Developments have battered business and consumer confidence in the past year, and one might think that now’s not exactly the best time to start a business. And while many industries have seen negative growth across the board, some sectors of the economy were left relatively unscathed by the economy’s long list of struggles. In fact, some have even thrived. One of the few businesses that have seen growth in recent months is the food delivery business.
Food delivery has allowed many restaurants to survive in light of restrictions and collapsed foot traffic. People still have to eat, and if they don’t go out, we can always bring food to them. Many entrepreneurs have also seized on the trend and started a food delivery business out of their homes. All you need to start your own food business in these times is a proper kitchen and a social media account.
Of course, it’s not that simple. Managing a food delivery business requires acumen and know-how. You may have a good supplier or battle-tested recipes, but you also need other skills, especially if you want to take your business to the next level. Tools such as a professional kitchen and a small liquid-filling machine can go a long way in expanding your business. Here are a few strategies for managing a food delivery business.
1. Start with a plan
You’re not going anywhere without a plan. Before diving into any business venture, you’ll first need to do your research. Take some time to understand how food delivery works, the kind of customers you want to target, and the competition. You might not need it now, but if you’re looking to partner with an investor, a business plan is a must.
For instance, you need to identify your differentiator. There must be dozens, if not hundreds of foodservice businesses in your area. Your goal is to establish what makes you different. Let’s say you’ve identified a gap in the market: busy parents. You can create a menu filled with nutritious and delicious meals that are geared towards that market.
Make sure to finalize your branding before you launch your business. From the website’s design to the logo you use, everything should tell you what your business. If you launch your business without investing in branding, you’ll find it harder to capture a slice of the market.
2. Choose the right people
You might think you can do everything yourself, but you’ll quickly burn yourself out if you don’t have people helping you. Add more employees as you expand, but you can start with a minimal crew at the beginning. For instance, if you’re going to do the bulk of the cooking, you’ll need someone to help with the prep work and dishwashing. It’s also smart to have a person dedicated to taking orders and monitoring social media.
Many people are looking for work now, so you can have your pick of candidates. Look for people with experience in the foodservice industry. They already know what it takes to succeed in a cutthroat industry. Your customer-facing employees should have excellent social and conflict resolution skills.
3. Get the word out
One common mistake many new businesses make is advertising after the business has launched. You want to build hype before you open the proverbial doors, and you’ll want to advertise on social media so that people will know there’s a new food delivery business in town.
The goal is to get the ball rolling enough to generate enough word of mouth referrals. People will trust their friends and family more than an advertisement, so should focus your energies on getting enough deliveries at the beginning. Eventually, chatter about your business will grow as more people hear about your delicious dishes.
4. Focus on the little things
First impressions are everything. However, since you don’t have a physical restaurant, your customers’ sole exposure to your business is the food they receive. If the packaging or food presentation leaves a lot to be desired, customers are less likely to order from you again. Check every dish that goes out for delivery and make sure everything is clean and presentable.
A final word
These strategies will help you turn your small food delivery business into a local giant. A business plan will serve as your guide as you traverse the world of the foodservice industry. Next, you need to surround yourself with people you can trust to grow your business. Finally, appearances are everything in the service sector. Make sure to finalize your branding and to pay close attention to the food you put out.