How to increase orders for your food delivery service

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How to increase orders for your food delivery service

How to increase orders for your food delivery service

Customer satisfaction is always in direct positive correlation with revenue, but how to manage your delivery customers' experience in a structured way, so that it translates into increased orders, both from new and existing customers?

Here's a simple, three-stage framework that HGEM has put together, designed specifically for increasing delivery orders through managing and improving your guest experience.


In venues, the customer journey is usually fine-tuned to the smallest of details. Clear standards and expectations have been set; e.g. the customer should never wait more than 5 minutes to be seated, food has to leave the kitchen within 15 minutes of ordering, et cetera, and teams have been trained to fulfil these expectations.

HGEM has found that remote journeys don't usually get the same level of attention from operators, though it is of equal importance to your customers and even more so in current circumstances, when this may be your only revenue stream.

To improve guest experience, first you'll need a baseline that you can measure against: an 'ideal customer journey' to aim for, every single time. Consider the following key stages of the customer journey, and how these relate to your brand:

  • Promotion: Your brand should be easy to find for delivery (including on your own website). Think about how you stand out and how you can influence the brand rating on delivery apps. It's quite common for sites to hide themselves from view in delivery apps when they get too busy - this naturally has a big impact on sales and brand awareness, so decide on what is acceptable to you.
  • Ordering: Examine the delivery menu to ensure that the photos and description are appealing. You may need to present it slightly differently, depending on the delivery app, but try to maintain consistency across channels.
  • Availability: Consider your expectations in terms of dish availability. You may not expect to have the full range available at all times, but you'll need a process for managing this. You could aim to maintain a core range at all times, or have targets for certain times of day (e.g. breakfast and dinner ranges). Whatever you decide, think about how guests might perceive it and how you would pre-empt disappointment.
  • Timing promise: Make sure your delivery estimates are accurate, reasonable and achievable. Delays may occur for various reasons - consider how you manage and communicate these.
  • Accuracy: An inaccurate order in an eat-in restaurant is disappointing, but can be corrected relatively quickly. However, if this happens remotely, and customers receive the wrong items in a delivery, it will be difficult to rectify. The experience will probably be communicated to the customer's friends and social media, so a process that allows you to prevent errors is very important.
  • Packaging: This needs to be appropriate for the order. For example, a crispy food item in a steamy container may look good when it leaves your kitchen, but be soggy when it arrives.
  • Quality: This is what the customer has been looking forward to, so the food should be well presented and be at the right temperature when eaten. Several aspects of the physical journey can affect this, but you won't know the results, unless you ask for feedback.


    Once you've clearly defined your remote customer journey, you need to know how effectively you are meeting your targets. There are three main types of insights, each with its own purpose:

    • Standards and processes. These can be assessed with external audits, using a questionnaire which is very closely aligned to your customer journey, outlined above. It's important that audits are carried out broadly in the same way each time, as the aim is to ensure not just high standards, but also consistency. Using mystery guests is a popular and easy way to obtain objective external assessments.
    • Customer sentiment and feedback. These are measured using feedback sites, for example, and the aim is to capture a rapid emotional response. This is normally in the form of ratings and comments, and it's important to pose the questions carefully, so they relate to the customer journey set out in step 1. Feedback sites are also a good way to measure your Net Promoter Score (NPS) which is a popular way to measure word-of-mouth recommendations. Furthermore, by offering your guests a platform for feedback, you are discouraging negative reviews ending up on social media, and can encourage only positive reviews to be posted publicly, thereby managing your online reputation. Another benefit is the improved speed of response - you can quickly identify issues and resolve them, before the need for a negative review arises.
    • Dish performance. Food quality / enjoyment is a key deciding factor for consumers, when it comes to choosing their next delivery, as other factors that usually come in to play in-venue, such as service, atmosphere and d├ęcor, don't apply. It is, therefore, useful to know what your most / least popular dishes are, and to be able to measure the performance of each dish against common indicators, such as value for money, taste, temperature, portion size and presentation. If capturing these results using a feedback site, ask for ratings and comments. If capturing results through a mystery guest audit, consider asking dish specification questions that provide useful information for the kitchen.


      Once you have a steady stream of relevant data coming in, it's incredibly important to manage this data in an effective way. Consider Guest Experience Management tools or software that can hold all your data in one place, which will enable you to start seeing patterns emerge, so you could easily identify issues and areas of opportunity.

      Then, you can start making insight-driven changes to your business and monitoring how guests respond, by continuing to measure their reactions (step 2). You will be able to see which changes influence high-level customer metrics, such as the satisfaction score, NPS or dish performance. Keep using this framework to implement a cycle of continuous improvement.

      Improving your guest experience is not a quick fix - working through and applying the framework requires patience and commitment over the long term. However, the effort that you put in will be rewarded with increased loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations from your customers, which will result in more orders and help you grow faster.

      HGEM - here to help

      The framework above should help you look at your Guest Experience Management in a strategic and structured way, but going through all the required work can be daunting. HGEM are happy to help you through each step of the way; this is, after all, what we do!

      We can help define a customer journey, provide you the tools required for measuring what matters, give you access to our Guest Experience Management platform that brings all the data together into one place, and support you in drawing out meaningful and actionable insights that help you implement a cycle of continuous improvement.

      Would you like to see how it all works? Click here to arrange a free demo.

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