According to a recently published report by the NRA, restaurant sales will grow to $1.2 trillion by 2030 - a growth that's very much driven by off-premise orders. Restaurants - and businesses like groceries, supermarkets and FMC companies - that want a piece of the action have to think about their takeaway, drive-through and/or delivery strategy. 

Setting up a delivery service, though definitely worth the while, does come with a few pain points, all of which can be easily solved by automating the order process. Let’s have a look at the 8 biggest issues restaurants offering delivery face - and how to take them out of the equation.

 

1. You lose time by manually entering delivery orders in your POS system

Some restaurants put a full-time employee in charge of accepting delivery and/or takeaway orders, as well as double punching the orders into the point-of-sale system. This manual task, which is both time and labor intensive, creates a delay in the order flow. The kitchen doesn’t get the tickets until they’ve been created in the restaurant POS. Once they receive the order to be prepared, the multitude of ticket layouts and sizes often leads to confusion. To summarize: combining all the above issues slows down the delivery time considerably.

Restaurant employee typing in orderAnother issue with rekeying orders is that it’s prone to error. Making mistakes is only human, but errors in the customer’s order will lead to complaints, frustration and loss of revenue and (repeat) business.

By automating the online order process, you can avoid the potential risk of (costly) errors and free up your staff’s time, so they can invest it in your in-house customers. With orders automatically pushed to your POS and printed in the kitchen, your operation will run - a great deal more - efficiently. According to our customers CrêpeAffaire and Thunderbird Fried Chicken, teaming up with Deliverect to automate delivery greatly improved both speed and accuracy, which boosted customer satisfaction and revenue.

 

2. Being on multiple ordering platforms means you are buried in dozens of tablets

When you deliver food, working with multiple third-party food ordering players is a smart strategy to scale up your business. The thing is, each delivery partner comes with a partner-specific tablet, which has its own distinctive notification sounds and receipts. If you are listed on 4 platforms, that means you’ll have 4 tablets, on top of your own hardware. Not only do you have to make sure these tablets are on all the time - this is necessary to indicate that your online shop is open, you also have to make certain your staff can hear notifications of incoming orders at all times, so you can accept them and send them to the kitchen.

The "wall of tablets" in a restaurantThere’s no doubt that “tablet hell” is real: the pinging of the devices will distract your staff from serving customers, you’ll have to have chargers available to feed the tablets and, more importantly, you’ll have to accept and keep track of all your incoming orders while running your brick-and-mortar restaurant. 

Luckily, this issue can be dealt with by integrating your delivery partner platforms with your point-of-sale system. Deliverect pulls in all your delivery orders and pushes them to your POS and kitchen printer. Although you still have to keep the tablets online, you can stuff them in a cabinet and manage the entire delivery flow using just one central tablet.

Bavet, a Belgian spaghetti restaurant chain that’s signed up with us, says that integrating their delivery operation helped them find more time and energy to connect with their customers. And in the end, that’s what the hospitality and food industry is all about!

 

3. Multi-platform menu management is a job that takes up hours of your time

Never before have there been so many restaurants offering delivery. Therefore it’s crucial to stand out, and one sure-fire way to do so is with a delivery-proof menu that’s clear, attractive and customizable. Creating online menus on different third-party platforms and keeping them up to date can take up hours and hours of your precious time. You have to set up multiple menus for each delivery platform and once you want to adjust a price or item, put in the request with the delivery partner. If you run multiple locations and/or cloud kitchens, all of which are listed on a range of ordering platforms, you can only imagine the amount of work and time you’d have to invest in just your menus.

Fortunately, it is possible to easily and efficiently manage multi-location and multi-platform menus, all from one place. Deliverect’s delivery management software comes with an easy menu builder that allows you to create, duplicate and automate menus, and push them to multiple channels. This will make it easier to play around with descriptions, promotions and food photos, giving you the opportunity to experiment with audiences and segments.

For Goiko Grill and Mambo Italia, both of which have several branches and virtual kitchens, the Deliverect menu builder proved essential in growing their delivery operation.

Kitchen staff looking at orders

 

4. Reporting is complicated as you need to export & import data from multiple channels

At the end of the day, analyzing your sales is the best way to optimize and grow. Unfortunately, having to gather all sales data scattered around different channels is a well-known by-product of working with third parties for delivery. Spruce up your Excel skills, because you’ll have to export data from all your online sales channels, combine them and add your in-house sales to top it off. As a result, reporting can become a time consuming chore - one with room for many mistakes. 

A seamless integration between your online sales channels and POS system is all it takes to solve this pain. Deliverect customers Matcha Mafia and Salsa Shop, among others, are convinced of the added value of integrated reporting, which saves them lots of time and effort - which they can put right back into their core business.

 

5. Your stock isn't in sync following online orders

Replenishing your inventory can be a complicated job if stock following online sales isn’t updated in your restaurant inventory software or point-of-sale system. A customer who’s looking to order his favorite dish online will just go on to buy it elsewhere if he finds it is no longer available on your menu. This, of course, is something you want to avoid. However, a worse scenario is when a customer is able to order the dish in your online shop, after which you have to contact them to cancel, seeing that your online inventory wasn’t up to date.

Restaurant employee taking inventoryMany modern POS systems already include stock management, but in order to sync with your online sales platforms, restaurants need the latter to be integrated with their POS. Real-time inventory data are the only way to guarantee correct product availability and reduce out of stock product. Feel free to read our customer It’s All Greek To Me’s story on how Deliverect managed to solve their online inventory issues.

 

6. You’re not compliant with tax and VAT regulations

All around the world, hospitality businesses are subjected to strict tax regulations. In some countries, restaurants and catering services are required to work with a registered cash register system - the so-called “white cash register” to avoid fraud. This means all your incoming revenue, including through online sales channels, needs to be registered to be in compliance with VAT requirements. Subsequently, you’ll have to enter all your delivery receipts in your restaurant POS to be compliant, and you’ll have to make sure the customer  receives a ticket, as well. This brings us back to issue number 1: “you lose time by manually entering delivery orders in your POS system”.

One of the countries in which food businesses struggle with VAT compliance following delivery orders is Belgium. Chains and single restaurants alike, including our customers Bavet and Bar Jan Cremer, can benefit from a delivery management system like Deliverect to automate the online order process, which also ensures correct VAT compliance.

 

7. Riders show up too early

Food service couriers need to make as many deliveries as possible to earn a living. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to wait for a meal that’s not ready to be picked up yet. Moreover, if multiple riders have to wait inside your restaurant, that could make the in-house dining experience for your guests less agreeable - especially if you’re working with a small space. Last but not least, the customer waiting for their food is often given a tracking link, which may show the rider’s picked up the meal, while in fact they are still waiting around to collect it. This may lead to incorrect presumptions about delivery times, which in turn will lead to disappointed customers and bad reviews. 

Food courier waiting in restaurant

Many third-party food delivery platforms calculate estimated prep times according to a restaurant’s order history on the platform. In order to make certain these estimations are accurate, you need to streamline your order process, as well as optimize it and make it consistent.

Deliverect customers Poule & Poulette and The Regency Club invested in waiting areas for food couriers, so in-house diners are in no way impacted by their presence and the kitchen can communicate efficiently about ready orders.

 

8. Customers don’t find your listing in the app

Cities like London, Barcelona, Amsterdam and New York count thousands of eateries with a delivery service. With many of those signed up with platforms like Uber Eats, Postmates and Deliveroo, the number of in-app restaurant listings is huge. So what if your restaurant isn’t being found by potential customers? Optimizing your delivery business is key to rank higher in food delivery apps and capitalize on your position.

Faster preparation times, faster delivery times, higher acceptance and online rates,… in short, a better delivery performance will lead to more positive customer reviews and a better position of your listing. By managing your delivery operation as efficiently as possible, you can quickly improve the above mentioned metrics with minimum effort - as confirmed by Deliverect’s customer Absurd Bird, who’s now ranked higher in its food delivery apps.

 

Some of the biggest operational issues in the era of food delivery can be easily dealt with by optimizing your delivery management and integrating your delivery sales channels in your POS system. Next to a boost in revenue, you’ll gain back time to focus on your core business: making your customers happy and conquering the world with your food.

Karolien Odou
By Karolien Odou

Fulltime carnivore