The growth of delivery has been staggering with UK delivery orders surging by almost 400% in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Diners are now used to the convenience of online ordering – it is set to stay.
Now is the time to be thinking about how best to optimise your menu to maximise your profits.
Here are our quick suggestions.
The key actions to consider
Differentiating your offering
You may assume that you can just offer your normal restaurant menu to your delivery customers. This may be a wrong and costly move.
You need to consider a few aspects when creating a delivery menu such as:
When creating your delivery menu you need to consider how it is going to be transported. menu items from your existing restaurant menu may not last the trip.
Items that contain sauces for example may end up as a mess by the time they reach their final destination. Consider also temperature items such as ice cream may melt by the time they reach your diner.
following on from that point you also need to consider that with restaurant food you can control the appearance of the dish when it is served. With deliveries on the other hand, you have far less control over the aesthetics.
3. Guiding your diners
With takeaway and delivery your diners do not get the expert advice of your wait staff therefore they have to rely on the menu to guide them.
You must therefore write a more detailed and descriptive menu for the online platforms in order for your diners to make the correct decisions.
Update your delivery menu.
1. Keep it short
Too much choice on the takeaway menu can be confusing. We suggest that you keep the menu concise so that diners aren’t baffled by too much choice.
There is an added advantage to this as keeping the menu short means that you require fewer ingredients and it will be easier for you to fulfil the orders when your chefs can focus on fewer dishes.
2. Create an eye-catching design.
It is said that people eat with their eyes. In order to attract your diners amongst many competing restaurants on the third-party online platforms it is imperative that you have an appetising menu.
Diners are going to be drawn to attractive pictures of your mouth watering dishes far more than a boring text menu.
Invest include copy writing and if possible professional photography.
3. Factor in delivery times
When creating your delivery menu, you need to consider how long the items are going to take to prepare and cook. Consider the maximum distance from your kitchen to your customers. Will the food still be piping hot by the time it reaches them?
Eliminate items that are going to take too long to prepare as they may be cold or soggy when they reach your diner or worse your diner may have to wait a long time for their food leading to a negative review on the online platforms.
4. Engineer your menu
Once you have figured out the logistics of delivering food you now need to apply some thought to your most profitable and popular items. We would suggest applying some principles of menu engineering.
This is where a restaurant EPOS system is invaluable. Looking at your previous sales data from the restaurant EPOS software you can quickly identify which items on your menu are the star performers.
Pro tip – make your profitable and popular items stand out on your delivery menu and make sure they are near the top of your online menu.
5. Expand your menu
It is well worth considering adding items specifically for the delivery market.
For example, if you have items on your restaurant menu such as cocktails which may perish you could offer a more durable alternative such as wine.
6. Think digitally
The days of paper menus being shoved through peoples’ doors are long gone. Make sure that your menu translates well to not only the third-party platforms but also to mobile phones and as a PDF download from your website.
It’s a numbers game – you need to get as many eyeballs looking at your menu as possible.
This brings us nicely to promotion. Once you have your menu ready you need to promote it far and wide.
We would suggest that you promote it:
- On social media
- On your website
- From social media ads
- And your email list
You can also promote it offline through digital signage outside your restaurant and by including it with your deliveries.
Review your technology
Technology such as restaurant EPOS software can really come into its own when you are planning your menu and can help to drive your delivery operation. You may have a great till but do you have the technology to handle the new challenges of delivery.
Look for technology that can:
- Update your menus across all your sites
- Give you accurate up to date sales figures to drive menu engineering
- Integrate with your third-party delivery apps for a seamless payment solution.
- Offer you the opportunity to offer mobile payments
- Menu costing
- Automate kitchen processes
Deliveries offer a great deal of convenience to your customers and offer a great opportunity for you to expand your reach.
With careful planning you can easily create a profitable online delivery business. Technology such as restaurant EPOS software is key to your success giving you the actionable data you need to fully optimise your menu and drive revenue.