Today, food delivery is becoming the norm. With regional shelter-in-place orders affecting access to on-premise dining, more customers are enjoying the convenience of getting meals delivered. In fact, 78% of customers say that DoorDash helps them be more productive, so they have more time for family, school, work, and caring for children.

But just because you offer food delivery, whether with your own drivers or via a third-party partnership, that doesn’t mean you’re done – you still need to make sure customers are aware that they can get your food delivered to their door. Learn some fresh delivery marketing ideas to help you get the word out and increase delivery sales.

1. Polish your delivery processes

Before you start marketing anything, make sure your food delivery service is a well-oiled machine so the process meets or exceeds customer expectations. The whole experience should feel smooth from your customer’s perspective, with a simpler ordering system, quick delivery timelines, and an easy at-the-door handoff of their food. Happy customers become repeat customers, who continue to drive sales.

Whether you have your own fleet or are interested in building one, check out Adding Delivery to Your Restaurant: A Step-by-Step Guide, which has tips on everything from training delivery drivers to tackling delivery logistics.

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2. Build a searchable web presence

Next in your delivery marketing plan: make it easy for new and existing customers to find you. The best way to do that is to have a good web presence – a website that customers can easily pull up with a quick Google search, where they can view your menu, hours, and delivery or pickup options.

Having an online presence is an easy way to drive delivery sales from wherever your customer is. Some business owners opt to build their own website with platforms like Wix or Squarespace. Although easier than coding a website from scratch, these tools do require some time to get up to speed, so factor that into your plans.

Also, when merchants partner with DoorDash, they get access to their very own page on DoorDash Marketplace, a key tool that also boosts SEO and customer awareness. This offers a streamlined way for businesses to advertise their offerings, including free services like professional food photography to show off your delicious dishes. Simply use weblinks to link to your DoorDash menu directly from your website.

Even if you have your own delivery fleet, you can still take advantage of DoorDash’s offerings to grow your off-premise sales. DoorDash Self-Delivery enables you to reach DoorDash customers through Marketplace while fulfilling deliveries in-house, with a reduced commission rate. Try it free for the first 60 days – get started here.

Interested in learning more about DoorDash Self-Delivery? Explore how you can boost your sales while using your existing fulfillment fleet in this blog post on how Self-Delivery works.

3. Make the most of social media

A key way to grow food delivery sales is to post regularly on social media. In fact, nearly 50% of U.S. diners have tried a restaurant for the first time after seeing a social media post, and 22% said a restaurant’s post encouraged them to return.

If you have to choose between one or two social media platforms, create a profile on Instagram or Facebook since they’re highly visual. Share mouthwatering photos to entice diners and remind them of what they could be eating right now – if they just order delivery. Let your followers know about upcoming specials, and consider running virtual giveaways for your most engaged customers. Advertise promotions like Try Me Free, which enables customers to get free delivery on their first order with your business. Get creative with how you use social media to fuel your food delivery marketing plan!

Remember that it’s easy to start a social media channel, but it takes focus to maintain it. However, the effort is worth it – there are 3.8 billion social media users worldwide and growing. With regular posting, you can entice new customers, engage with current customers, and encourage everyone to re-order.

Download Restaurant Social Media Marketing: The Ultimate Guide for helpful tips on how to grow your business through social media.

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4. Influence with influencers

Influencers can be great partners for your food delivery strategy. Find creators who are an ideal match for your potential customers: they should be local, focused on the food or lifestyle space, and have a brand that is complementary to yours. In exchange for set fees, influencers create beautiful, compelling content about your business that helps spread the word to new customers – including marketing your food delivery service.

Remember that while follower counts are important, it’s more important to work with creators who are a better fit for your business. Instead of spending all of your budget on one high-profile food blogger, work with multiple Instagram micro-influencers who can reach a broader range of local audiences. Boost your best posts with sponsored ads to reach even more people.

5. Get creative

Really, the sky’s the limit! Think about all the touchpoints your customers have with your business and start to brainstorm delivery marketing ideas from there.

For example, you could create custom packaging that advertises your food delivery service, such as printed stickers or napkins. Create custom apparel like Tt-shirts and socks, turning your biggest fans into walking ads for your business. Post up posters at local community centers and message boards. Try out flyers or mailers that land in your customer’s’ mailboxes, reminding them that getting food delivered could be as easy as checking the mail.

Speaking of mail, you can also build email mailing lists for customers who are interested in hearing more from you. Ask customers to sign up for emails on your website or with a paper form at your location, and send out periodic newsletters with menu updates, and regularly reminding them that you offer food delivery. Aim to send out at least one email a month and remember to vary the content enough to keep it interesting.

To get creative, think about people near you that would be ideal delivery customers, such as parents with kids, and market your offerings at places where they might be, like schools, swimming pools, and more. Truly, the opportunities are as unique as your business is.

Curious about Self-Delivery for your business? Check out our Restaurant Profit Margin Calculator to measure your estimated net restaurant profit margin on delivery vs dine-in sales. Simply change the commission rate to commission to compare. Check it out here.

The takeaways

Your customers are out there – they’re hungry and they want to order delivery, they just need to know that you offer it. Be creative and test out new ways to reach them. You never know what will work next.

Ready to get started? Sign up for DoorDash Marketplace or DoorDash Self-Delivery today.  

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ali-cottong
Ali Cottong
Copywriter
Ali is a freelance content marketer with a wide range of experience crafting content and strategy for brands that include a world-renowned design agency, a men's artisan boot company, that app you use to request money on your phone, and more. Ali originally earned her nerd cred as a world-class Quidditch player and has competed in the Quidditch World Cup twice. She currently lives in Oakland where she's traded her broomstick in for a bike.