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Thinking of offering a food delivery service? Here’s how

If you are a food retailer such as a café, pub or restaurant, you may be considering offering a takeaway or delivery service.

Many food retailers turned to takeaway and delivery services during lockdown as a successful way to maintain income.

Here, delivery service provider Just Eat supplies its guide to extending your existing business.

Key things any restaurant should consider when looking to do takeaway/delivery?

There are a number of different things to consider when you want to add a delivery or takeaway offering to your existing business: In the current climate, offering delivery can have a significant impact in helping to stay open for business. The key things to consider are:

● Method of delivery – you can opt to deliver yourself and either hire delivery drivers or redeploy front of house staff to do the deliveries. Alternatively, you can use an aggregator’s fleet of couriers. If you opt to self-deliver you will need to consider business insurance for your vehicles.

● Menu -Don’t try and replicate your dine-in experience. For successful delivery, it is best to focus on offering a simpler, stripped-back menu that you’re confident you can deliver. Lead with profitable and popular items that are easy to prepare and, importantly, that will travel well.

● Operations – Speed is king. Consider how your operations can be optimised to ensure the customer receives their meal within 30mins of ordering. You’ll need to consider:
○ How you’re tracking and managing phone orders, for both collection and home delivery
○ how delivery orders are integrated with your POS
○ how to set up your prep area so staff can work in a way that complies with the social distancing guidance
○ having a designated order packing area and courier waiting area, ensuring that couriers stay two meters apart from restaurant staff at all times
● Equipment – Use the right packaging to ensure food is delivered safely to customers:
○ For hot food, use heat proof packaging and make sure any ‘wet food’ such as curries are placed in leak-proof containers.
○ Use a sealable, commercial grade, insulated food transportation bag, with separate compartment for ambient or chilled goods to maintain safe temperatures during delivery.
○ Consider using sustainable packaging options to help reduce your impact on the environment. Read more about the work Just Eat has done in this area here
○ Restaurants using the Just Eat platform can buy packaging directly from the Just Eat Partner Shop

Reality of offering delivery? What can they expect?

● Peak times will be the same – Typically customers order delivery at the same times that they would traditionally eat in. Peak times would still be the same, so set up your business for delivery accordingly. To drive off-peak trade and orders earlier in the week, you can participate in promotions such as Just Eat’s Cheeky Tuesday, where you can offer customers 20% off every Tuesday.
● Customer offers and upsell – You can still maximise revenues through offers and upsell. There’s functionality to show customers suggested sides, drinks or desserts, after a menu item is added to the basket. From experience it leads to higher average order values.
● Dedicated support – If you opt to work with an aggregator, you will benefit from dedicated support. Just Eat has a field based account management team, telephone support, as well as a head office based Strategic Account Management team focused on you and serving your customers.
● Discounts and deals – Just Eat uses its scale to negotiate the best rates with key industry suppliers, which it then gives back to its Restaurant Partners. Deals include up to 7% cashback at Booker and Makro, 3% cashback at Tesco, and offers to reduce your energy bills

Common mistakes to avoid:
● Don’t try and deliver the entire restaurant menu – focus on the food that will work best for delivery.
● Don’t try and replicate your dine in experience at the cost of speed
● Be operationally set up – make sure you’re optimised for delivery.

How to work with a third party businesses:

Working with an online food delivery service has many benefits. At Just Eat, we have a track record of helping our restaurant partners to prosper whether it’s through access to more customers online that they may not otherwise have been able to reach, or our investment in technology and marketing to help takeaways raise their profile, attract more orders and operate more efficiently.

On average restaurants on Just Eat take 4,000 orders a year with millions of customers visiting the app or website, giving businesses that operate on the platform unprecedented reach.

In order to work with an aggregator, you need all the usual paperwork to show proof of ownership and proof that you are registered as a food business with the relevant local authority.). You will need an FHRS rating of 3 or above or a Pass in Scotland, in order to sign up with Just Eat.

To find out more about working with Just Eat, visit:



Additional Guidance and Resources: 

Have you registered for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme? 

Are you ready for a second wave of coronavirus? Read our blog

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