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Restaurant Delivery Optimization Software

Off-premise dining, whether fueled by takeout or delivery, is quickly changing the restaurant industry. At the end of 2018, off-premise sales accounted for 38 percent of a restaurant’s sales. And 22 percent of consumers report that ordering for carryout or delivery is an even bigger part of their dining habits than it was two years ago. Most industry experts see this trend continuing, making off-premise a great growth opportunity.

Meeting customer expectations for convenience (think mobile app), quick delivery, and eco-friendly packaging creates operational challenges for any restaurant.

The increasing number of orders and delivery can complicate your BOH operations. And when it comes to actually making the deliveries, there’s always the risk of traffic or a driver getting lost. Why wouldn’t you want something to make it as easy as possible? It makes sense that you would want a system to help you minimize risks.

But what exactly does delivery route optimization software do? And is it even worth the hassle of using to begin with?

Features

Most of the available restaurant delivery software also includes route optimization, giving you a lot more than a glorified Google Maps. There are a lot of options out there, but the features don’t differ that much. You’ll be able to import customer lists or offer customer loyalty benefits, as well as assign a driver and adjust routes. Some options even allow you to dispatch orders through the app itself.

These features are meant to ease the logistical strain that is inherent in the delivery service by giving you all the relevant information in one place. Additionally, they make use of the most efficient paths to ensure your deliveries are on time, enhancing the customer experience.

Benefits to your business

What are the actual benefits to using restaurant delivery software? Apart from not relying on the knowledge of local drivers, this software improves your efficiency and reduces logistical challenges.

Things like cloud integration serve this purpose well. If your delivery optimization software is accessible through the cloud, you don’t need to worry about being on-site to check the schedule and neither does your staff. It also allows you to access this valuable information without having to go through an IT department, saving you both time and money.

Delivery route optimization software also means more data. Many of the available options allow you to access end of day reports about your deliveries. That may include delivery times, routes taken, and more. You can even set up delivery confirmation through the software, so you’re certain when a customer has received their order.

The software provides you with a focused collection of information that you control and access. In time, it should allow you to streamline your operations and cut costs as you find aspects of your delivery operation that can be more efficient.

Things to consider

Sounds great, right? Efficiency, cost reduction, and easy access to data are all appealing. But there are some risks when it comes to using any software, including for delivery route optimization.

Most of those risks come in the form of usability. Because this is a piece of software, you need to be certain you’re not going to be fighting bugs and user interface issues every time you attempt to use it. Otherwise, all that efficiency you’re supposed to be gaining gets cancelled out when you struggle with the software.

In general, you want to aim for an option that provides cloud support and allows for custom reporting (for instance, you may want to be able to see how long a driver spent on each part of a route as opposed to the entire route).

You also want software that offers real-time monitoring (for example, so you can see if delivery times are falling within your standards and meet your customer promises). Finally, but critically important, you need a software that’s compatible with any other technology you already work with and that comes with strong support. The last thing you want is for your delivery route optimization to stop functioning in the middle of the dinner rush one night with no way for you to fix it.

Cloud support

Gives access to your information anywhere, anytime.

Real-time monitoring

Shows exactly how things are going as they’re happening.

Custom reporting

Provides specific sets of data that are most useful to you.

Compatibility and support

Works with everything else you use and has a solid support team behind it.

Delivery route optimization software offers an option to collect your relevant data in one place and use it to streamline your delivery service.

But it also poses some risks if it lacks certain fundamental aspects. The most important thing is to know exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to delivery route optimization — research the available options, and choose the one that will answer your specific needs.

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