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.

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.