Managing deliveries in-house gives you a lot of control. But with that control comes the job of managing your own delivery fleet. For restaurants that are new to delivery, that can be quite a herculean task. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Keep track of driver information
Like any employee, when hiring delivery drivers, you need to track their employment information. What to track changes depending on the legislation in your state, and the role of the employee. For drivers, you also need to track their driver’s license, car registration, and insurance. By monitoring expiration dates, you can prevent your drivers from driving with an expired license or without adequate insurance.
Depending on whether the drivers provide their own vehicles or not, they may need to add coverage to their existing insurance allowing them to drive for work. Your insurance may require proof of their coverage in the event a claim is made.
Keep drivers safe
Keep your drivers safe by training them to call back to the store whenever they are uncomfortable with a situation. Minimize the amount of cash that your drivers carry at any given time by requiring them to cash-out after every run, and only carry a small float. Don’t even let them carry their tips–enforce tip reporting, and tip-out at the end of their shift.
Pay drivers tipped wages
If your restaurant is in a jurisdiction that allows for a tipped wage for delivery drivers, pay close attention to when drivers are in-store working, or out on a delivery. Many jurisdictions require the minimum wage to be paid for any non-tipped tasks performed, like folding pizza boxes. Many point of sale systems that are built for restaurant delivery will allow you to track when drivers are out on a delivery, and automatically adjust the driver’s pay rate accordingly.
Use dispatching software
The most important part of your delivery program is getting orders out the door and delivered to your customers quickly. Using a delivery-specific point of sale system is critical to efficiently managing your deliveries, and your drivers. With delivery dispatching software, you can divide your delivery area into zones, and charge the appropriate fee automatically when the order is placed. When ready to assign orders, they can be grouped together by touching pushpins on a digital map, for more efficient routing.
Once you have your delivery team in place, and trained, start monitoring their performance.
3. Track delivery orders
One way to track the performance of your delivery service is by tracking the number of delivery orders that come in. But by the time orders decrease, you’ve already lost business! It’s better to use reports to detect problems before they result in lost orders. Most delivery point of sale systems will have reporting that you can use to monitor your drivers, such as out-the-door-time, and late deliveries.
2. Request customer feedback
Get feedback about your delivery drivers from your customers. Ask for feedback on receipts, and give customers a way to provide feedback directly to your restaurant, rather than through an online review site like Yelp.
3. Audit your delivery service
Order from your own restaurant for delivery, and watch how your delivery drivers perform. Have someone else answer the door, and listen to the interaction. Are your drivers polite? Professional? Is their car clean, and was the music blaring? You can find a delivery audit checklist here to help you evaluate your delivery program.