How to Increase Food Delivery Sales for Your Restaurant

Written by Austin Chegini

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Food delivery has never been more important. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, more restaurants have turned to online ordering and delivery to make ends meet. With Uber buying Postmates for approximately $2.65 billion, there is significant investment in this space.

With winter approaching and outdoor dining coming to an end, many restaurants are urgently looking into how to increase food delivery sales. To help, we’ve compiled these seven proven ideas to try at your restaurant.

Get online 

Before you do anything else, make sure your business is easy to find online. 

This starts with your website, more specifically search engine optimization (SEO). If your website is not SEO-friendly, search engines will not be able to find it. To get the basics, read Google’s guide on SEO. 

Once your website is indexed on Google, it’s time to integrate with food delivery applications. While these services charge fees on transactions, they are perfect for growing your brand and reaching new audiences. 

Lastly, you need to build up your social media presence. The core focus should be on Facebook and Instagram, but keep in mind that each has a specific purpose. Facebook is perfect for sharing updates and special offers, as well as chatting with customers. Instagram is meant for posting photos and stories that will capture attention and make users crave your food. 

Read our guide on digital marketing for restaurants. 

Use high-quality descriptions and images

Unlike a paper menu in a restaurant, your digital menu needs to include as many images as possible. Customers can’t smell the food coming from the kitchen, so you need to reach their senses in other ways. With descriptive language and high-quality images, you can make users salivate and compel them to place an order. 

While it may take time to get the proper shot for each meal, you should make the investment to get the best photographs possible. These images will be seen by countless people, and they can severely affect how many orders are placed. 

At the same time, these descriptions need to accurately represent each meal. Online customers cannot ask questions, so make sure you clearly explain what comes with the order. This should include side dishes, sauces, utensils, and other common add-ons.

Create promotions

People turn to food delivery apps and other ordering services for convenience, and it is no surprise that this convenience comes at an increased cost. Buyers will be browsing the app for the best value, comparing each offering against the other. 

With short-term discounts, you bring attention to your business and may generate sales from people who would not have bought from you at full price. Although you will cut into your profits with these offers, you can use these purchases as a chance to build brand loyalty. Now is the time to show customers the quality and value of your meals. If done correctly, these buyers will happily pay full price next time they order from you.

Aside from discounts, you should occasionally bundle items or offer freebies with meals. Customers will appreciate that they’re getting a better deal when you include a free cookie, drink, or other items that do not usually come with a purchase. 

Collect and address feedback

Getting positive reviews is crucial for any business. When it comes to food, guests want to make sure they get what they pay for and that your food is safe to eat. Just one bad review saying your food made someone sick could cause problems. 

How do you get reviews? Ask for them!

With each meal you deliver, include a brief note thanking the purchaser for their order and requesting a review. Encourage the customer to be honest and that you will take note of all feedback. 

Not only do positive reviews signal to customers that you make good food, but it also tells search engines that people want to see what you have. As you get more reviews and social signals, search engines have a higher likelihood of ranking you higher up on results pages.

While we hope you get overwhelmingly positive reviews, bad feedback is inevitable. How you respond to bad reviews is key. 

Make sure to follow each of these steps when you get a bad review:

  • Acknowledge all reviews: People want to see that you are responsive and do not ignore feedback.
  • Be professional, not personal: Treat everyone with respect and do not take criticism personally.
  • Answer publicly and follow up privately: Acknowledge the issue and give the customer a phone number or email address to contact you.
  • Offer a chance to try again: Invite the customer back and give them a free meal to see if you can win their support.
  • Learn from your mistakes: Fix the cause of the problem to reduce repeat complaints. 

Upgrade your marketing efforts

Advertising is the secret to growth for countless businesses. With the right approach, you can get a massive return on investment and increase food delivery sales in your area. 

Advertising comes at a cost, so how much should you spend? 

FSR Magazine reports a clear correlation between advertising spend and growth. Companies that spent around 16.5 percent of revenue on advertising grew between 1 to 15 percent, while companies that spent 50.2 percent of revenue grew between 31 to 100 percent! 

Once you establish your advertising budget, where should you run ads?

Most restaurants use the following options:

  • Social media ads: Facebook and Instagram are perfect for promoting your delivery service. The platforms let you target users in your area, filtering for age, interests, habits, and more. 
  • Search engine ads: When people search for restaurants on Google, they see organic and paid results. With search engine ads, you can place yourself at the top of the list and drive more clicks for your website. 
  • In-app ads: Some food delivery apps let you pay to promote your business. Like social media ads, these promotions can be targeted toward specific areas. 

Speed up service

While the previously mentioned ideas will help you increase food delivery sales initially, you need to ensure quality service to keep customers coming back for more. In the delivery world, speed is everything. 

It all starts with order processing. Once the order is placed on your website, app, or over the phone, it needs to get to the kitchen with as few interruptions as possible. Outdated restaurant equipment will delay this process and eat up valuable time. On a busy day, it can take a while for a server to print a receipt at a terminal and run it to the kitchen. 

Luckily, modern quick service point of sale systems simplify this process. With these devices, orders can go straight to your kitchen display system. The back of house team can prepare meals faster, getting orders out the door without distraction.

On top of this, quick delivery is crucial. While you cannot necessarily make your drivers and bike riders go faster, you can give them fewer orders to ensure food gets from point A to point B in record time. To do this, consider increasing your delivery fleet so each driver makes fewer stops. 

Incentivize with rewards

Another crucial way of retaining customers is to reward loyalty. Everyone likes to feel valued, and creating a restaurant loyalty program is your way to show customers how much you appreciate them. On top of this, these programs can encourage customers to purchase more from you, creating a recurring revenue stream.

Repeat shoppers spend more than first-time guests, so retaining these customers is very beneficial. Likewise, it costs 5x more to attract new customers than to retain existing customers. 

How do loyalty programs work?

  • Track shopping habits: Each time a guest buys from you, their order is logged so you can see what they buy and how often.
  • Accrue points or levels: Each dollar spent helps the buyer earn redeemable points or unlock tiers that provide special perks.
  • Receive discounts and free items: Either through redemption or targeted offers, loyalty members can get a percentage off their order and free meals, add-on items, and delivery. 

Improve your delivery and more with Epos Now Order and Pay

If you want total control over your restaurant, Epos Now Order and Pay is the tool for you. Our tool not only lets you process delivery requests, but you can also take at-table and pickup orders. 

Here’s how Epos Now Order and Pay works:

  • Customers scan a QR code to see your custom menu - no app required!
  • Orders are sent directly to your kitchen.
  • Diners can pay with any credit or debit card, as well as Google or Apple Pay.
  • Customers receive digital receipts after payment. 
  • All transactions are logged in your Epos Now system.

For takeout orders, customers can choose a pickup time for added convenience. For deliveries, customers can see their order status as it is being prepared. 

See the simplicity of Epos Now

Epos Now POS systems bring speed, efficiency, and security to restaurants. With computer, tablet, and mobile devices, you get the flexibility to run your business how you see fit. All data is stored securely on the cloud, and you can always access it from anywhere, on any device.

Best of all, the Epos Now App Store features over 100 integrations to improve your business. From accounting and payment processing to loyalty and email marketing, these integrations will enhance all aspects of your restaurant.

Speak with a POS consultant to learn more about Epos Now.

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