Are you planning to start your own food delivery business? If so, you are choosing a prosperous industry that shows no signs of slowing down. More and more households are relying on home deliveries for food, and an aging population means this trend will continue perpetually.
Before you can begin to profit from this industry, however, there are various points that need covering. Firstly, you need to select the type of food delivery business you want to begin. Will you be a courier service for local restaurants? Perhaps a make-to-order takeaway? Maybe you’ll have a subscription meal service where you deliver products in bulk each week?
Once you have an idea, you have to develop a unique selling point, find the right location, produce a business plan, generate funding, etc. Another essential element is the incorporation of technology into your business strategy.
Technology has revolutionized all industries – and few have been changed quite as much as the food delivery sector. Yes, food will generally be prepared, cooked, and delivered by real people. Yet how it is ordered and distributed can be determined by technology. Below are ways to use technology to grow and optimize your food delivery business.
A fleshed-out website
You can no longer rely on just leaflets and takeaway menus to gain customers. More and more people are using the internet to find their next food delivery fix. In fact, research reveals 93% of consumers rely on the internet to learn more about a local business. This means if you have no online presence, you’re going to miss out on a lot of potential trade.
The foundation for your online presence is a business website. The more detail you can incorporate into this website, the better chance you have of convincing a customer to choose your company.
If you’re delivering your own food, for instance, a menu is one of the key elements for your site. An advantage of it being on a webpage means there’s no limit in terms of space. This means you can upload pictures for each item on the menu, which can provide that visualization for customers which a description cannot match.
Another aspect that is recommended for your site is a blog. If you manage to upload relevant, engaging blog posts on a regular schedule, this can be a great help for your local SEO efforts. This is imperative to get your website to display high in relevant search results.
However, perhaps most important of all is an option for customers to make their delivery selections directly on your site. This can either be with a dedicated platform or with assistance from a third-party service.
Extending on from your own website, it can also be worth creating your own mobile app. Yes, this is going to be more expensive and require more resources than starting a site. Yet the marketing benefits, enhanced customer experience, and competitive edge an app provides shouldn’t be overlooked.
Take push notifications, for example. If someone has your app on their smartphone, you can send out a push notification alerting them about your latest offer. They don’t have to be on your app or even using their devices to receive this notification – it simply arrives when you decide to send it out to users. This naturally boosts engagement, with their click rate being seven times higher than emails.
For more information on why you should use a mobile app, Medium has listed nine advantages of using this platform.
Online delivery platforms
Even if you do have a dedicated delivery platform on your website and app, it’s highly recommended you spread your wings and also position your business on other external platforms. Popular options include:
- Uber Eats
- Just Eat
Admittedly, there is one notable disadvantage from being featured on these platforms: they’ll take a cut of your profits. However, the exposure they can provide is more than makes up for this point.
Think about it: these platforms have millions of users each day. They are also often the first port of call when someone begins searching for a local food delivery service. As a result, you want to ensure your business shows up in relevant searches on the likes of Uber Eats and DoorDash. If not, your competition will be there to scoop up all the customers you’re leaving on the table.
Securing orders is only half the battle. Now you have to ensure deliveries make it to customers in a fast, efficient manner. With every minute that ticks by, a hungry customer will become less inclined to opt for your business in the future. Sadly, there are numerous factors which can delay deliveries. These delays include unpredictable weather conditions, traffic jams, and receiving a high number of orders at once.
The good news is that technology is making deliveries more efficient. One of the best solutions for local service is last mile delivery software. This software optimizes food delivery routes while also helping your business in several other ways. For example, you can use auto dispatching to reduce labor costs and service time, while proof of delivery is made easy for drivers.
The end result of using this technology is deliveries are quicker, which ultimately improves the customer experience.
AI to stay ahead of the curve
Artificial intelligence is playing various roles in changing the food delivery landscape. One way is with the prediction of emerging food trends. Tastewise is an AI-driven platform, for example, and it analyzes billions of pieces of data – from social media posts to restaurant menus – to pinpoint emerging market opportunities for eateries. This type of information can assist your business with predicting what new menu items customers desire.
AI can also assist your business with its efficiency in ordering ingredients and other replenishable items. It can make on-demand predictions, which allows you to plan ahead and ensure you order the right amount of ingredients, so you don’t run out during service.