Meeting the Hunger: Assessing Demand and Ensuring Profitability in Food Delivery
There is no denying that the food delivery industry has exploded since the start of the pandemic. Companies like Deliveroo and Just Eat have become commonplace in the food service industry, and food outlets see the benefit of offering food delivery services to attract diners and increase sales.
However, it isn’t as easy as simply deciding you will offer this service; you need to think about how this will impact what you currently do and how to ensure complete customer satisfaction at all times. Negative reviews and poor service will only further harm your business if you are struggling and can do more damage than good.
You should be making the following considerations when deciding if food delivery is right for your business.
Is There Demand?
First and foremost, you need to ascertain if there is demand for this type of food delivery in your area. If not, you can end up investing in an area that is defunct and wasting money. Look at your competitors and demand for services in the local area as well as marketing methods, to find out if people are likely to order what you offer. Some foods and meals might not travel well, and you need to look at how food is transported or constructed to translate well into at-home meals and if people are willing to pay. E.g. can you deliver your food, get it cooked and ready to eat, or will they need to prep and look at the home? This can all affect demand.
Can You Meet Demand?
Once you look into the demand for your meals or foods, you must be confident you can meet demand. You need to be ready for an influx of sales at any time and get orders out and delivered promptly. If you cannot scale your operations and meet current demand, then moving into the food delivery sector might not be a good option for you right now. Look at your current capacity and what you need to have in place to meet an increase in orders and sales without impacting what you currently do. If you can meet this, then go ahead; if not, take your time to work out your approach before committing to food delivery.
Do You Have The Right Supplies?
Takeaway food needs takeaway containers and packaging. Takeaway packaging must keep the food safe, contained, secure and edible when it arrives. The type of takeaway packaging you use will depend on the food you are selling; for example, cakes and baked goods can be packaged differently from hot meals you prepare, such as fish and chips or pizza. They also need to be high quality so they don’t easily damage or spill their contents during transit. You also need to think about how you are transporting your food too. You will need insulated bags and boxes to keep food hot or cold and sealed away during the delivery from the kitchen to the home.
Thinking long and hard about whether or not you can reasonably cope with expected demand and whether you have the proper set-up for both in-house and external food orders will dictate the likelihood of this venture is a success for you. Jumping in without thinking about how this will impact what you do can leave you struggling to cope with demand or prepare for sales that might not come through. Do your research and planning, and then if you are confident you can make it work, take the next step to offer takeaway food.