When trying to improve customer experience at your restaurant, it all starts with understanding the needs and preferences of your customers. You can use this information to efficiently provide convenient, high-quality food delivery for your customers. In this step by step guide, we’ve outlined a few tried-and-true strategies to improve customer experience for existing customers as well as make a first great impression on new ones. 

High-quality food & presentation

When it comes down to it, taste is king. 79% of diners report that the taste of food is the main factor in choosing a restaurant. With such a huge number of people looking for quality food, your restaurant should always make flavor  the top priority. While delivery customers might eat  in their living rooms in front of the TV instead of your elegant dining room, excellent food and presentation are still important. Positive restaurant customer service leaves a lasting impression—and can turn into glowing online reviews and repeat business, which can result in a steady flow of revenue.

Researchers from Hospitality Insights found that customers are also looking for world cuisine and healthy menu options—another consumer trend worth considering. To put this in perspective, The Vegan Society reported that the number of vegans in America had reached 19.6 million in 2017. It makes good business sense to include more vegan options on your menu. And with the increasing popularity of cooking shows and contests on TV, inventive and more inclusive cuisine will catch people's eye. Remember: people have a wide variety of restaurants to choose from. Experimenting with different dishes can help you capture their attention and stand out from the competition. 

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Professional website design & photos

Since you’re keeping standards high for your food, you should also have high standards for the aesthetics and presentation on your website and menu. One of the best ways to stand apart from the competition is to present high-quality food and presentation online. A great place to start is professional-looking photos of your restaurant and menu items. At DoorDash, we provide all merchant partners the option to upload their own photos or schedule a photoshoot with a professional DoorDash photographer. 

Boost customer experience in restaurants with fast delivery 

When people order food online, they want maximum convenience—that’s why fast delivery should be a top priority for your restaurant. One way to ensure you provide the most efficient food delivery service is to streamline operations with a third-party food delivery platform. DoorDash’s online food ordering technology helps you enhance restaurant customer service by allowing for faster delivery. Designed to make your operations more efficient, the platform takes care of all the logistics—you cook, DoorDash delivers. An online delivery platform (versus traditional phone ordering) results in higher accuracy and less time and effort spent managing orders. Every time customers order online with DoorDash, they can expect the best in convenience and fast delivery of breakfast, lunch, or dinner straight to their doorstep. 

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Offer special promotions & freebies

According to a report from Nation’s Restaurant News, 45% of consumers say that mobile promotions and loyalty programs would encourage them to order food delivery more often. That’swhy your restaurant should partner with a third party food delivery platform. Along with boosting your online presence, DoorDash’s online promotions and freebies enhance customer experience in restaurants and attract new customers. For example,the “Try Me Free” option enables you to offer free delivery to first-time customers. 

Another way to create additional revenue streams is to sign up for DashPass, which allows your restaurant to be featured in DoorDash’s free delivery subscription service. This program is designed to encourage a loyal customer base, which results in steady food delivery sales and a reliable source of revenue.

Another option is to offer promotions directly through your restaurant, such as takeout exclusives. Special promotions can encourage more pick-up orders or boost deliveries during slower shifts. Lastly, incorporating a loyalty rewards program can also help encourage more repeat customers, which will improve your restaurant’s financial security and  your ability to expand your business.     

Give customers more options

The more flexibility you provide customers, the more likely they'll come back, resulting in a solid rotation of loyal regulars. According to surveys by Hospitality Insights, customers are looking for maximum convenience when ordering delivery through an online platform. Keeping this consumer trend in mind, restaurant managers should consider the customer journey. Look at the big picture, starting with hours of operation. If your customer data supports it, consider expanding your hours and days of the week , which will give customers more opportunities to order from your restaurant.

Another way to appease the consumer demand for convenience is to experiment with different menu options such as meal kits for delivery. Since you already have all the ingredients, it would take minimal effort to offer this on your menu to people who love to cook. You could include meal kits as a weekly special along with other temporary menu items. Taking a cue from popular restaurants and chains, you can also sell merchandise such as cookbooks, t-shirts, sauces, and other items to create additional revenue streams while boosting brand awareness Finally, restaurants can bundle items together to create combos or include a family deal for customers ordering multiple meals. 

Analyze customer data

Along with taking into account macro consumer trends, take a look at the food delivery trends at your restaurant for more marketing insight. Analyze food delivery patterns such as the most popular menu items, busiest shifts, and other trends. In the DoorDash Merchant Portal, you can obtain a detailed sales report when you click on the 'Export Data' tab on the left-hand side. The Merchant Portal also features a summary of sales based on a selected time; simply navigate to the 'Dashboard' tab on the left-hand side for quick access. 

Translate your findings and try incorporating a few new strategies to elevate your restaurant’s customer service. Get ready to see your business grow!

Visit the DoorDash blog for more tips on boosting food delivery sales and the latest restaurant industry trends. 

Ready to boost food delivery sales for your restaurant? Sign up for DoorDash for Merchants today.