How Last-Mile Delivery Works for Restaurants

Learn how last-mile delivery can help your restaurant improve its food delivery service and increase customer satisfaction.

As a restauranteur, you’ve got enough on your plate between crafting a delicious menu, keeping your in-house customers happy, and ensuring your staff is performing at their best.

But what about the growing demand for food delivery?

It’s growing by 25% year-over-year, meaning you need a plan. One option is to learn a whole new skill set (ie., logistics) and invest thousands of dollars in custom ordering software.

We think there’s a better way—using a last-mile delivery provider.

In this article, we’ll explain what last-mile delivery is and how it works for restaurants. But, most importantly, we’ll cover how to improve your customers’ delivery experience without blindly trusting third-party delivery apps.

Let’s dive in.

What is last-mile delivery?

Last-mile delivery refers to the final stage of the delivery process.

For retailers, this would be the final stretch between the last warehouse and the receiver. For restaurants, this is when the food leaves the kitchen and arrives at your customer’s home or office.

While it’s the last step of the customer’s journey, it’s one of the most important for restaurants. After all, you can put as much love and effort into your preparation in the kitchen, but if delivery isn’t efficient or friendly, it can ruin the experience altogether.

That’s why we’ve seen growth in companies specialising in last-mile delivery, such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo, and Just Eat.

How does last-mile delivery work?

Last-mile delivery follows a similar process for every order.

A customer enters their order through an app or website, the restaurant prepares the food, and, once it’s ready, a delivery driver takes it to the customer.

While it seems simple, the process requires logistical planning to ensure customers don’t wait too long for their orders. It also requires several technologies and software for communicating with customers, matching orders with drivers, and real-time delivery tracking.

Managing this is tedious and is an entirely different skill set from running a restaurant. However, last-mile delivery companies remove this headache by providing restaurants with the tools to offer food deliveries without micromanaging the process.

How to improve last-mile delivery

While popular last-mile delivery companies offer an excellent service, it comes at a cost, often as much as 30% of the order price.

It also means that you have no control over the delivery or in-app experience, and no access to valuable user data.

To combat this, there are white-label equivalents, such as Flipdish, Slerp, Shopify, Chatfood, etc. that allow you to build your own website or menu application. And unlike big food marketplaces, they charge a flat rate instead of a commission on each order.

While this is a way to improve last-mile delivery, the fact of the matter is that most of your customers will still use Uber Eats, Just Eat, or Deliveroo because of the applications’ usability and options.

Not to mention that it’s also a great way for your restaurant to gain exposure, so you shouldn’t avoid these platforms completely.

But for each platform you use—whether white-label or branded—you add another layer of complexity and extra labour hours.

So how can you improve the customer experience without avoiding well-known delivery options or employing a full-time logistics manager?

One way is to try Otter, our all-in-one delivery solution.

Otter helps you improve your restaurant’s delivery business in several ways, including:

  • Link your online and offline orders from all delivery apps.
  • Access to consolidated performance data and delivery analytics.
  • Direct orders so you can own the entire last-mile delivery process.

Let’s break these down.

Firstly, Otter brings your delivery apps together, so you can manage all your online and offline orders from a single place.

As Otter’s all-in-one order control center, Order Manager makes accepting, understanding, and completing orders simple.

Rather than having multiple tablets floating around your kitchen, Otter’s Order Manager keeps everything in one neat hub so you never miss an order. On top of this, the application provides mobile check-ins for couriers and automated communication so your staff can focus on what they do best, serving customers and preparing food.

You can also use Order Manager to change and optimise your menus across every platform through one central dashboard. Goodbye hours of data entry!

User data is another must-have for your restaurant, especially for uncovering ordering trends and optimising your menu for sales. Otter pulls this data from every location, menu, and delivery application that you’re integrated with into a single, easy-to-understand dashboard.

You can use Otter’s Dashboard to easily understand which menu items are performing well and whether your delivery partner promotions are working.

So rather than spending most of your time analysing data from each platform, simple yet powerful reports are always available when you need them. A much better option than messy and confusing spreadsheets.

Finally, Direct Orders put you in complete control over your last-mile deliveries without the need for expensive applications or websites.

We provide your restaurant with a unique link that taps directly into your restaurant’s order system. So rather than customers having to navigate to another application, they simply click a personalised menu link that you can add to social media bios, emails, your website, or anywhere else.

The best part is that your online menu is fully customisable (unlike third-party apps) and allows you to own your customer data for retargeting and loyalty offers!

But if you need a helping hand with delivery, we can also route your orders through our expert-vetted delivery partner network to ensure your orders are delivered on time and with a smile.

Did you know that Otter has a suite of other products that can help you reach new heights? Discover our full suite of innovative products here.

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