8 Pitfalls to Avoid When Launching Your Food Delivery App
Restaurant owners everywhere are pivoting their businesses by offering food delivery services. More customers want the option to eat in their own homes, and if you don’t offer this option, they may take their business elsewhere.
To be competitive, you’ll need a food delivery app. But just because you launch an app, it doesn’t mean it’ll be a success.
The good news is, your food delivery app can complement your business and bring you, new customers. If you’re thinking of launching an app and taking your restaurant business to the next level, we’re here to help.
Read on for a list of eight pitfalls you should avoid when launching your food delivery app.
1. Don’t Guess Your Routes
When you deliver food, it needs to be fresh and hot. Fast delivery can be the difference between positive reviews and negative ones. And, in the highly competitive restaurant game, good reviews will help you stand out.
One way to avoid delivery delays is by using delivery software. Delivery software helps your drivers navigate traffic and get to their destinations with minimal stops. When they choose the fastest routes, you’ll be able to complete more orders in less time.
You’ll save money on fuel and reduce wear and tear on your vehicles. Plus, you can give your customers access to GPS tracking so they can see where their food is in real-time.
When people place an order, they can get an accurate ETA. If their meals are going to take longer than expected, they won’t be left waiting impatiently.
Delivery software such as Track-POD gives you in-depth insights into your delivery routes. Here’s an example of what you can expect from the backend:
With this information, you can plan your logistics team and give your customers the excellent service they expect.
Another feature that often comes with route tracking is contactless delivery notifications. Your app can alert customers when their order has been delivered, and your drivers can upload a photo as proof.
2. Don’t Forget to Do Your Research
Before you launch your food delivery app, get to know your target market. Are they local? How old are they? What are their favorite meals? Are they on a budget, or do they like to splurge?
When you know your audience, you’ll be able to tailor the app to their needs. You can choose a menu, set prices, and focus on what matters most to your customers.
These customers may change over time. For example, since the start of the pandemic, remote workers have embraced food delivery services. Almost ⅓ of people who work from home say they spend at least $151 on food deliveries each month.
If your customers work from home, they may be looking for both lunch and evening meal deliveries.
Customer feedback is important as it helps you constantly improve your service. Once an order has been delivered, set your app to send a quick feedback form where you can ask customers to rate their experience.
Ask for a star rating and comments for:
- Customer service
- App ease of use
- Food quality
- Delivery speed
3. Don’t Exclude Potential Customers
Is your app going to launch in multiple regions? Do you have a diverse range of customers? If the answer to these questions is yes, your app may need multi-language functionality.
Think about whether your app should be translated into different languages. Your customers could also benefit from having multilingual customer support representatives.
Here’s an example. There are more people in the U.S. who speak Spanish than there are in Spain. If you exclude this audience, you could be missing out on potential customers.
If you’re launching an app in the U.S., it might be a good idea to have both English and Spanish-speaking support in some regions.
Customer support could be done through the app, or patrons can be directed to a phone number, email address, or live help desk.
You should also make sure your app is available on different platforms. For example, users should be able to download it on both iOS and Android devices.
Your ordering system should also be available via an internet browser.
4. Don’t Limit Your Payment Methods
Your customers expect to use their preferred payment method. Your food delivery app should be all about convenience and familiarity.
Consider accepting popular payment methods such as VISA, Mastercard, Paypal, and Apple Pay. Try to avoid cash on delivery, as this can put your business at risk of false orders.
Any payment methods you accept should be secure to protect both you and your customers.
You should also be aware of friendly fraud. But what’s friendly fraud? When a customer files a chargeback for food they’ve received, you’ll be out of pocket. Chargebacks won’t usually impact your credit score, so you won’t have to repair your credit. But it can affect your merchant balance, which is something you want to avoid.
Check that your app isn’t surprising customers with additional costs at checkout. For example, credit card surcharge fees can lead to people abandoning their carts. You can easily get that information and adapt your product and service if you do a data pipeline analysis. By knowing what your customers are doing when adding their banking information, you can easily update your payment methods.
If possible, offer free delivery. Even if delivery costs are factored into meal prices, the appeal of free delivery is attractive to savvy shoppers.
5. Don’t Leave Your Business Vulnerable
When launching a new product or service, you should always protect your business. The same applies to your food delivery app.
You’ll need to work with a registered agent when registering your food delivery app. They’ll be able to help you with your legal paperwork and make sure that your obligations are being met.
We recommend that you speak to other professionals such as a lawyer or an accountant. Your app may need to be trademarked, and you may benefit from tax advice.
Your app will need a clear set of terms and conditions (T&C). This agreement protects your business if the app is used inappropriately. For example, if someone breaches copyright or abuses, other members, your responsibility will be waived.
You can minimize your liability and remove users if they abuse the food delivery app. While you can use a terms and conditions template, we recommend you get legal advice first.
Remember, app users will want to know that their privacy is a high priority for you.
6. Don’t Rush the Design
You may be in a hurry to start your food delivery service, but you should never rush the design. Make sure your app is professional and appealing to users.
The app should reflect your brand with the same colors and logo. Stick to fonts that are easy to read and avoid colored backgrounds and bright hues. Always double-check your content for spelling and grammatical errors.
Try not to do anything fancy with your design. Users expect components to be in a specific spot, such as the cart button in the top right corner. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll get frustrated and leave.
Ensure your app is free from bugs and regularly updated with security patches.
Go through the process of ordering a meal to check that it works as it should. Look for missing fields, ease of use, and issues with the payment system.
Before you officially launch, consider trialing your app on a small group of people and asking for feedback. A professional app can take time to develop, but getting it right the first time will be worth the wait.
It can be tempting to put advertising in your app for a few extra dollars. However, ads and pop-ups will be off-putting to users.
7. Don’t Forget Your Drivers
A professional food delivery app and customers aren’t all you need to be successful. Your delicious meals will be left sitting on the shop counter without reliable drivers.
There are two options. You can either outsource your deliveries to a third party or hire your own drivers. Either way, your service needs to be consistent, and the food should be transported correctly.
For example, drivers should use an insulated bag for hot food and gel packs for cold food. Meals should be upright to avoid spillage, and cold and hot food should be separated.
Your drivers should wear a uniform and be easily identifiable. They need to be safe drivers with good driving records. They should also be trained in customer service.
When customers meet your drivers at the door, they’ll expect a friendly greeting and a mess-free meal.
Remember to pay your drivers fairly, and have enough crew members for busy shifts. Your drivers should have a reliable vehicle and be trained to use your food delivery app.
8. Don’t Neglect Your Customers
If your restaurant is busy, you may not be thinking about connecting with your customers. But loyalty isn’t guaranteed, so it’s important to stay on their radar.
When you launch your food delivery app, people won’t know about it unless you tell them. How can you connect with your customers? You can have merchandise in-store for your regulars and a professional website to complement your app.
If you have an email mailing list, you can send out an email blast to let them know about your new service.
Don’t forget social media. You can use Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to promote your app and expand your audience. Consider offering a special discount, such as 10% off the first order when they download the app. Plus, you can provide Facebook-only meal deals and create videos for YouTube.
Encourage your patrons to share their experiences on their favorite social media platforms.
Avoid Common Pitfalls When Launching Your Food Delivery App
If you’re preparing to launch a food delivery app, you could open your restaurant up to new customers. Food delivery can be profitable, but you need to get it right.
With some planning, there are a few common pitfalls you can avoid. Use route planning software to make your drivers more efficient and ensure they’re trained in customer service.
You should research your customers and design the app that suits their needs. Your app should be professional and cater to different customers. For example, you can set multiple languages for multicultural communities.
Give your patrons a range of payment options, and don’t surprise them with any unexpected charges at checkout. Protect your business by seeking legal and financial advice, and take your time getting the design just right.
Finally, you should keep your customers informed by sharing news on social media, in-store, and via email.
With these simple tips, your food delivery app launch can be a success.