If you’re in the last-mile delivery business then you know how important it is to optimize each step in the process to keep costs down. The combination of multiple stops and potentially smaller order sizes can create significant inefficiencies compared to a more traditional logistics model where items are shipped in large truckload quantities to a warehouse or a select few locations.
Reverse Logistics Explained
Standard last-mile logistics involves moving goods from one store or warehouse to the consumer. Reverse logistics is—you guessed it—moving goods in the opposite direction. An example would be a delivery driver picking up a return from a customer and taking it back to restock or throw out. Or, a more routine example for certain companies like a water or milk delivery service, it includes regularly picking up empty bottles from a customer.
Why Reverse Logistics Is Important
There are many different reasons that a delivery driver may have to transport goods back to where they came from, and these return trips need to be considered in your overall delivery cost equation as well as their impact on the customer experience. Planned returns, such as picking up empty milk bottles, are easier to manage with the right kind of software–such as our integrated eCommerce & Delivery software which gives drivers built-in options to pick up bottle returns. It’s the unplanned returns that are more difficult and can add significant costs from the extra time and fuel. For businesses delivering perishable goods, the cost can be even greater if a return means the product won’t be able to be resold, and instead, will need to be disposed of.
Minimizing unplanned returns, and optimizing how they are managed when they do occur, should be a key part of any delivery strategy. While you likely can’t bring returns down to zero, you can control the number of certain returns, including having to return to a location because of failed delivery attempts. With our delivery management software, you automatically send out SMS alerts the moment an order goes out for delivery, including sending the customer a tracking link, and an always-updated ETA so that customers know when they need to be home. In turn, customers can reply with a text message about needing to change the delivery time. This way, if there needs to be a change, this gives you the chance to correct it before you deliver, rather than having to make a return trip.
It’s important to remember that all returns, whether planned or unplanned, are part of the overall customer experience. An incorrect order doesn’t have to mean a lost customer if the return is handled properly. That’s why it’s vital to create a strategy for handling returns promptly and efficiently, and include methods for communicating with customers and your drivers.
How To Optimize Reverse Logistics
To start, of course, you’ve got to enlist the help of the right cloud-based delivery management tech. But, it has to be the right one for your business. If you’re a subscription-based business like farm or CSA, and your drivers have a very similar route every time they deliver, you’re going to want subscription delivery software with purpose-built features for returns, last-minute order changes, and box, bag, or bottle returns–all synced over the cloud in real-time from your driver’s mobile phones to your office. Those features, and much more, are built into our Delivery Biz Pro software.
If on the other hand, you operate a restaurant or shop, and it’s all about on-demand deliveries that are less predictable, you’ll want to look into our flagship last-mile delivery software: it has the ultimate route optimization tech, that takes in hundreds of inputs from traffic to weather to added or subtracted stops to make your routes extremely efficient. It’s also got a suite of customizable alerts to keep your customers up-to-date so that they always know where their order is, plus customers, can choose proof of delivery and ask the driver to take a photo of the package (especially if it’s being delivered contact-free), so thateveryone is on the same page and any mistakes can be immediately corrected.
Find Out More About How GetSwift Can Help You With Reverse Logistics
If you’re looking for a comprehensive last-mile delivery software that can help you optimize your delivery business. It offers features such as automatic dispatching, route optimization, real-time driver tracking, customer alerts, and proof of delivery — and everything can be accessed from our user-friendly mobile app.
Are you interested in learning more about how our delivery software can help you minimize and manage returns? Contact us today to schedule a free demo.
A focus on the last mile of delivery — the final leg of shipping your product to the buyer’s door — has been a growing trend for businesses for several years, but there are challenges. It’s expensive and there are lots of inefficiencies to overcome. In fact, some estimates say last mile delivery comprises 53% of the total cost of shipping.
We’re going to explore why last-mile delivery is so challenging, and what business owners can do to overcome those challenges. Smart planning, a focus on customer satisfaction, and on-demand and flexible delivery software are just a few of the things we’ll discuss. Read on to learn about three of the main challenges in last-mile delivery and how GetSwift’s platform addresses each one.
A Few Last-Mile Delivery Challenges
Let’s start with three thorny challenges.
1. Multiple Stops
Rather than traveling to and from one warehouse or office, with last-mile delivery, drivers need to make several individual stops to make their deliveries. Each stop along a driver’s route takes time. There’s the time involved with driving to the area and finding the exact home or place of business. They may have to stop for several traffic lights or stop signs. Once they arrive, there’s the time involved with walking up to the building, possibly interacting with a customer, and then walking back to their vehicle only to have to do it all over again many times throughout the day.
2. Dense Neighborhoods
Think of how quickly you can get 40,000 pounds of goods to a destination when you’re using a semi on a national highway to get to one or two warehouse locations. Then, think of how long it would take a driver in a small van to get the same amount of goods to homes and businesses scattered throughout a congested urban area — it takes significantly more time. One reason why is the multiple stops we discussed above, but it’s also because of the reduced travel speed.
Last-mile drivers are often traveling in areas with lower posted speed limits — like small rural cities, busy downtowns, and residential areas. In densely populated areas they also have to deal with pedestrians and public transportation as well as traffic congestion. All of these things mean that to deliver directly to someone’s door, it’s going to take more time.
3. Failed and Missed Deliveries
A common problem with direct-to-consumer deliveries is a failure to complete the transaction. This can be because of any number of reasons including an incorrect address, the customer not at home, or the customer unaware of when the delivery was going to arrive. A failed delivery is not only bad business in the eyes of your customers, but it also creates additional problems in the form of redelivery cost, or even worse, lost business and negative customer reviews.
Three Solutions In Last-Mile Delivery
Let’s look at solutions to these three major problems, one by one.
1. Real-Time Routing
When you and your driver have GetSwift’s cloud-based platform, it’s all real-time routing, so if there’s a traffic jam or an added stop, that data automatically updates the driver’s route to provide the most efficient route along with the order or stops that now makes the most sense. Saving your time and keeping customers happier. Learn more about how our AI team improves your routing.
2. Routing + Scheduling Analytics
While there’s no complete solution to having to move at lower speeds, you have lots of options to make your routes much more efficient. If your business takes advance scheduled orders, you can use our software to see how long a route will take at certain times and try to schedule your deliveries for faster times (such as delivering at night). You can also see which zip codes are too expensive to deliver to, and either decline customers who order from there or, for instance, automatically require them to make an order of a certain size.
You have many more options to save time on routes. If your delivering on demand, you can look at the analytics section of GetSwift’s platform, like our client Flowers A Bunch did, to track all your trip times in a week to analyze what routes were the least efficient, and look into why: was it one driver who you need to talk to, for instance, about strategies for getting more efficient, or is it always one route that causes problems. The opposite may be true as well: one route or neighborhood may be particularly efficient for your drivers, and you can look to increase your marketing from your store near that route to focus even more on those customers.
3. Reliable Network + Live Driver Tracking
Let’s turn this one around. The source of a failed delivery is varied: one course could unfortunately be a driver having the wrong address. That’s why it’s important to make sure your delivery management system is robustly built with the most accurate locational data and a reliable network. If your drivers are out delivering and all of a sudden the network is down, you’d not only have to scramble to get them the right addresses but it can lead to missed deliveries, and it’s hard to afford a day like that. Your drivers want to be out in the field with the confidence that they’re on the most reliable network, and that if they were to encounter a problem, they have a customer support team ready to help solve it, fast.
Another way to turn around missed deliveries are real-time alerts, tracking links, and ETAs, along with open two-way communication between the driver and customer, so that a customer knows exactly when the driver will arrive. To minimize the likelihood of any mix-up, customers can also request that the driver record proof of delivery, including taking a photo of the package.
Fix Your Last Mile With GetSwift
Three problems and three solutions. Talk to us about what challenges you’re having, and hear from us about how our tech, onboarding, and customer support will solve them.
What exactly has AI’s impact on logistics been, and where will AI continue to improve the last mile? And what does this innovation mean for a company like yours, involved in delivery?
Luckily, we have our resident AI expert, Jim Barnebee, who is also our VP of Infrastructure. He’s been digging into components of AI for over 15 years so that we all don’t have to.
It couldn’t be a more important topic. 98 percent of logistics companies have said that data-driven decision-making is essential to their future success, and Big Data and Artificial Intelligence go hand in hand. AI in logistics is also where companies can get a lot of bang for their investment—over half the cost of all delivery logistics is contained within the first and last mile of the logistics supply chain.
Recently Jim appeared on twopodcasts, where he answered lots of big questions on our mind related to AI’s impact on and logistics. Here’s a summary of the questions he was asked:
First, what does every company, especially smaller companies, wanting to up their logistics game need to know?
First, the fundamentals. Perhaps the biggest leap forward that’s already taken place for logistics companies is the cloud. It takes an enormous amount of computing power to constantly calculate and recalculate the best route from Point A to Point B depending on changing conditions. Fortunately, small companies do not have to invest in that cloud infrastructure or AI expertise because they’ve been able to hire a Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS) such as GetSwift to handle that power for them. That’s been a major step forward, already, for logistics and delivery companies.
Logistics companies have invested big in robotics automation, especially in the crucial and costly first mile of delivery. Think of warehouses, autonomous drones, and self-driving vehicles, all of which have grown in importance during the Covid-19 pandemic. Investing in these areas can push margins higher and so there’s been big strides here.
What are the areas where AI can give you the most bang for your buck in last mile delivery?
Over half the cost of all delivery logistics is contained within the first and last mile of the logistics supply chain. Each company will want to look at ROI. They should ask, “What are the areas or components that would improve their last mile delivery journey and yield the biggest ROI for customers?” It turns out the answer is usually in improving Dispatch, Tracking, Route Optimization, and Customer Notifications.
Can you go through each of these areas, one by one, and talk about AI’s impact?
Dispatching is being optimized using AI in determining the best way to make sure the best person or vehicle or even company gets an order for delivery. Many factors may play into these types of decisions, other than the obvious closest person working to the pickup and drop-off.
Such things as who has capacity to move the item, who has a more fuel efficient vehicle, who has to pay tolls, even pay or benefits differentials or partial load optimization (like sharing of space) can play into these decisions.
In Tracking, optimizations such as how often to request a location, status, what kind of information to track, etc., can all play into decision making. Some companies will improve fuel efficiency or driver alertness by tracking how many miles at what speed drivers log between rest breaks. Or perhaps if GPS directs the shortest route but that route has tolls, it might be cheaper once the tracking is optimized to take a little longer but pay less in tolls using more efficient vehicles.
A lot of work has gone into Route Optimization. In last mile delivery, a company has to move people or goods not just from Point A to Point B, but from Point A to Point F, with stops and changing conditions along the way. Because of AI, there is a way to pipe in real-time data–traffic, weather conditions, construction, and more—along with dynamic changes such as added stops—into an algorithm that can continuously update the route to make it the most efficient. There may actually be 300 or 400 changing conditions along the way, and there is a race in the logistics and delivery industry to integrate those changing conditions with your systems to come up with the most efficient routes.
Now, you can also think about how business analytics can improve your route. Let’s think of a big trucking company that delivers 10,000 packages a day in New York City. How many packages get delivered quickly, by how many trucks, to how many places, crossing how many bridges, and what’s the toll cost? Something as simple as: if all of your trucks take a different bridge, which actually increases your routing time, but all of the tolls are 50 cents less. You’ve taken an extra 30 minutes to deliver the package, which may not cost you anything in customer satisfaction but it’s saved you $5,000 a day in toll fees. That’s the kind of thing you can do when you have access to big data, giving you the business impact of making these kinds of decisions.
Customers expect to know what’s happening every step of the way with their orders now. Being able to provide tracking of packages has become standard for large companies in most circumstances, and cloud platform providers have made this capability available to smaller businesses who could never supply it on their own.
That’s just a snapshot of what Jim’s team works on. To hear more about AI’s impact on logistics and delivery industry, and how Jim sees AI impacting the present and future of logistics, check out Jim’s appearances on these two podcasts:
As the pandemic continues, the restaurant industry is, of course, not back to business as usual. Although many establishments have been allowed to open for on-premise dining, limitations that support social distancing have meant that customers have looked to delivery, takeout, curbside, and drive-thru to fill the gap, among other creative solutions.
But the increase in off-premise dining isn’t a fast trend that will go away, the data shows. Off-premise sales were already growing four times faster than dine-in before the pandemic. Going forward, the restaurant landscape will likely continue to look different than it did before 2020. That means if you’re a restaurant owner, now is the time to up your delivery game; the best way to accomplish that is to reduce your reliance on third-party apps by launching in-house delivery.
Benefits of Doing Your Own Delivery
At the beginning of the pandemic, many restaurants with limited or no delivery capabilities had no other choice than to employ third-party delivery services to get food and beverages to their customers. While they may have seemed like a good option at the time, the exorbitant commission fees, often around 30 percent or more, would often eat away at any possibility of making a profit. Bringing delivery in-house eliminates the middleman and therefore allows you to keep much more of your hard-earned money.
Not only does keeping delivery close to home increase your margin, but it also allows you to have better control over food quality and the entire customer experience. Customers who receive a late order or get food that has been temperature abused often resort to blaming the restaurant, not the delivery service. By maintaining control of the journey from the kitchen to the destination, restaurant owners can ensure a safe and positive experience for their customers.
Customer experience is the key factor that will foster brand loyalty and keep people coming back time and again — regardless of what is going on in the world. Even if required to stay home and self-quarantine, delivery of a favorite food or knowing that you’re supporting a favorite local business can make things feel a little more like normal.
Tips For Bringing Delivery In-House
Managing the day-to-day operations of a restaurant business is already challenging, so trying to add delivery to your list of responsibilities may seem overwhelming. However, the most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to do it all at once. You can start by evaluating your menu and selecting a handful of your most popular items that travel well. Paring down your menu and creating one specifically for delivery will help reduce complexity and set your delivery efforts up for success.
Next, hire a couple of drivers — or bring back waiters, bartenders of bar-backs that you may have had to lay off after the pandemic hit — and ask them do what they do best–customer service; this time, it’s just on the road. You don’t have to have an entire fleet up and running at the start, but make sure to keep a close eye on how it grows so you can be prepared to meet demand.
Finally, get the word out about your delivery offerings in whatever way possible. Publish it on social media, send emails to your subscriber list, and hand out fliers to your in-house diners. Creating awareness and staying top of mind is how you ensure that the next time someone wants a meal delivered to their home or business, they think of you.
Bring Delivery In House With GetSwift
The prospect of launching in-house delivery, including hiring your own drivers, can be daunting. But getting started is actually much faster and much easier than you think. Your team will be able to get the hang of it pretty quickly — just listen to our customers — and the rewards of going in-house, for your culture, morale, and bottom line, are too big to pass up. Interested in getting started with a free one-month trial? Contact a member of our team today to learn how we can help.
Just about every business from the largest to the smallest wasn’t prepared for the monumental shift that has been occurring in delivery due to COVID-19. Food delivery was 300 times more popular in April than it was just a month prior. Another report looking at the impact on grocery sales estimates that online grocery sales will grow 40% in 2020 due to COVID.
Double and even triple-digit growth means significant challenges in trying to fill orders, meet expected delivery times, and communicate with customers. Those who adapt and succeed at delivery will come out ahead and delivery service software is the easiest way to do just that. Here’s how GetSwift can help you with some of your biggest challenges with managing drivers.
1. Save Time
Managing orders and assigning drivers can be a resource drain. If you’re still using whiteboards and online calendars and then manually calling or texting your drivers, you know that it can be very labor-intensive. Any day-of and last-minute changes (and there will be changes) require you to completely rework the schedule and communicate the changes with everyone involved. Right from your GetSwift dashboard, you can view all jobs, automatically dispatch orders to drivers, reassign a job to a different driver, track all drivers in real-time, and so much more, all saving a significant amount of time.
Concerned about the time it will take to get up to speed with a new system? We’ve designed our software so that you can be up and running quickly. Just see how easy it is to Get Started and take a driver online so they can log in to the mobile app.
2. Improve Communication
With a constant stream of orders and frequent changes, communication with your drivers is key. With just the click of a button, our delivery service software allows you to manage jobs and relay any changes instantly. For instance, you can assign, transfer, or cancel jobs. Need to reprioritize which orders get delivered first? Our app lets you manually reorder them and then it sends the driver notification of the change. You can even limit tasks or change the capacity of an individual driver.
3. Track Driver Status
You don’t have to wait and wonder where your driver is or try to contact them to see if they’ve completed a delivery. Now you can track your drivers in real-time on the GetSwift map. Color-coded driver icons tell you the status of each driver: whether they’ve available, already accepted a job, or they’re en route to their destinations. You can even check on the progress of each individual driver by seeing how many of their jobs they still have to complete and their ETA at their next destination.
4. Route Optimization
You can also stop planning out your daily routes (which are often bound to change) at the start every day. With GetSwift, you can automatically optimize the route of each driver with a click, and our algorithm is not only going to select the best route, but it’s also going to be continuously searching for an even better route using real-time data (on traffic and dozens of other factors). The result leads to faster delivery, a major way to increase customer satisfaction.
5. Easy Access To Performance Data
Being able to track metrics and KPIs helps you to keep a pulse on your business. It also gives you the information you need to identify and resolve problems, become more efficient, and make a plan for growth. With GetSwift, you’ll have quick access to high-level performance indicators such as the number of deliveries per day or average delivery time. You can also generate reports that give you insight into every area of your delivery business. Simply choose the report you wish to run, such as key delivery stats or driver feedback ratings and you instantly have data to sort, filter, download, or export.
Manage Your Drivers More Efficiently With GetSwift
Are you interested in learning more about how GetSwift’s delivery service software can help your business grow? Contact us today to learn how we can help.
You may have many locations–whether it’s a group of Italian restaurants, Jewish delis, or roti shops–under your brand and want to be able to use your drivers among all of them. Previously, you just weren’t able to. Now, with the introduction of Fleets, you can do so, simply, with lots of new flexibility. It is a great new way to make your delivery operation more efficient.
Here’s what’s new and what stays the same on your GetSwift platform.
You will now easily have the ability to group your “merchants” (meaning your stores or individual locations) together in order to share your drivers. Said another way, you now have the option of pairing multiple merchants with a group of drivers.
The new Fleets section of your dashboard is simple to follow. When you first login, we have automatically created a “Fleet” for you, based on your merchant’s name. If you want to start pooling your drivers, all you do is add more merchants to that fleet. Then, you can easily edit the drivers in that fleet!
Here’s another key advantage of this new section: You will be able to create multiple merchants within your organization, and be able to standardize the settings across those merchants.
You Can: Create New Fleets and Transfer Drivers
You now have lots of different ways to take advantage of sharing drivers among merchants. You can create a whole new fleet of drivers, transfer drivers between merchants, and even create a whole new merchant and driver group.
What Stays The Same: Managing Your Drivers
All the ways you managed drivers in the past still remains unchanged. All of your “Manage Driver” actions will now easily take place in this one centralized dashboard.
Right here, you’ll manage your driver settings. You can invite new drivers to join the GetSwift app and approve, revoke, or reactivate a driver. If you have specific requirements for each driver, you can edit all those details. That means you can edit vehicle capacity (the number of deliveries they can carry at once) and add a driver match code, which automatically assigns a driver to a specific job.
Important Note: Here is where you can also create your Driver Declarations, a.k.a. the items that a driver has to check off before starting work. Including, in the era of Covid-19, you can ask that they’re following your company’s new safety guidelines.
Support for Fleets
In sum, our new feature, Fleets, is THE place to organize your drivers.
The demand for delivery of goods and services has been steadily rising over many years, long before the tumultuous times of 2020. But there has also been a steady shift in customer expectations of the quality of their delivery experience. Luckily, for years we’ve been steadily fine-tuning our delivery software to meet these needs. And we want to share some of these features with you—in case you may not know what delivery software can do. Keep reading to learn about some of the unique features of our software.
Flexible Driver Dispatching
GetSwift’s last-mile logistics software allows you to streamline your logistics tasks and reduce the amount of time it takes to assign and communicate with drivers by allowing you to set up parameters for automatic dispatching. There are a number of ways to dispatch your jobs, but one of the most useful is “smart notifications,” which takes into account three pieces of data before dispatching: proximity to pickup location, vehicle capacity, and driver rating. Or, you also choose manual dispatch to choose the driver yourself. But did you know that you can also quickly transfer jobs among drivers if a last-minute change is needed? This makes it easy to make adjustments on the fly and communicate those changes with drivers through the convenient GetSwift mobile app.
Automatically Send Customer Alerts
As the logistics world changes to meet the expectations of today’s consumers, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that businesses will have to be ready to offer more than just simple delivery. According to SupplyChain Magazine, “value-added services like delivery notifications and package tracking are no longer the reserve of urgent or important deliveries but a minimum requirement in both the consumer and business world.”
An increasingly connected population has come to expect communication from businesses throughout the entire shopping journey. GetSwift enables you to send automated alerts to your customer so they are always informed on where their order is via texts or email. You also have the option to include a tracking link that lets customers monitor the location of their order with live GPS tracking.
Give Customers a Way To Provide Instant Feedback
With GetSwift, you have multiple options that allow you to communicate with customers whenever and wherever you’d like. For instance you can create an automated alert that is triggered as soon as your customer receives their delivery. This alert can contain the order summary as well as a feedback form, making it easy for customers to provide ratings and comments.
Maintain Your Branding Throughout The Communication Process
Build trust and make sure your customers keep your business top of mind by creating consistent, white-labeled branding throughout the buying process. With GetSwift’s last-mile logistics software, you can upload your logo and use it for various important pieces of communication, including a unique, live tracking map, order summaries, and the customer feedback form.
Business Reporting and Analytics
Our last-mile logistics software isn’t just designed to improve the customer experience, it also gives you access to the reporting and analytics tools you need to measure and grow your operation. You’ll have all of the most important metrics, front and center, on the stats section of your dashboard. You can track key performance indicators like your total number of deliveries made in full and on time, and the number of canceled and late orders. You can also see hot zones where your deliveries are most popular, and what times, and much more. View it all in the app or download it to dig deeper.
Deliver More, Work Less
The world of delivery is rapidly changing, especially in 2020, but luckily we’re here to help — not only with these five features, but dozens more. We’d love to hear about your business and offer suggestions on how we can help. Here’s where you can contact a member of our team.
Effective customer communication is at the heart of any successful business, but it’s especially important for those in the delivery business. Last-mile delivery has been expanding over the past few years, and with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, even more people are turning to delivery as a safe way to get their goods while staying safely at home. Businesses that weren’t delivering their goods before have now made it a priority.
But when you get a new customer, the key is keeping them for the long-term. Clear and real-time communication with your customers–always keeping them in the loop–is a really important way to develop customer loyalty and increase your chances that a customer will have a good experience, rate the order, and return. Here are four of our favorite features to help youreach that level of communication.
1. Automated Customer Alerts
Easily send automated alerts to your customers so they are always informed about the status of their order. You can choose which event will trigger the alert and identify the communication channel that will be used. For instance, you can set it up so that when a driver confirms they are on the way to the destination, an email will automatically be generated and sent to the destination contact.
2. Live Tracking Map
With one simple click of a button, you have the option of sending a link to a live tracking map that the customer will see upon opening their message. The tracking map will show the precise location of where the driver is, in real-time. This increased level of transparency will help you stand out from the hundreds of others who just provide an ETA — or worse yet — just an order confirmation with no estimated time at all.
3. Personalized Emails & SMS Alerts
Our last-mile delivery software not only makes communication easier through automated messaging, but it also allows you to provide an extra level of personalization. For instance, as you’re composing a message, you have the option of clicking on a tag that will insert custom information such as the person’s name or a tracking link for their order. Although they may seem like minor details, it strengthens the customer/business relationship.
4. Instant Customer Feedback
Gathering customer feedback is important for resolving problems quickly, preventing future mistakes, and even building trust by showing that you care about your customer’s experience. With GetSwift, you can choose to send your customer a customized message after they’ve received their order, linking to a customer feedback form that includes your branding and a detailed summary of their order. You can use that data immediately, or view it later when analyzing your customer ratings and evaluating specific drivers.
Build Customer Loyalty With GetSwift’s Communication Tools
Does your business need help to stand out from the crowd? Providing a higher level of personalized communication to each and every one of your customers is a sure way to earn their trust — resulting in repeat business, increased sales, and more referrals. It’s almost impossible to maintain this level of communication without a tool like the last mile delivery software from GetSwift. We can help you do more and improve the customer experience, without requiring more of your time. Contact a member of our team today to learn how we can help.
As the pandemic erupted, restaurants in Canada and across the world have had to turn off dine-in service and figure out how to get up and running, fast, with delivery.
In a new case study, we interviewed Edmonton, Alberta’s Hoot Company, which operates five restaurants, including Dorinku Tokyo, Dorinku Osaka, Japonais Bistro, DOSC Steakhouse, and Seoul Fried Chicken.
Without hesitation, Hoot Company pivoted to delivery. But as they did, they wanted to both keep costs low and continue paying employees. That meant shunning third-party apps in favor of building delivery in house. They looked around and, for many reasons, picked GetSwift as their delivery management software. Hoot Company’s IT Architect, Alex Kagel, explains why.
They got up and running in days, and three weeks later, they’re up to 250 deliveries per week. Here’s the story.
Over the past few years, many restaurants have started offering delivery as a way to boost sales and to meet the demand for more convenient food options. However, there are still many restaurant operators who have held off and stayed firm to their dine-in culture. But once the pandemic hit, and social distancing has become a key part of preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus, it’s forced their hand. If your restaurant, bar, or cafe has had to start delivering, we’re here to help. Here are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success.
Reduce The Size of Your Menu
The first step toward staying competitive is to improve efficiency and reduce costs. You can do this by reducing the size of your menu. Maintaining a full menu during this challenging time will only increase your food cost at a time when you need to save. Charlie Jeffers of Ordermark suggested asking yourself: What are the items that are easy to produce and get out the door quickly?
“What they need to do is trim down their menu, look at the items that are easy to procure and produce, so they can make a menu and put it up online and make easy items they can get out that are going to travel well,” Jeffers told the Spoon.
As you work on reducing your menu offerings, try to keep in mind which items travel well. Pizza, for example, travels well. Items like steaks and seafood will be more of a challenge. That doesn’t mean you’re in trouble if you own a steak and seafood restaurant, it just means that you’ll want to put your focus on fewer items so you can deliver the best experience.
Include New Offerings Where It Makes Sense
Although we just discussed reducing the number of items on your menu, you may want to consider adding a few items that tailor specifically to people that are bound to their homes. Because home quarantine includes entire families, it makes sense to offer complete meal options and larger family-style servings for those who have several mouths to feed.
A lack of dine-in customers also means a lack of alcohol sales which can put a big dent in your profits. Consider offering beer and wine options for those who still want to enjoy a drink or two with their meal but don’t want to (or can’t) make a trip to the liquor store.
Offer Meal Kits
During a time when families are looking for ways to stay occupied in their homes, offering meal kits can be a win-win for both your restaurant and your customers. You can choose a few of your most popular dishes, making sure to include one or two that are “kid-friendly”. For each meal kit that is ordered, provide all of the ingredients needed to make that dish and a list of simple instructions to go along with it. Not only will your customers be getting a delicious meal, it will provide a fun activity that the whole family can share in. For more information on this, and other ideas like it, check out this article from QSR magazine.
Do It Faster and Better
For restaurants and many other businesses, delivery is a must right now. This means you are now competing with many others who may have more experience with delivery, but you can still come out on top by doing it better and faster. Our delivery software allows you to automatically turn orders into delivery jobs, dispatch to drivers, and optimize routes. Not only will it help you conquer delivery, but it can also help you improve customer service and actually grow your business with options like real-time delivery tracking and the ability to communicate with your customers throughout each step of the process.
The world is changing, especially for those in the restaurant business — but that doesn’t mean you can’t still come out on top. Contact a member of our team to learn how GetSwift can help.