Don’t Let These Four Delivery Challenges Hurt Your Brand

restaurant delivery challenges

April 10, 2022

The demand for food mobility is on the rise. It’s predicted that more than 50% of consumers’ restaurant spending in 2020 will take place outside of a restaurant. Food delivery services, take-out, and drive-throughs make it easy to enjoy food from the comfort of one’s own home. From millennials that want to binge-watch the latest Netflix series, to busy parents with no time to cook, delivery has a widespread appeal, making up 25% of off-premises orders.

Delivery apps like GrubHub and Uber Eats provide more options for food delivery than ever before. Unfortunately, simply offering delivery doesn’t always lead to happier customers and more brand loyalty. Based on data gathered by Tattle’s customer experience survey platform, when a third-party delivery service is involved, guest satisfaction is 20% lower than that of dine-in guests.

Not offering delivery may eliminate this issue—but your brand will miss out on an opportunity projected to grow exponentially in the next few years. Whether you already offer delivery, or you’re thinking about adding it, the right strategies can help your brand overcome these challenges and set you above the competition.

More than 50% of consumers’ restaurant spending in 2020 will take place outside of a restaurant.

1.  Customers will hold your restaurant accountable, door to door.

Long after the food leaves the kitchen and reaches a consumer, your restaurant will still be blamed for issues that may arise—even those caused by a third-party delivery service.

To maintain control over the experience, many brands decide to create an in-house delivery system with their own online ordering tool, often powered by a SaaS solution such as Olo.

Regularly collecting customer experience feedback can also provide more visibility into off-premises experiences so you can address issues, recover guests, and maintain a positive brand image.

Delivery has a widespread appeal, making up 25% of off-premises orders.

2. Food quality can go from being the best part of the guest experience, to the worst part.

Based on customer experience data gathered by Tattle, restaurant chains typically see their lowest Customer Experience Rating (CER) scores on delivery orders. Food quality often goes from being the best part of the dine-in customer experience to being the worst part, for the at-home customer.

Unfortunately, some dishes that may taste excellent served up fresh might not travel well in a typical delivery carton. Again, patrons will blame the restaurant if their burger and fries arrive cold and soggy. For this reason, restaurants participating in delivery should address this with new packaging. In one example, Red Robin’s new transparent packaging helps ensure order accuracy without needing to open the lid, which helps maintain the food’s temperature.

3. Your restaurants might not know how to efficiently handle delivery orders.

Chains that are new to the delivery space may not have a designated place for delivery or pick-up orders. At a popular chain, one of our Tattle staffers noticed that delivery orders were being stacked on top of the dine-in tray return counter. Delivery drivers would walk in and didn’t know where to find orders—some even gave up and left.

Formalizing delivery logistics in your stores, especially if you outsource to a third party, can prevent delivery delays, lost meals, and food quality issues. Keep food at the proper temperature until pickup and provide a designated way for drivers to get them, so that orders arrive in the condition expected.

4. Order accuracy can plummet.

According to customer feedback data collected by Tattle, order accuracy for many multi-unit brands went from being one of the top-rated categories for dine-in experiences, to being one of the lowest rated categories for delivery experiences.

Some brand concepts were not designed with delivery in mind. Consider fast-casual eateries with an assembly line approach, where food is prepared before the customers’ eyes. Order accuracy is more difficult to get wrong with the customer there to correct you. Delivery orders don’t have this safeguard. Brands that follow the assembly-line model may need to implement additional staff training to address accuracy of delivery orders.

Despite the potential challenges, a thoughtful meal delivery strategy can help your brand excel in the ever-evolving restaurant industry. Learn more about how you can monitor customer experiences, no matter where they occur in the customer journey.