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Driving (or Biking) Your Foodservice Business

Taking your menu on the road to time-starved Canadians craving restaurant quality meals in their home can boost sales and market your brand.

But before you jump in the driver’s seat, contemplate the following questions:

  • Do it yourself or work with a delivery partner?
  • How will you promote your new service?
  • What packaging will you need?
  • Is your menu delivery-friendly? What will your food look like after a 20-30-minute ride? Still fresh or limp like yesterday’s leftovers?
  • Can your operation handle increased volume at peak times? Do you have enough staff – and the right kind of staff – to add a bigger load? How about adequate kitchen equipment as well as enough space to assemble orders?

Going solo

Looking after delivery in-house adds continuity to dining experiences and also adds that personal touch. However, you need to plan everything upfront before you launch this new service. Among the basics?

  • Your driver. Use current in-house staff or hire a new person?
  • The vehicle. Motorized, or will a bike work? And what kind of branding will you use to make your vehicle stand out on the road as it delivers your delicacies?
  • Delivery radius. How far are you willing to go for your customers?
  • Promotion. How will you get the word out? Flyers, social media, local advertising? All are good ways to launch this new service.
  • Online ordering.

driving biking insertTeaming with a food delivery partner

“Restaurants should consider using a food delivery partner to lower the costs of delivery, offer a platform to reach new customers and increase revenue,” says Matt Rice, head of marketing for Foodora Canada.

Sales lift can be significant. “Foodora’s largest partner in Canada can see $100,000 more a month in revenue through our platform,” Rice claims.

Foodora is positioned as a food discovery app, partnering with top restaurants. As a restaurant partner, you are assigned an account manager who visits your operation to train staff on software. Foodora also works collaboratively with operators to build the delivery menu and promote your new service.

The cost to the restaurant is on a per usage basis specific to your restaurant. Rice says their support is ongoing. “We promote our vendors once they go live. PR and marketing efforts funnel money into paid search engine marketing, Facebook and Instagram posts. In some cases we provide a photographer for high quality food shots.”

Packed and ready to go?

You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to foodservice, your takeout packaging had better hold up to scrutiny. More importantly, your takeout packaging has to stand up to delivery…and still look appetizing when it reaches its destination.

“With takeout, the customer is in control of when that food is consumed,” says John Veder, director of innovation - paper for Novolex North America. “For delivery, the customer is at home, waiting. Their expectation is that the food is ready to eat. Not soggy. Not cold.”

When food is delivered, customers see the packaging first, and they eat with their eyes. Is it clean, neat and tidy? You need to make a great first impression otherwise customers may not go to you for takeout again. That’s why Veder suggests ensuring the packaging is correct for the application in terms of size and material. “The packaging a French fry requires for travel is different than a pasta dish. And packaging will also depend on the miles or time it needs to travel.”

Consider customizing your existing menu specifically for delivery, Veder advises.

Novolex’s innovation is driven by providing solutions to delivery (and takeout) packaging needs, offering a wide range of options with thermal properties, moisture resistance, visual appeal, and security. “Our load and fold bag offers functionality in terms of transport but also that tamper evident feature where a branded sticker could be added to give your customer peace of mind.”

Adding a delivery service can drive your business to new heights, but only with careful planning will you deliver the ultimate come-back-for-more customer experience.

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