How to Set Up a Food Delivery Service for Your Café

In the food industry, restaurants and cafés that offer takeout and delivery services are currently dominating the market. More than ever, people want online ordering options for their favorite establishments. 

By now, you’ve probably decided that investing in delivery services for your café is well worth the upfront cost – after all, setting up an online order and delivery service for your customers is an excellent way to diversify your revenue stream. 

Now, all you need to know are the next steps to take to implement your delivery strategy successfully. 

Packaging and Containers

When getting ready to offer delivery services, the containers and packaging you use are very important. You’ll need disposable cups and food wrappers or boxes, as well as individual sugar packets and other condiments. 

Your packaging says a lot about who you are as a company, so choose it wisely. For instance, if you are marketing yourself as an organic coffee outlet that only uses the best gourmet coffee beans, choosing Styrofoam cups is not a good reflection of your brand 

You should customize your packaging as well – this will make the orders look professional, market your business, and help get the word out that your café is offering a delivery service. 

Customizing your packaging by having your logo printed on all your containers can be pricey – but simply ordering a customized rubber stamp and stamping each bag before it is dispatched is a cheap fix. Another cost-effective solution is having customized stickers printed that you simply stick onto your containers.

Your food and coffee containers will also offer a degree of protection during transit, so make sure they are sturdy and leak-proof.  

Researching Your Target Audience

Researching your target audience during the initial phase of setting up your delivery service will tell you if delivering coffee and food to your customers is a viable and valuable offering for your business. Additionally, this research will also help you determine how to go about it.

To conduct your market research, analyze the people who come into your café. Do they come in to grab a bite to eat or a quick coffee because they work in the vicinity? Or are they older people meeting with friends who seem to have more time to sit down and eat breakfast? 

Having a look at when the busiest times in your café are by going through your point-of-sale figures will confirm if you mainly serve breakfast or lunch. 

If your café is close to large offices or institutions like hospitals or universities, there may be an opportunity to capitalize on the staff and students’ needs for a speedy lunch delivery service so that they don’t have to wait in long lines during their lunch break. 

Analyze your demographic to anticipate your current client base’s needs and see if these needs are being fulfilled by anybody else. Take note of which other restaurants or cafés are offering delivery in the area so that you know who your competitors are.

Delivery Options

There are three main ways to deliver your food and coffee to your customers: third-party apps, hourly workers, or contracted delivery employees.

Going through a third-party delivery app is the most convenient way to get your food delivered – and they also offer unique marketing opportunities because they already have an established client base. 

A third-party delivery app acts as a middleman between you and your customers by taking care of all the logistics for you, however, using a third-party delivery app can be extremely costly.

If you decide that you’d rather work with your own employees, make sure you know the labor laws in your state and compensate them accordingly. 

Streamlining the Kitchen

Once you’ve done all the research to establish that a delivery service would be beneficial for your business, you will have to streamline your kitchen to supply it. You might want to section off or dedicate a part of your kitchen to food prep, packing, and organizing deliveries so that it’s easier to keep on top of orders. 

At the front of the house, you’ll also want to set up a separate line for in-house customers and delivery collection so that neither gets in the way of the other. 

You’ll also need to employ a few extra staff members to ensure that both in-house and delivery customers are taken care of properly. You should see the delivery side of the company as an expansion of your business – both sides should run smoothly.