How to Select a Delivery Partner for your Food Business?

Team Shadowfax

Ordering in is convenient for your customers and more of them are choosing to order in as the days go by.While it works great for the customers, delivering food can be a real hassle for your business. Worse, the problem only grows with a growing number of orders. It is difficult to predict demand. The best we know is that orders usually peak during the lunch rush and dinner rush. It’s still difficult to know how many deliveries you might need to do in a two to four hour window on any given day.

The unpredictability in demand affects other parts of your business. Without an accurate prediction, you can never know the number of people you need to have delivering orders on any given day. Do you staff for the peak demand and waste money on the staff’s salaries in the off-peak hours?

OR

Do you only staff for a ‘steady state’ and ‘hustle’ through the peak demand hours? Also, the actual process of delivering the orders itself, is anything but simple. People call in, often more times than one, to ‘track’ orders. If you are not tracking the delivery yourself, chances are that you don’t have a very good answer for the customer. Broken experience. Even the delivery person may find it difficult to find addresses and may end up calling customers Broken experience, again.

On top of it, you need to spend more time getting orders in an increasingly competitive industry. Otherwise, there is no delivery to be made in the first place. It is a logical solution then to find a good partner you can outsource deliveries to. The question, however is, how do you know if the partner is good enough for your need. To help you with that, we’ve put together a list of 4 questions you should ask before making the decision.

Brand Alignment

Q: Who fits in with your brand the best?

When a customer is ordering in, the only two times he or she interacts with your brand is at the time of placing the order and at the time of delivery. This means that it is crucial that the way your food is being delivered, is in line with your brand values. At the very least, you’d need courteous delivery professionals to represent your brand.

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To be sure about that, you can ask the delivery company about their hiring and training procedures. Background checks are important as is the procedure of handling complaints. It is wise to seek customer satisfaction scores, or talk to other businesses like yourself using the particular delivery partner you are considering.

Performance

Q: Who is the fastest and most reliable delivery partner in your region?

Speed and reliability are the most important values when delivering a food order. Most people expect a food order to be delivered under 30 minutes. You can know if your partner can deliver on that promise by requesting statistics on average delivery times. In fact, average time, alone, is not sufficient. You also need to know if this average is maintained reliably over time. If this is not the case, you’ll see customers canceling their orders. On average, 10% of the orders end up getting cancelled across the industry. At Shadowfax, however, we have succeeded in keeping the cancellation rate under 1%, which means that we deliver under 30 minutes 99% of the time. Hear Abhijeet talking about it in this video:

Flexibility

Q: Who offers more flexibility in the service?

In an age where cabs and even living spaces are available on-demand, you are absolutely right to expect it from your delivery partner. Don’t get into long term contracts straight away. Your delivery partner needs to be flexible to accommodate peak-level demands. At the same time, the partner should help you save costs in the off-peak hours. You need a partner who is willing to earn your trust and doesn’t push you into long term contracts.

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This is the reason why we designed Shadowfax as a plug-and-play platform to book instant deliveries. You can simply log in and place the orders when they come and pay us for every delivery we make.

Cost

Q: Who is the most cost-effective for your business?

Customers focus on the overall price, including the delivery charges. That is where you need to pay attention. The cost of delivery should not blow up the order cost disproportionately. This can happen rather very quickly when you are running two to five outlets. At the same time, it’s worth noting that the cost should only be the last factor in your decision. It’s easy to be penny wise and pound foolish. Delivery is an important touch point for your customer. If the delivery partner cannot perform at required service levels, it’s rather trivial if the company is the cheapest service on the block. In summary, here is Abhishek talking about the reasons why you should consider outsourcing your food deliveries and why Shadowfax is a good partner to choose. Take a look.

In case you’d like to talk to someone before making up your mind, you can start a conversation with our sales team.

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