How to Choose the Best Food Delivery Software for Your Company

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Food delivery software is the “brain” that helps computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices transform into virtual restaurants. Consumers can instantly find a dining establishment, read a menu, place an order, and make a payment wherever they are – and they expect their order to be delivered accurately and fast and arrive ready to eat.

The food-on-demand mindset is spreading. According to Statista, the full-service restaurant delivery market is expected to grow by more than 40% by 2022, to $15.7 billion from $11.2 billion in 2018. Companies that deliver hot food must embrace evolving digital technology or risk falling behind.

To succeed in the food delivery business, you’ll need to choose food delivery software that fulfills your company’s needs, delights your customers, and enables you to achieve your business goals. In this article, we’ll break down how you can do so by covering the following topics:

What Is Food Delivery Software?

Food delivery software enables a restaurant or other food delivery service to master all the steps required to manage online food ordering and delivery operations. They enable hardware like smartphones, computers, or tablets to become a digital portal for communication between a restaurant and its customers. 

Source: Bento Box

They also simplify operations such as customer updates, route planning, and courier communications. Software companies like OptimoRoute, SquareTap Mango, and Bento Box furnish functionality for order management, brand messaging, dispatching, menu presentation, proof of delivery, ordering, payment, order tracking, driver coordination, customer feedback, and business analytics.

What Can Food Delivery Software Do for You? 

Restaurant management presents a wide range of challenges for owners, operators, and managers. Timing is everything in the food industry. Success depends on smooth integration at every stage, which requires thorough planning and reliable execution.

Fortunately, delivery management software has come a long way since the days of phone calls and delivery instructions hastily scribbled on the back of an order pad. Online orders, web-based or through a delivery app, changed everything.

Today’s food delivery management platforms provide access to intuitive dashboards and preset templates for digital order takers, cashiers, bookkeepers, dispatchers, customer service reps, and more. Below are a few essential functions and capabilities:

  • KPI tracking and reporting – Performance monitoring is vital because shifting measurements reveal growth and potential problem areas. With the right tech stack in place, a restaurant or other food delivery company can automate its key performance indicator (KPI) tracking and create real-time reports that quickly help managers make crucial decisions. 
  • Ratings/review management – Want to gauge customer sentiment? Relying on positive consumer reviews to drive business growth? Committed to rapid responses to diner compliments or complaints? Software can enable instant notifications and provide automated responses when appropriate.
  • Customer engagement – Sometimes, an online customer has a question that can’t be answered by looking at a digitalized menu. Just as face-to-face diners ask about a specific ingredient or request a special order, customers who use online ordering occasionally need to reach out directly for immediate answers. The right software can enhance the customer experience through chatbots, SMS, and messaging services that can be integrated into a food delivery software platform, enabling real-time conversations.
  • Delivery route planning Last mile delivery accounts for 53% of the total cost of shipping. The challenge is to minimize those last mile expenditures. So much relies on managing the number of stops and idle time. The software you choose for delivery management must allow for forward-thinking route planning, as well as real-time adjustments, obstacle notifications delivery time and Live ETA.
  • Driver coordination – No matter if a restaurant employs its own delivery drivers or works with a company such as DoorDash, GrubHub, or Uber Eats, communication is critical. A successful delivery often uses a mobile app to notify drivers of routing changes or other obstacles. Driver communication and scheduling functions are a must-have element of a delivery software platform.
  • Payment options – Top delivery solution software companies offer integration with a point of sale (POS) platform such as SquareNCRToast, or Revel. The top POS providers offer cutting-edge payment methods, such as QR code scanning with smartphones and other contactless payment options.

How to Choose the Right Restaurant Delivery Software

Now that you’ve identified the functions of food delivery software, it’s time to figure out how those functions apply to your company. Don’t simply go all-in on the most popular or best-known platform. Your needs are unique. Take some time to examine your options and determine the right fit.

Source: Square

Here are a few questions to consider before you commit to a particular software platform to handle your delivery requirements:

  • Does it offer personalized and timely customer service and support? People want to be treated as people during a digital transaction, but they also expect clarity and speed. Your company’s reputation is on the line every time a customer makes contact, so the software you choose should enable robust, personable, and efficient communication.
  • How much does it cost? Technology upgrades are an investment in your company, but pricing is always a consideration. How much is it worth for your customers to receive the kind of get-it-now service they have come to expect on a digital device? You’re not only paying for the software. You’re also investing in your company’s reputation for good food and quality service.
  • What are the setup requirements? What sort of hardware will you need on your end? Does the platform offer customization of your website and app? Does your current network provide a reliable connection? If you need to invest in a hardware upgrade to streamline your business operations, see the tip above about pricing. 
  • Does it offer integration with your preferred POS system? You’ll want the transition to a new software platform to be as seamless as possible. One way to ensure that happens is to make sure your new product can integrate with the POS you currently use – or if you’ll need to adopt a different POS to accommodate the new software.
  • How (and how often) are updates implemented? Most software requires regular updates and maintenance. It’s important to know ahead of time whether an update will disrupt automated functions so you can adjust your schedule accordingly.
  • How is performance measured and reported? You’ll want to know whether you’re getting your money’s worth from your delivery software. Find out how the software enables measurement and reporting of your company’s most important KPIs – and how the software platform can help you achieve performance success.

How OptimoRoute Can Help Improve Your Food Delivery Service

Naturally, a successful restaurant delivery business hinges on the quality of the food. But it doesn’t matter how delicious the product is if the delivery goes off track because of a failure in route optimization. Time lost is not just money lost; it also is customer satisfaction lost, which can be fatal to any small business.

OptimoRoute is here to help restaurants keep their promises to customers who expect efficient food delivery. It even works when a small business unexpectedly grows at scale. The folks at Local Roots NYC discovered first-hand the power of OptimoRoute’s route planning and scheduling software when the food delivery company successfully handled a sudden increase from 50 orders a week to 400 orders a day during the COVID-19 lockdown in New York.

OptimoRoute helped Local Roots NYC scale its delivery volume in 2020.

How does OptimoRoute contribute to building a successful restaurant business or meal delivery business? Our cloud-based software helps food delivery companies plan the most efficient routes and schedules for drivers, allowing for:

  • Reduced driving time and mileage
  • Less fuel consumption
  • Better real-time visibility into where drivers are in the field
  • Greater control of asset allocation
  • Easy modification of routes when needed
  • Customer notifications via email or through text message

Grow and Thrive With the Optimal Food Delivery Software Suite

Choosing the food delivery software that suits your company’s current requirements is only the beginning. To ensure future growth and continued success, you have to constantly gauge the effectiveness of your software and monitor the shifting expectations of your customers. At the same time, you must remain informed about the latest technological advances and decide if they can help you meet your goals. 

No matter how advanced the technology gets, efficiency will always be a key component in the success of a food delivery company. OptimoRoute is here to help with that. Give our software a try for free with a 30-day trial.

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