LSM in the Age of Delivery

6 Ways Restaurants Can Improve Connections with Delivery Customers

Does restaurant delivery mean the end of close connections with your customers? Absolutely not! Today, more than ever before, data-driven local marketing plans are essential for capitalizing on all the opportunities in your local trading area, including delivery to your customers. 

Restaurants’ delivery sales are projected to grow at more than three times the rate of on-premises revenue through 2023*. Some restaurants manage their own delivery force, but many are using third-party delivery services, which means that the “face” of the restaurant is a third-party employee. This makes building loyal connections with delivery customers very difficult for restaurants using third-party services.

Yet, customers still long for community and “personal service”. Making them feel valued and special can make the difference in which restaurant they select to order from time and time again. Understanding who your customers are…their demographics, the traffic generators within your trading area and the activities they are engaging in on a daily basis will allow you to attract them with specific tactics targeted to capitalize on your restaurant’s opportunities. Here are six potential tactics restaurants can implement to build strong connections with delivery customers:

  1. Let your delivery customers know about the events and promotions going on at your restaurant. Create specific data-driven plans based upon the opportunities within your restaurant’s trading area. Include flyers with information on upcoming restaurant activities with every delivery order.

  2. Promote your restaurant’s involvement with the community. Show them that you are a locally owned business. Understand what activities and organizations are most important to your specific customers. Sponsor local groups that rank highest in interest with your customers. Host fundraising events for key organizations. Showcase your restaurant’s sponsorships and fundraising results on your delivery packaging.

  3. Encourage repeat orders to build frequency and loyalty. Include targeted coupons that are good on their next delivery order or on-site purchase.

  4. Build a relationship with delivery personnel. Drivers can be a very positive ambassador for your restaurant. Offer them the occasional free meal or treat. Understand what motivates them. Engaging them and making them feel “part” of your team can help ensure that they will convey the same attitude to your customers on your behalf.

  5. Include surveys that customers can complete after delivery to share details of their delivery experience. If you accept delivery orders directly, consider personal phone calls to a select number of delivery customers each week. Showing customers that you care about the service they receive can go along way in building a strong connection.

  6. Add a little “extra” to your customers’ delivery order. Based on your trading area’s specific data, you might include activity sheets for orders that include Kid’s Meals or a small treat as a thank you for their order.

Incorporating these marketing efforts directly into your Local Store Marketing (LSM) plan is key to creating a positive delivery experience. LSM continues to be a key differentiating factor in restaurant sales and critical to long-term success at each individual location. Make certain that you are leveraging this important sales building weapon. LSM builds both customer and employee satisfaction, which in turn results in sales and transactions at the individual restaurant level.

*2019 Study by L.E.K. Consulting