More and more people are getting food home delivered, and competing for orders has become ridiculously competitive. If you’re like most restaurants, the majority of your delivery orders come through platforms like MenuLog and EatNow rather than your own website or by phone. Sure, it’s great to get the order, but at the expense of such a big chunk of your profit?
The problem is well understood, and getting worse, but there's a growing number of products and services to help you buck the trend and we think the delivery process is currently the best opportunity you have to win back your customers' loyalty. By the end of this article - you’ll have a step-by-step plan to transform your delivery process into a weapon for getting more orders direct to your restaurant, and start making more profit (and make it easier to manage your deliveries at the same time).
Part 1: MenuLog and EatNow - friend or foe?
It’s easy to feel annoyed that a service like MenuLog is taking a percentage of your hard-earned revenue. But by bringing you new customers, they also give you a great opportunity - to turn those 1-time orders into repeat, loyal customers.
Attracting new delivery customers to your restaurant can be a tricky and expensive business. If you were to use Google Adwords to try to win a new home delivery customer for your Indian restaurant in Sydney, for example, you may want to advertise under the search term “Indian Food Delivery”. As you can see in the screenshot below, Google recommends a bid of $2.83 per click. Keeping in mind that the industry average for converting that click into a sale is around 5%, it means that a new customer is likely to cost you upwards of $50… ouch!
The likes of MenuLog and other big ordering platforms have a big budget, a great marketing team, and a huge amount of data (and 1 Goldblum) to make these conditions work for them. That's great for them, but it makes it extremely difficult to tackle them head on (unless you're equally loaded, like Uber or Deliveroo of course).
Ok so it's hard to compete directly… now what?
Instead of wasting effort trying to compete with billion dollar companies to win new customers, MenuLog and EatNow give you a golden opportunity: a new lead together with built in revenue, and the best opportunity you could have to bring them back directly to you next time - you get to deliver them your food, with your branding.
What an opportunity for you to win a new repeat customer!
So let’s nail the customer experience during the delivery and give them a reason to stick with you.
Part 2: Live driver tracking isn’t Just a gimmick (ask Pizza Hut)
Question: Why do Deliveroo and Uber Eats bother making the delivery when they already made the sale?
A big part of the answer is to control the customer relationship from end-to-end and shut your brand out. Wham! There goes your opportunity to build your own brand loyalty.
Happily for you, services like MenuLog bring you marketing clout and volume, but let you keep the customer relationship during delivery because you, not MenuLog, make the delivery and keep the opportunity to build the relationship with your customer. So let’s not waste that opportunity!
When Dominos Pizza first brought in live driver tracking and customer engagement during delivery, lot’s of people thought it was just a gimmick. But in the months following the launch of Dominos live pizza tracking, sales soared - at the expense of their competitors.
Giving your customers live driver tracking isn’t just about putting a dot on a map. It’s an opportunity to engage with your customers and make your brand memorable. It's a good start but not quite enough to have your logo at the top. Make the experience branded with your colours and a custom map design so the good feelings of watching food come to rescue them from hunger are associated directly with your brand. It’s what Dominos does. It’s what Uber and Deliveroo do.
Win your customers’ hearts and minds and win more business by building a relationship with your customers and keep them coming back directly to you (and keep your profits).
Part 3: It’s not just a delivery - it’s a pitch for your next sale
Ever go grocery shopping while you’re hungry? There’s no better time to talk to someone about buying food than when they are super hungry!
Now imagine your customer's state of mind as they wait impatiently for their dinner. I should point out at this time that here at Spatula we help all sorts of industries provide live driver tracking to their customers, from airport shuttle services, to tradesmen, to urgent couriers... but no group of customers opens their tracking link more dependably or more frequently than restaurant delivery.
How often do you have a potential customer’s complete, undivided attention, knowing that they are in the perfect state of mind to accept messaging directly from you about your product and service?
So, you’ve got your customers watching your driver’s every move on your branded live tracking link, taking in your brand and loving the experience. It’s time to ask them to come directly to you for their next meal.
The best way to do this is to put the ask directly in the tracking link. You could use a voucher management system, but I suggest you just use an easy image editor like Canva (check out https://www.canva.com/create/coupons/) to make a great looking voucher - test a few offers like a 10% discount on their next order or a free item to see what works best (to be redeemed directly at the restaurant or through your website, obviously).
With a great delivery experience, a growing customer relationship through your branded tracking link and an incentivised call to action to bring them back to your site all you need now is the great meal you’re making for them and you’re on your way to loyal repeat customers.
Part 4: Your Game Plan (and a shameless Promotion)
Get curated leads, collected for you for free (actually they bring you an order too so really they pay you!) by huge marketing operations
Give the new customer a live tracking experience that equals any of the major food delivery services - except it is fully your branding and colours
Include a promotion on the tracking link that motivates and incentivises the customer to buy directly from you next time
Automate this process so that you don’t just make more direct sales, but also streamline your deliveries in the process
Spatula makes step 2 to 4 a breeze
Sign up with an email address and password, invite your drivers and start forwarding your MenuLog and EatNow order confirmation emails - that's it, you're live!
You can start for free without a credit card, and if you're not convinced in your first 50 jobs that Spatula is a game changer for your business it will never cost you a cent.