Given the popularity and success of third-party delivery apps, deciding to sell your food via these mobile platforms is a smart move. Just take a look at Swiggy and Zomato, two of India’s leading food delivery apps that boast almost two million users. Even the e-commerce giant Amazon has joined the party by investing over $6.5 billion in India with their new branded food delivery service, Amazon Food.
An ever-increasing number of other restaurants are also jumping on board, making these platforms an extremely competitive space. But simply uploading your menu isn’t going to make you stand out in the crowd and capture customers.
Based on what we’ve learned as a cloud kitchen operation, we’ve put together these 10 tips to help you establish a successful food delivery business on food delivery apps.
#1 Organise and optimise your menu for search
Remember that customers using delivery apps have a lot of options. Your menu and how you present and categorise your food is the only thing they have to go on when making their purchase decision. One way to help them understand what kind of food you offer is by organising your menu items and featuring sections—like main dishes, sides, desserts, etc.
Many food delivery platforms allow you to customise your menu’s layout. On Deliveroo, restaurants can select a la carte, static and small form menus. Select the type of menu that resonates best with your food selection so that customers can easily navigate and be drawn in by your unique offerings.
It’s also important to use the right category tags for the type of food you offer. Tags help customers browse and find restaurants in an app search, so if they’re craving something that you offer, you want to be sure your restaurant shows up as a tasty option.
#2 Make sure your food is competitively priced
Be keen about who your competitors are and what their menu pricing is. If you’re competing for the same customers with others that are offering a similar food type and quality, any significant price discrepancy could mean losing a chunk of your precious customer base.
Being strategic with your pricing policy means making a solid profit on your food production while maintaining a loyal, happy customer base. As new restaurants join third-party food delivery apps on a constant basis, make sure you keep your eye on any activity dealing with new competitors and the pricing landscape.
#3 Invest in professional food photography
As users scroll through the food delivery apps they’ve downloaded on their mobile phones, they’ll either be searching for a specific food they want or looking at their options. The first thing that will catch their eye in that discovery moment are pictures. This means that your food photos need to be appetising and tantalising—no exceptions.
Poorly-lit, subpar, or amateur-looking photos will not sell! That’s why it’s important to hire a professional food photographer who knows what it takes to make all types of food look its best. Keep in mind that you’ll repurpose these photos in all areas of your marketing—like your website, social channels, paid ads—making pro photography a wise investment.
At KitchenPlus, we offer bespoke marketing services with our cloud kitchens and food technology that includes organising and helping you secure top professional food photography. This way, you’re sure to get the photos you need that will do the selling for you.
#4 Write descriptive and appealing food descriptions
The food description is the first thing your potential delivery app customer will look at after viewing any images. Deliveroo—like some of the other food delivery platforms—allows users to swipe and compare menu items from different restaurants, so it’s important to get your description right.
Take time to write descriptive, sensory-appealing and thorough food copy that will convince your customers that your dish is exactly what they’re craving. Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Just like with your photos, how you present your food can be the difference between a loyal customer and an unimpressed customer that takes their business elsewhere.
#5 Give your customers customisation options
Today’s world is all about having the option to customise. It’s something that customers not only appreciate but have come to expect. When it comes to food, this is especially true. Everybody has their own taste and wants their dishes to accommodate those preferences. Whether it’s having extra sauce on the side or having access to vegan versions, customers want to be accommodated.
Your willingness to go above and beyond to please your customer base is exactly the type of customer service that can give you an edge over the competition. You can let customers know that they can customise orders to meet their needs directly through the food delivery app, and it’s a feature many will notice and flock to.
#6 Offer food specials and meal deals
Depending on your restaurant’s type of cuisine, meal deals can be an effective way to sell more dishes and increase an order’s price total. This is a very common practice with Western-style restaurants that offer combo deals—like getting a free small drink when you order a burger and add a side of large fries.
Special offers and deals can be set up directly through the food delivery platform so that people will be prompted to order a side and a drink when they’re ordering their main dish—or whatever type of deal makes sense for your restaurant. Bottom line: everybody loves a good deal.
#7 Cook your food orders quickly and efficiently
Hungry customers always want to know how quickly they will get their food. So you can be sure that they pay close attention to the estimated delivery time that every delivery platform includes with their order. For a customer who’s on the fence, a quick turnaround time can be the deal-breaker in your favour.
Conversely, being slow to cook your food and getting it out the door efficiently means a later delivery time than the customer was expecting. You want to avoid this scenario, as this will likely turn into a non-returning customer.
#8 Be mindful of your food packaging
Food gets jostled around a lot during the delivery process. As a customer, think about how unsatisfied you would be to receive a food order that’s messy or damaged—especially after they got sold on the pictures of the great looking food they saw on your menu. That’s why it’s very important to package your dishes in a tight and secure way that helps them withstand the journey unscathed.
Optimal packaging can include the use of more environmentally friendly materials, protect food from condensation, and feature a branded seal that assures your customer that the food remained untouched after it left your kitchen.
#9 Encourage customer reviews
A restaurant that receives ten 5-star reviews makes a much better impression on potential customers than a restaurant with negative or no reviews. Consider including a friendly card on your food’s branded packaging reminding customers to leave a review.
#10 Include a link to your delivery platform page on your social media channels and website
Everything digital is interconnected, as people navigate through digital channels constantly. Deliveroo recommends linking your Deliveroo page to your website because it can boost your traffic by 5%. It’s such a simple thing to do that it’s definitely worth implementing as a cross-device business strategy. Have any more questions about marketing your food business on delivery platforms or running your own cloud kitchen?