How to Successfully Add Restaurant Delivery Service (RDS) to Your Restaurant Business

Jessica Elliott

Jessica couples her 24 years of restaurant and hospitality industry experience with meticulous research to deliver insight into technology, operations, and marketing topics. Her optimized copy helps companies engage their audience while strengthening their communication with clients, employees, and management.

Are you ready to add more off-premise dining options but struggling with labor or marketing concerns? While there are many pros and cons to partnering with a restaurant delivery service (RDS), many restaurateurs see third-party apps as a viable solution. 

However, not all partnerships are created equal. That’s why it’s crucial to vet RDS companies thoroughly before signing a contract. Then develop a plan for technology, operations, and marketing that delivers results. 

Assortment of food in boxes being prepared for delivery

Select the right restaurant delivery service provider.

With so many third-party delivery companies to choose from, where do you start? Research each business online, from their website to consumer review sites, like Trustpilot. Look for answers to the questions below, then jump on a phone call with the delivery app partner. 

  1. What are their statistics on delivery times and customer satisfaction ratings?
  2. What is their process for guest support (food delivery and technical problems)?
  3. What is the response time to questions from your restaurant staff?
  4. How do they vet and train employees for safe food handling? 
  5. Who is responsible for system integration (POS, accounting)?
  6. What are the fees and costs associated with their RDS?
  7. What types of customer data can you access?
  8. What type of marketing services do they provide?

Integrate your systems for optimal performance and tracking.

The best delivery partnerships allow your vital systems to “talk” to each other. Find out this information during your research phase, then create a list of each technology that needs updating. The more that you can connect and automate, then the easier it’ll be to adopt a successful program. In some cases, you may need an IT professional to ensure the network of connections properly works. Popular integrations include:

  • POS system
  • Email program
  • Website
  • Accounting program
  • Social media
  • Loyalty program

Adapt your operations for restaurant delivery services.

According to Modern Restaurant Management, “restaurants experiencing huge success with delivery apps report revamping their establishment to have more counter space, to-go shelving, and parking spaces for the delivery drivers.” 

Traditional restaurants weren’t built for delivery service. To be successful with delivery, then you need to make safety, performance, and convenience paramount. Do this by:

  • Developing a delivery menu.
  • Choosing delivery packaging that keeps your food at a safe temperature.
  • Adding tamper-proof stickers to bags.
  • Creating a system for delivery pick-ups.
  • Training staff on delivery POS, food prep and packaging, and app support.

Build a delivery marketing strategy.

Using an RDS can help your restaurant brand gain awareness. However, you still need to develop a plan that leverages your delivery app partner. Get free or low-cost marketing collateral from your restaurant delivery service. Then, roll out a campaign that captivates your potential guests and encourages them to try out your new program. 

The Restaurant Marketing & Delivery Association (RMDA) reports, “7% of the overall food dollar currently goes to the delivery industry.” That’s money that restaurant owners need in their pockets. Adding off-premise services is a huge step. Take your time and get it right so your company can increase its revenue in years to come.

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