Best Practices for Scaling Delivery

For anyone in the food industry, you can probably imagine or already know that food delivery presents an exciting additional revenue stream. When implemented successfully, food delivery will also increase customer engagement and build brand loyalty. In fact, this principle extends beyond just food delivery — whether you’re delivering food, flowers, laundry, health services, maintenance, and more, the following tips will be of great value to your business.

An increase in demand for convenience has ripened our current environment for delivery services of all kids, especially as more people are more inclined to stay safe inside, away from both cold weather and COVID-19.

In 2018, Olo, a mobile and online food ordering platform, published an extensive guide for restaurant operators to use when growing a delivery program. We’ve taken some of their tips and modified them to apply to any delivery program – not just for restaurant operators – as many of the key principles apply.

  1. Designate specific spaces for online orders to prep and package.

If your company doesn’t just deliver, you’re going to want to have a separate space for delivery operations. It’s also best if your marketplaces are POS integrated.

Restaurants and other businesses would highly benefit from having an area for receiving orders, for prepping online orders, an area for expediting orders, and an area for handoff.

2. Designate team members & train delivery service providers (DSPs)

In a restaurant setting, for instance, delivery specialists should take ownership over each aspect of the delivery order lifecycle. Depending on what you’re selling and delivering, make precise arrangements for who is responsible for receiving orders, preparing for delivery handoff, and providing communication and support for delivery issues. This will, of course, depend on the size of your team and each individual’s area of expertise.

3. Consider sustainable and personalized packaging

For just about any delivery, you’re going to want to think carefully about how to reduce your carbon footprint. Consider biodegradable packaging, or at least recyclable plastic. Did you know that thick plastic packaging is easier to recycle than styrofoam, thin plastics, or even cardboard? In fact, if cardboard gets greasy, it cannot be recycled. More and more customers consider sustainability in their buying choices, so you should modify accordingly, and position yourself as a conscientious brand.

On a similar note, custom and personalized packaging is an easy and effective way to market your brand. From signature colors to personalized notes, it takes little effort and goes a long way to make your customer feel special, while also making your aesthetic more salient to recipients. Plus, if the only person (maybe) seeing your customer is the courier, it’s nice to add a personal touch.

4. Treat your couriers and delivery drivers like guests.

As you can imagine, your couriers are the essential ingredient in effective delivery management. Treat them like your customers – considering providing loyalty rewards according to their number of successful deliveries. And most importantly, in the same way you prioritize customer communication, maintain reliable contact with your couriers. Any schedule changes or delays need to be communicated efficiently among team members. With the Root Planner, you can use either email or SMS to relay info to both drivers and customers.