Online Food Delivery has been there for a long time. Before third party aggregators came in to the picture, remember all that direct calling you did to have the pizzas delivered to your doorstep? There weren’t online order aggregators and there were no food delivery apps or websites. It’s only in the last decade that the likes of Swiggy, Foodpanda and Zomato have entered the online food delivery business, streamlined the entire process, got many small and large restaurants and centralised (to an extent) the whole food delivery process.
There is no doubt that customers have become more tech savvy and prefer ordering food using apps / websites that are offered both by restaurants and third party aggregators.
Come 2020, the restaurant industry dynamics have changed. The ongoing pandemic has forced restaurants to change their strategy. The need to push safety and hygiene has come to the forefront. Home delivery to customers has grown by leaps and bounds. Dine-in as a segment has taken a backseat as people have been forced to stay indoors and ordering in.
At a time like this, it is imperative to make changes to ensure customer as well as employee safety. Simultaneously, you need to work harder to promote your restaurant as well. Two of the key areas you need to focus on are hygiene practices to minimize the risk of infection and ensuring that your customers trust you and the services you provide.
If you’re looking to create an online food order system for your restaurant in these uncertain times, we’re here to help you out. Here are some factors you need to keep in mind while setting everything up:
No Cash Payments
With contactless becoming the new normal, cash on payment as an online delivery option has been removed by most aggregators and restaurant. This includes customers, employees, and food delivery personnel. As a restaurant owner, your app and website can offer a number of e-wallet choices that customers can opt for or they can simply use their cards. You can also partner with apps to provide discounts and referral codes to customers.
Enforce Contactless Delivery
It is very important to offer your customers the option of contactless food delivery right now. It is a surefire way of enforcing social distancing. Here’s how it works- customers make their orders online. Then, designated delivery personnel pick up their food from the restaurant and deliver it to their doorstep. Instead of waiting by the door for someone to receive the package, they simply leave the food in a place that the customer has specified-either right outside their door or in a nearby spot. The two parties do not come into contact at any point.
Promote Healthy Food Options
While coronavirus has made the world a lot more cautious. People are opting to eat healthy and light food to stay fit. There is an increased focus towards immunity. Restaurants should come in line with this trends and offer a range of high quality, safe and healthy food. This calls for updating your social media messaging and making necessary tweaks to the menu.
Make Changes to your Menu
Given that everyone is working from home, you could create food combos that serve as the perfect option to munch on while one is busy at work. Restaurants have come up with special Work From Home Combos and Healthy eating meals to align themselves with the current times.
Use Your Marketing Channels to Spread Awareness
It is important to use all your marketing channels to promote the high levels of hygiene that you are promoting at your restaurant. Customers are becoming more aware of the basic hygiene that must be offered at their favourite food outlets. And your customers need to know they can rely on you for safe practices. You can use your website as well as social media platforms to increase awareness about COVID- 19. Remind customers that you’re doing everything you can to provide them with quality service even during this tough time. On your website, you can create a new section titled “Safety Practices”. Talk about how you’ve made changes to accommodate social distancing during food delivery. Elaborate on how you do regular thermal screening for your employees. Customers need to be assured everyone in your restaurant follows the norms laid by the government as well as WHO guidelines. Provide a detailed explanation of how you’re carrying out your business right now so that customers are satisfied and know they can trust you.
COVID’ 19 has made businesses re-think the way they operate their business. And it’s been no different for restaurants. It is essential to make changes that ensure social distancing and minimize the spread of infection. The safety of employees, as well as customers, is extremely important right now. While uncertainty and fear grip people all across the world, they often look to food for comfort. And this is where you can help- provide them delicious food through contactless delivery so that don’t have to worry at all. Use your online platforms to keep in touch with your customers and convince them that you’re doing the best you can in the current scenario.