Start with the basics, and then get the word out.
he coronavirus has definitely impacted the restaurant industry in a negative way. In fact, 80 percent of independent restaurants aren’t even sure they’ll survive this pandemic.
Thankfully, delivery is still an option. Many people are using apps like DoorDash and UberEats to order food from the comfort of their homes.
Offering delivery from your restaurant is a great way to stay in business during this time. With all of the effort you put into opening your restaurant, it’s worth exploring new revenue streams to keep the lights on.
Here’s how you can offer restaurant delivery using some of the most popular delivery aggregators.
Step 1: Choose your delivery service
Before apps like UberEats and GrubHub were widely available, restaurants would have to set up their delivery services themselves. This would involve the expensive upfront costs of hiring delivery drivers and implementing the proper logistics to make sure things operate efficiently.
Now, offering delivery is a much simpler process. Here are some of the most popular delivery aggregators in the restaurant industry.
GrubHub is one of the first restaurant delivery aggregators to operate on a large scale. Not only does the service gives you access to their fleet of delivery drivers, but they also offer marketing support within their app. GrubHub’s fee for restaurants varies from 10–30 percent depending on a number of factors. If this sounds like something that would work for you, you can get your restaurant on GrubHub here.
Like GrubHub, DoorDash has a fleet of drivers to assist your restaurant with delivery. Like GrubHub, they also promote your restaurant within their app. Their rates aren’t disclosed openly, but it’s expected to range from 10–25 percent. You can sign up here if this sounds like it can work for you. The company is offering forms of commission relief and marketing support for restaurants during the COVID-19 crisis.
Like DoorDash and GrubHub, UberEats gives you access to a fleet of delivery drivers. The difference, however, is that these drivers are the same drivers that give rides to Uber’s regular users. You can get your restaurant on UberEats by signing up here. Uber normally charges a 30 percent commission, but they’ve waived this fee during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Step 2: Promote deliveries on social media
It’s not enough to simply offer delivery. You need to let your customers know about it!
Here are some ways to get the word out on social media.
Post about it
Let customers know that you offer delivery by posting on all of your social media accounts. Make sure you leverage images to draw attention. A picture with the logo of your chosen delivery service and your restaurant should do.
Share your online only menu
It’s likely that you’re going to need to cut food costs by offering only your most popular items. Make sure you create a menu that makes this known and share it on your social media accounts. Provide links to this new menu within your Google My Business profile as well, as many people use Google Maps to find nearby restaurant options.
It can be tough to spend money right now, but if you have the budget, Facebook or Instagram ads can help you reach a wider audience than a simple social media post. If you have your customers’ email addresses, you can specifically target them with your ads. With this list, you can also expand your reach by creating lookalike audiences. If you’re stripped of cash right now, look into Facebook’s COVID-19 grant program for advertisers.
Step 3: Keep your restaurant clean
Keeping your restaurant clean and employees healthy is imperative right now. With the risks of catching COVID-19 so high, customers will be more concerned than ever about cleanliness.
Here are some things you must do to keep your restaurant safe for your employees and customers.
If possible, encourage remote work
If managers can work from home, make this happen. People can be infected COVID-19 and not even show symptoms, keeping employees distant from each other is important. Having managers work from home reduces the risk of the virus spreading through your workforce.
Be lenient about sick leave
If a worker calls in sick, make them stay home. If you’re normally strict about sick days, ease up on this. If your entire workforce becomes sick, this can cause big problems later on when nobody can fulfil orders. Not to mention that sick staff will scare customers away and potentially results in negative PR.
Implement a hand washing log sheet
Hand washing is a must. Make your staff wash their hands every hour, and provide a log sheet to track this. Your staff should sign the sheet before washing their hands to further prevent the spread of germs.
Once you’ve implemented the above, tell your social media followers to make it clear you take their health, and the health of your staff, very seriously.
Hopefully, this guide will help your transition into food delivery just a little bit easier.
Nicholas Rubright is a digital marketing specialist for Aptito, a user-friendly restaurant POS system that runs on iPad. Outside of the restaurant industry, Nicholas spends his time playing and writing music.