Competition in the delivery arena is increasing, and it will continue to do so. But it’s important to note that it’s not a zero-sum game. While delivery competition is increasing, the size of the delivery market is too. Your customer base is being given more options. So how do you ensure they keep choosing you? By properly promoting your restaurant’s delivery program, you’ll be able to increase your delivery sales, despite the new competition.
One of the biggest benefits of in-house delivery is that these are your customers, and you have control over the interactions they have with your restaurant. That means you own the data collected for deliveries, such as contact information. Before you look at the strategies below, set yourself up for success by auditing your customer database for accuracy and currency, and familiarizing yourself with local data-protection and email legislation.
1. Advertise in Store
If you offer pizza by the slice, or carry-out, make sure to advertise that you offer delivery as well. I visited my favorite pizzeria for pizza-by-the-slice for years before learning that they also offered delivery. They missed out on all of my delivery orders during that time, as I ordered delivery from one of their competitors. This could be as simple as directing your employees to ask carry-out customers if they are aware that you deliver.
2. Take Advantage of Your Packaging
Make sure everything going out your front door has your logo on it, your delivery hours, your online ordering website address (URL), and your phone number. While this may seem obvious, the easiest way to increase orders is to encourage your existing customers to order more often. Remember the 80/20 rule: 80% of your orders come from 20% of your customers. Include a paper copy of your delivery menu, or a flyer with your online ordering website, in every delivery bag.
3. Send Out Direct Mail
The best way to be sure you are targeting households in your delivery area is to send out direct mail to those areas. Use the information in your POS reports, and online demographic information, to determine which neighborhoods would benefit most from advertising, and design a direct mail campaign that will appeal to your target.
4. Advertising in Local Papers and Outdoor Signs
Print advertising can be pricey, and it can be difficult to determine the return on investment, so consider placements carefully. Buy ad placements where your customers are most likely to see them in the hours before lunch and dinner. For instance, if your restaurant is in a city with a busy public transport system, consider ads inside buses or subway stations that say something along the lines of “Long day? Order dinner now to have it meet you at home.”
5. Use Paid Social Media Advertising
Social media marketing is a craze because it works. The trick with social media paid advertising is to be fun, social, and on brand. Use geographical targeting to target customers only within your delivery zones. New season of Stranger Things coming out on Friday? Encourage your customers to order delivery and plan a night in to binge watch in a timely post that includes a link to your online ordering site.
Time your ads to appear shortly before popular ordering times. This will reduce your costs by only showing ads when your customers are most likely to order.
6. Advertise Online
Just like with social media advertising, you can target your ads to only appear to people within your delivery area, and only during certain times. There are basically two ways of doing this: do it yourself, or hire a digital marketing agency to do it for you. Either way, you’ll need to ensure you target search keywords related to delivery, and that your ads point to your online ordering website.
Using Google Ads search ads, or Bing Ads, target keywords that are location specific, and include the city or neighborhood you deliver to. Examples for this would be keywords like “pizza delivery in Capitol Hill” and “pizza delivery in Seattle.” Common keywords like “delivery” will be more expensive, so making them more specific to your food specialty and where you operate will allow you to better target your customers, and keep advertising costs down.
Consider using retargeting ads with Google, or another provider, to advertise to people that have previously visited your online ordering site. The ads can appear on website they visit, as video ads on YouTube, or on other Google products, depending on how you set it up. You can choose to retarget people who ordered from you, say a month ago, and encourage them to order from you again.