By Naji Haddad, Middle East General Manager at Deliverect
Every restaurant is looking to speed up delivery operations without impacting the quality of food or customer service. On one hand, faster deliveries lead to happier customers who are likely to leave positive reviews and re-order. This means more revenue because the restaurant can take more orders without compromising the consumer experience. On the other hand, drivers will be able to make more money by making more speedy deliveries. This in return provides the restaurant with better ranking and position on the customer’s feed of delivery apps.
But speeding up deliveries is easier said than done. Below we’ll cover the biggest causes of slower deliveries and how restaurants can increase delivery speed without impacting the quality of your food and service. Then we’ll take a look at the role that operations data and business intelligence insights play in increasing delivery speed in the long term.
What Slows Down Delivery Operations?
Food delivery is a complex business with many moving parts – orders coming in from different delivery partners, chefs working on multiple orders from different sources, and managers selecting the right delivery partner, or if delivery is in-house, managing driver dispatch.
As a result, shaving a few seconds off each step and streamlining the interactions between different parts of the process can make a huge impact on the overall speed. Especially, when multiplied by hundreds of orders across a busy service.
Delivery Speed Metrics
There are a number of practical ways to increase delivery speed, but first, restaurants need a way to quantify their results as a measure of success. Here are the key metrics that will tell how well an F&B business doing:
- Total Delivery Time
This is an average of the time it takes for a customer to receive an order from the moment it’s placed to the point it is handed to the customer. It gives restaurant owners an overview of the delivery speed.
- Driver Waiting Time
The average time a driver is waiting to pick up a meal is useful to track in order to assess where logistics can be sped up. If the overall delivery speed is falling behind, you can look at the driver waiting time to get a close look at where things are going wrong. Is the kitchen too slow? Or is the communication with the drivers the problem?
- Time From Order Accepted to Driver Pick-up
Alongside the total delivery time, this metric helps restaurant owners see what can be improved on the kitchen operations side of things. If this measure is looking good but deliveries are being delayed, then look at the delivery operations to diagnose the problem.
- Time From Order Placed to Ticket Printed
This simple measure can make a huge difference if the ordering system is slowing down the delivery process from the start. As soon as the customer places their order, the clock is ticking, so you want your kitchen team to have it as soon as possible.
- Order Accuracy
Errors hold up orders and full-on mistakes can lead to remaking food which has a huge impact on speed. Tracking order accuracy is beneficial in many ways, but it also impacts the overall speed of operations.
- Online Review Ratings
Speedy orders are one thing. But the customer experience shouldn’t be compromised for the sake of speed. Keep an eye on your online ratings from customers to make sure the quality stays high.
How to Increase Delivery Speed
Now let’s look at what you can do with the insights these metrics give you to make practical improvements. Here are the best ways to improve delivery speed without compromising on quality.
- Streamline Your Ordering System
The delivery process starts as soon as the customer places the order. Once they’ve received the order confirmation, the clock is ticking. That means the time it takes for the customer’s order to get it into your system and through to the kitchen is crucial.
In the past, most restaurants took orders over the phone, online, and through delivery apps. Front-of-house staff would have to manage multiple devices, phone lines, and in-house customers, and manually process orders into the POS system.
Thankfully, those days are becoming a thing of the past, with new tech systems streamlining the ordering process. Order management platforms take all your orders – online orders from your web form or app, click-and-collect, tableside apps, and from third-party delivery apps – and send them directly into your POS in a consistent format.
Once the order is accepted, it is sent straight through to the kitchen on a ticket that clearly states the source of the order. That means as soon as the customer gets confirmation, the chefs are receiving the order and can get to work.
Implementing a smart ordering system reduces errors from re-punching orders and also increases the overall speed of each order from the very beginning.
- Better Kitchen Management Tech
Food production takes approximately half to two-thirds of the total delivery time. So optimizing order flow through your kitchen can make a huge difference to the total time. Having the tickets sent straight through with clear information immediately saves time and helps your chefs prioritize tasks by the type of order.
Then comes the incremental improvements achieved with the design of the production line and the use of a kitchen display system. Many restaurants that offer dine-in and delivery at the same time might split the line in two. Or they may find it more efficient to use the same line but create a separate packing area for delivery orders.
Whichever operational model suits the restaurant’s operation, a kitchen display system with screens at every production station keeps everything running smoothly. Each cook can see the order in progress and know what they should be working on.
- Driver Assignment & Tracking Tech
Outsourcing delivery to third parties saves restaurants the hassle of running their own delivery service. However, it also means losing out on profit and not having control over a crucial part of the customer experience – the point at which they receive the food.
The restaurant is also reliant on third parties in terms of delivery speed. Although they are generally fast and efficient, if restaurant owners really want to take control of your delivery operations, they’ll want to be able to make improvements at the delivery stage as well.
How Does Business Intelligence Help?
What do these solutions have in common? They all involve streamlining operations with automation and technology. The data gathered while running real-world operations provides business intelligence that is crucial in optimizing and improving delivery processes going forward. This includes keeping track of delivery times, assessing driver performance, determining the most efficient navigation to and from delivery addresses and predicting demand at peak and slower times.