As a food business owner, you’re smart to be considering third-party delivery apps as part of your business model. Over 22% of Malaysians order food on delivery apps 1-2x per week with some even ordering several times per day.
It’s also clear that this service is in high demand just by looking at how many delivery app options there are in Malaysia — GrabFood, FoodPanda, Beep, AirAsiaFood, DeliverEat, LOLOL, Olarme and the list goes on.
But with popularity comes competition. Delivery apps are a competitive space, and it takes time and attention to stand out from your biggest competitors—meaning a lot more than just uploading your menu to attract customers.
That’s why we’ve put together these 10 tips that will help you establish a successful F&B business on food delivery apps.
1. Optimise your menu for search
Remember that customers are bombarded with a lot of options when they first open their preferred delivery app on a mobile device. As they’re navigating through, how they see and interpret your menu is the first thing that will influence their final decision. You can help focus customers’ attention by organising your menu offerings in clear, at-a-glance categories—like appetisers, main dishes, sides, beverages, etc.
Take advantage of any menu layout customisation options that many food delivery platforms offer. Depending on the type of food you make, perhaps a static or an a la carte menu style will best showcase your offerings to potential customers.
Don’t forget to use category tags for your restaurant listing. When customers are using app search to help them browse restaurants or food types, tags will help you show up in their consideration set.
2. Price your food competitively
Stay up to date on who your competitors are and what their price point is. When customers are comparing your food with other restaurants that offer a similar menu at the same level of quality, any significant difference in price will likely tip them in favour of your competition.
Maintaining a competitive pricing policy allows you to accomplish two key goals: to make a profit and to secure a loyal customer base. Remember that third-party food delivery apps have new restaurants join their platform on an ongoing basis, so check in regularly to evaluate any shifts in the pricing landscape.
3. Prioritise quality food photography
When food delivery app users scroll through menu options available on their app of choice, they’re ready to order and spend money. Even if they’re looking for something specific, their eyes will still scan what’s in front of them—and the most powerful selling tool in that moment is the pictures they see. That’s why it’s imperative that your food photos be appetising and top-quality.
Hiring a professional food photographer is an investment that will pay off in spades. Not only will these photos be what you’ll use to capture customers on food delivery apps, but they’ll be key in all of your marketing efforts—from your website to social media posts to paid ads. Remember that amateur-looking or poorly lit photos will not sell, so don’t cut any corners here.
At KitchenConnect, we offer marketing services, along with our cloud kitchens and food technology, that include securing professional food photography. With this service, you’ll be sure to get the right photos that will do your food justice.
4. Write persuasive food descriptions
After a customer stops to look at a photo that catches their eye, the next thing they’ll do is read the food description. This is your second chance to sell that menu item to an already-interested customer, so be sure to really nail this part down.
A persuasive food caption will not only be accurate in the description of the dish—and in spelling and grammar—but will use descriptive, mouth-watering language that will reaffirm the customer’s interest. How you present your food both visually and descriptively is the way to hook your customer and make them a part of your loyal customer base.
5. Offer customisation options
Customisation is something that all customers in all shopping sectors not only value but come to expect. Everybody has unique tastes and preferences—especially when it comes to food—and will choose food makers that accommodate their palate. Whether it’s allowing customers to choose their level of spiciness or fulfilling a request for extra sauce on the side, your willingness to do so will go a long way.
Going above and beyond to please you is what excellent customer service is about and is often one of the top reasons customers stay loyal. Let your customers know upfront through the app that you accommodate custom orders, and your flexibility will pay off in the long run.
6. Offer meal deals and specials
Who doesn’t love a good deal? No matter what type of cuisine you offer, chances are that customers will be enticed by a special offer or meal deal. Western-style restaurants are well known for their combo deal offers—order a burger and large fries and get a free small beverage—that customers love.
The easy part with most food delivery platforms is that you can incorporate special offers into the app directly, so that people will automatically be prompted to add a side and a drink to their main order. It’s a great way to upsell and increase the total purchase amount.
7. Fulfil your food orders quickly
After placing an order, customers always want to know how quickly their food will arrive. Every delivery platform gives customers an estimated time of delivery and you can bet that they’re expecting that time frame to be honoured. The quicker the turnaround time, the better chance you have at winning over a customer that might be on the fence.
Conversely, if you cook your food slowly or lag in getting the order out the door, you risk missing your delivery time window—which can result in a very unsatisfied and disgruntled customer. There’s no quicker way to lose a customer, so try to avoid this scenario at all costs.
8. Pay attention to your food packaging
A food order goes through its fair share of bumps and bounces between the time it leaves your kitchen to when it arrives at the customer’s door. From the customer’s point of view, receiving food that’s turned into a big messy pile or that’s spilled does not define a positive customer experience. That’s why you must pay attention to having food packaging that’s secure and ensures that the food travels well.
9. Encourage customers to leave reviews
All customers pay attention to reviews when they’re shopping through their restaurant options. Having negative or no reviews doesn’t make a good impression on customers—especially ones who aren’t familiar with your brand. In co several positive reviews may just be the thing that makes them give your food a try. To encourage reviews, you could include a friendly note or card with their food order asking them politely for an online review.
10. Link your delivery platform page to your business website
This is a simple step to take and can help boost traffic to your delivery app listing. Considering that customers navigate seamlessly through digital channels, a cross-device strategy is a smart business move.
Do you have questions about how to create a successful food business on delivery platforms like GrabFood, Foodpanda, Beep, AirAsiaFood or about cloud kitchen business opportunities? Just contact our KitchenConnect team and we’ll be happy to help!