Optimising delivery operations for restaurants

It’s no secret that online delivery operations for restaurants have been high on the hospo agenda this year. Restrictions and the proliferation of ordering apps in 2020 has accelerated customer adoption and demand has been met with a wealth of choice.

This has obviously become a hugely important revenue stream for hospitality in trying times, growing significant amounts this year with revenue growth projected to continue at 12.1%* into 2021. 

But revenue growth for the industry doesn’t always translate to profits and margins for merchants. Whilst lots of restaurants have jumped onto delivery platforms to open up a new revenue stream, there’s still a lot of cash left on the table if operations aren’t optimised and it can quickly become overwhelming for owners. 

However, having seen some awesome Doshii clients really get to grips with online ordering and delivery we’ve been able to identify some of the best tactics for keeping things simple, streamlined and profitable. Here’s a few of our favourites.

Get to know your timings

Timing is everything in this game. Not only do you need to have a clear gage on how long it takes to prepare an order, but also how long it will typically take to deliver. This second component is essential because there’s no point having an item on the menu if the delivery time-frame will be a hindrance to the quality of the dish. Wherever the customer is, at home or in a venue, you want them to taste the best of your restaurant so make sure you set your delivery radius smartly. 

Set up your kitchen for success

It might sound simple, but with most kitchens being designed and set up for serving in-venue customers it’s worth taking that principle and applying it to delivery operations – i.e. redesign part of your kitchen set up and workflow to support this new line of business. Make sure your prep, packaging and dispatch is optimised and consider hiring specific team members for delivery only. What can feel like an investment now will likely translate to long-term efficiency gains.

Data led menu optimisation

With everything being digital, make sure you can easily track the trends. Being able to analyse both what your customers are ordering and when they are ordering it across multiple ordering apps can be a huge advantage for menu optimisation and stock logistics. Apps like TabSquare can even personalise menus to customer preferences. This analysis can take time but when you use an integration like Doshii you can ensure that all the key data can be centralised into one dashboard via your PoS. This simple connection can save you hours of analysis paralysis meaning you can make better strategic decisions, and faster, when it comes to your restaurant delivery operations… 

Delivery route optimisation

Lastly, make sure you’ve considered whether you’re going to leverage the big power app’s delivery operations or build your own last-mile delivery team. Doshii has some incredible apps like Yello and iHound in the Doshii app marketplace that can help you assign orders and manage a fleet of drivers. Through the Doshii integration, all of the critical data can again be centralised, meaning you can optimise over time.

Ultimately, as a restaurant owner, you’ve got to work out what’s best for you and your business, but online ordering and delivery isn’t going away, so focusing on ways to optimise is critical to driving better profits.

If you want to chat to the Doshii team about the right delivery operations strategy and solutions for your restaurant, reach out to us at hello@doshii.io.

Hospitality’s coronavirus fight back means mastering tech

This article first appeared on QSR Media.

There are years where it feels like only weeks of change takes place, and then there are weeks when it feels like years of change take place. The latter seems to aptly sum up the state of play in the hospitality industry as whole right now.

No doubt many of us are mourning huge losses and will do for some time to come, but the green shoots of a new future I have seen so far have been encouraging. Human instinct is millenia old, especially our instinct to provide hospitality to others, and the creative ways businesses have adapted to do just that during coronavirus-plagued times is worth celebrating.

Digital transformation drives new ways to provide hospitality

Specifically, the way in which ecommerce and digital operations have been embraced or sharpened has been fascinating. The sense I get is that merchants will not be thwarted when it comes to providing hospitality and staying connected to patrons wherever they are.

Take a typical mid-market QSR player right now, say with 10 to 20 venues across each major city. It’s highly likely that they now have a suite of ordering and delivery apps they’re using to reach customers beyond the one or two major global players we’ve grown accustomed to over the past couple of years. They’re also probably investing in their own ordering and ecommerce solutions, especially if they’ve got a strong brand, to sell anything from their usual menu to meal-kits and merchandise.

And as for customer loyalty programs, these have no doubt become more sophisticated as a result, alongside these new ways to transact overall.

Now for most QSR players this isn’t really new, but it is still do or die, especially if they want to come out of 2020’s constrained economy with a chance of kicking on in 2021. In particular, for large players this is a journey they’ve been on for some time yet still have a lot of work to do to overcome the legacy systems already in place. At least medium and smaller players can be more agile and make the tech changes required to thrive quicker.

Essentially, embracing digital and new tech is about opening up new revenue streams, which also leads to more data and insight on customers wherever they’re transacting with your business, leading to more opportunities to adapt and grow.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Whilst this digital transformation has been accelerated due to COVID-19, it was always coming. And it’s clear right now that the winning food and beverage businesses are the ones who are (or have been) investing wisely in digital operations, marketing and tech & apps because it results in more choices for consumers, and diversified incomes for the venue.

Clearly, in a post-COVID world people will still want food on a plate in a bustling restaurant, surrounded by friends. Some things will never change. But other things might, especially if it grants more choice to consumers. Being able to offer that choice in a sustainable way is critical – it takes more than just piecing together some apps, venues need everything integrated so the tech whole can become greater than the sum of its parts.

For example, whilst a presence across more ordering apps means more opportunity, it also means more work for the restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of digital opportunities out there for everyone, even if you haven’t started the journey yet, but if you don’t master the tech it can get out of control. I’m sure any restaurant team that’s spent a heap of time re-keying digital orders from multiple apps into a POS or updating menu items across multiple apps will testify to that, and that’s not even mentioning their own digital ordering and ecommerce.

We’ve all read reports recently across the industry of big increases in digital commerce for cafes and restaurants. Some suburban cafes I’ve spoken to are reporting that up to 80% of their business is now coming in via apps! Whilst this increase paints an exciting future, there’s no doubt plenty of operators out there won’t have the tech stack required to increase their digital revenue without impacting their operational costs though.

For example, just removing the manual re-keying of orders from apps to POS with a tech solution can reportedly save a busy restaurant upwards of $20,000 a year in labour.

If there’s one thing we’ve all been taught during coronavirus, it’s that having all your eggs in one basket isn’t a good idea, so new digitally enabled revenue streams are here to stay and likely to grow. But for this creative and digitally led coronavirus fight back to drive sustainable growth across the industry into the future, QSRs of all shapes and sizes need to make sure they have the right tools in place to simplify the technology ecosystem that surrounds them.

Once the tech is mastered, it’s back to the simple stuff, the human instinct, the bread and butter: providing awesome hospitality experiences to consumers, wherever they are.

Five tips for setting up a Dark Kitchen

The strange idea of restaurants serving hundreds of meals without tables, chairs or waiters would have been quite a bizarre concept to many of us just a year ago. 

Those in the know will have seen this trend coming as a new development in the future of food for some time, but for any Australian who has suffered long periods of social lockdown in 2020 (that’s certainly you Victorians) and turned to the many ordering apps to get a taste of the restaurants they’ve missed so dearly, the idea will now make sense: dark kitchens.

A ‘dark kitchen’ is a restaurant that only exists digitally, creating meals exclusively for the booming online delivery market. 

For merchants the opportunity with ‘dark kitchens’ is to unlock a new revenue stream, optimise a menu specifically for delivery and ultimately meet customers with new food products in interesting ways via a range of online delivery channels.

Here’s five tips from the Doshii team for setting up a Dark Kitchen: 

1. Location, location, location

One of the biggest attractions of a dark restaurant is that you don’t actually need to rent an expensive building in a premium location. Your location isn’t what’s going to attract customers, just your menu, so choose somewhere that gives you a good reach but ultimately allows you to focus on getting the product right. 

2. Optimise for delivery

Not all great food is delivered equally but this is your chance to create a menu that will travel well. Think about items that can withstand a journey on the back of a motorbike and look into optimised packaging that can keep your tasty deliveries kitchen fresh for as long as possible – ultimately this will be what keeps customers coming back. 

Equally, whether you’re leveraging an ordering app with it’s own delivery service like Deliveroo or creating your own last mile delivery strategy using solutions like Drive Yello, it’s critical that you step through the what and the why to make sure it works for your business. Optimised routes built from data and insights can make a huge difference to margins for example.

3. Cut out manual processes

If you’re running a dark kitchen you want to be operating at maximum velocity and given all of your orders are coming through digitally you want to make sure you have a technology stack that eradicated any manual processes. For example, ensuring orders from multiple apps go straight into the one PoS system and print through the same printer in the kitchen. Doshii can help with this, ensuring your not wasting time manually rekeying orders into a PoS or running reconciliations on all orders and revenue at the end of the month.

4. Test & learn from the data

The best ordering apps have one huge advantage – data. Apps like Deliveroo know the latest diner trends and can be ready to pounce with offerings diners didn’t even know they wanted yet. But so can you when running a dark restaurant. Make sure all of the apps you use are seamlessly connected to your PoS, putting all the data you have into one place ready to be used to drive menu optimisations. Even simple things like knowing when you’re more likely to sell out of certain dishes as a trend can help you ensure you don’t leave any dollars on the table.

5. Invest in marketing

Now, with no face to face interactions this might seem counterintuitive, especially when your brand only really shows up in an ordering app, but good brands drive revenue. Think about smart, targeted marketing campaigns you can run, leveraging the diner data you have. Loyalty programs are also great at driving repeat purchases and if you have the right apps to help you manage diner data and loyalty comms you can make sure all of your focus stays firmly on the product.

Dark kitchens, even as hospitality opens up again, are here to stay as online food ordering continues it’s rapid surge. If you want to chat to the Doshii team about the right digital strategy and solution for your dark kitchen venture, reach out to us at hello@doshii.io.

What’s new at Doshii in October.

Doshii scoops up ‘last mile delivery’ industry leader, Clive Thorpe, as Managing Director

Doshii, leader in API POS & App connectivity, today announced that App marketplace technology executive Clive Thorpe has joined the company as Managing Director. Thorpe has been at the forefront of table reservations, online delivery and last mile delivery for over 10 years.

Thorpe was CEO and general manager for Delivery Hero’s Australian business, which IPO in 2017 for USD$4.7 billion, prior to this he was head of national accounts for Just Eat, and he has since been involved in last mile delivery with Chinese based Didi Chuxing

At Doshii, Thorpe will oversee all customer-facing departments, including App and merchant relationships, POS vendor engagement, professional services, customer services support, loyalty and sales/marketing. Thorpe will bring his expertise through a combination of extensive sales experience, operations improvement and global go-to-market, ensuring Doshii’s customer initiatives are exceeded. Having driven growth strategies globally within several business units at Delivery Hero, Thorpe will also focus on fuelling Doshii’s continued expansion across APAC.

“What I found most compelling about the Doshii API was the technology and App marketplace, empowering merchants to select specific Apps which drive their business and with Doshii plugged in optimise revenues. Furthermore facilitating Apps and POS to communicate at scale is great for all involved – particularly the merchants,” said Thorpe.

“The growth of delivery, table reservations, pay at table and order ahead apps has created its own global connectivity problems. The market has become fragmented across POS, Apps and venues making it difficult and costly to connect multiple Apps and POS. Doshii enables venues to provision Apps quickly and cost-effectively through the Doshii marketplace. I’m looking forward to helping take the company to the next level in its global dominance.”

Clive is proven in global sales, go-to-market strategy, and customer satisfaction. He has an established track record of maximising the growth potential of a range of businesses. Clive understands first hand the pain that venues endure in connecting the range of Apps to their in-store POS. His knowledge across the space from ordering to reservations and two-sided marketplaces is a big win for Doshii.


 

About Doshii 

Doshii enables hospitality and retail merchants to connect a range of Apps to their in-store Point of Sale (POS) systems to ensure venues are embracing digital technology necessary to drive today’s modern operation effectively and efficiently.

With Doshii, businesses can discover and seamlessly connect a range of Apps including 3rd party delivery, payments and digital wallets, online ordering, kiosk and table ordering, digital menu boards, reservations, customer loyalty as well as access to real-time analytics via the Doshii Dashboard. For further information – www.doshii.io