and happier customers as well.
They Help Keep Your Employees Healthy
The health of your employees is directly correlated with your restaurant’s profitability. After all, sick workers can’t prepare food or serve guests. This puts you into one of two possible positions: either you are forced to bring in other employees to cover shifts, often pushing some staff into overtime rates, or you operate short-staffed, which results in fewer orders being processed and lower customer satisfaction due to long wait times.
That’s why it’s in your best interest to keep your employees as healthy as possible, which is something that switching to bicycles and scooters can help with. The benefits of the cardio that your delivery drivers receive with this method of transportation can greatly improve their health, unlike sitting in a vehicle for several hours each day, which has been proven to take quite a toll on a person’s health.
They Are Very Low Maintenance
While the majority of pizzerias require drivers to provide their own vehicles, 15% have their own fleet of cars for drivers to use. If you fall into that second category, then it’s obvious why switching to bikes and scooters would be more financially viable. They cost much less to purchase, and the maintenance required for bikes/scooters is a small fraction of what the average car requires.
Between fuel cost, oil changes, wheel alignments, filter replacements, and other similar maintenance needs, a vehicle can easily cost you $0.09 every mile. On the other hand, the minimal maintenance needed by a bike or scooter, even the electrical versions of these, will likely be hundreds or even thousands of dollars less each year.
But even if you don’t provide your own vehicles, there’s still an advantage to using low-maintenance methods of transportation. By using mainly bikes and scooters, you’ll drastically reduce the chances of getting a call from a driver saying that they can’t work because their vehicle is acting up. Basically, as long as the bike has a chain, or it is charged (in the case of electric bikes and scooters), then it’ll work.
Bikes and Scooters vs. E-bikes and E-scooters
The first thing you need to do before making the switch to a bike and scooter-based delivery service is deciding on whether you want to use traditional or electric versions. Many restaurants have started making the switch to e-bikes and e-scooters, which are capable of traveling much faster than standard models and also require less physical effort to use. This can prevent drivers from arriving late and sweaty at a customer’s location, ruining the delivery experience.
On the other hand, electric versions are going to cost more, and also have slightly higher maintenance costs. That’s why you need to consider whether you’re willing to incur a slightly higher investment in exchange for faster and more efficient deliveries.
Look for Models Designed for Delivery
The heading may sound obvious, but it’s important to realize that not all bikes and scooters are designed for food delivery. There are certain features they need in order to be suitable for your pizzeria.
Pick Versatile Models
Unless your restaurant is at a very temperate location, then you’ll need to be prepared for a bit of rough weather. While your scooters and bikes don’t need to be able to make it through a massive blizzard or hurricane, they should be able to handle a bit of snow and rain. The best way to ensure this is to look for models that have wide tires with substantial tread. This will provide them with traction if the roads ever get a bit slippery.
You Need to Invest in Additional Equipment
Even after purchasing however many bikes and/or scooters you want, there is a wide variety of other items that you will need to invest in before your eco-friendly delivery system can become fully operational.
When you use vehicles to deliver your food, all the safety equipment comes built into the vehicle. The same cannot be said for bikes and scooters. So keep in mind that you’ll need to purchase a set of helmets in various sizes for employees to use if you want to make the switch. And to comply with COVID-safe practices, you might want to think about giving drivers a set budget to purchase their own helmet that you’ll reimburse them.
Food Delivery Backpacks
You might also need to invest in some other equipment such as food delivery backpacks. These are insulated food delivery bags that are designed to stand upright and are equipped with thick straps to wear as a backpack. This isn’t likely needed when using bikes with built-in baskets, but is absolutely essential if you plan on using scooters.
When arriving at the customer’s location, your drivers need a way to keep their bike or scooter secure, especially when delivering in busy downtown areas. That’s why you need to purchase a lock for every bike and/or scooter you have, and make sure to purchase ones that allow you to set your own passcode so you can make them all the same. This will prevent drivers from having to memorize a variety of different codes when starting their shift.
Distracted driving can be just as dangerous (or even more dangerous) when on a bike or scooter, so the last thing you want is your drivers holding up their phones while attempting to drive. However, you still want drivers to have the most up-to-date information on how to get to the customer’s location. Solve this issue by making sure each bike and scooter is equipped with a phone holder that can clip right to the handlebar.
By using this guide to pick the best scooters/bikes and accessories possible, you can create a highly efficient food delivery system designed for urban settings. As a result, you should achieve faster deliveries, simplified deliveries, and healthier employees. If you’re looking for other ways to improve your delivery system, then check out this article on how using heat maps can lead to more efficient deliveries.
Posted on Mon, Oct 11, 2021 @ 08:10 AM.
Updated on October 11, 2021 @ 3:30 PM PST.