Ways to Grow

How To Improve the Food Delivery Customer Experience

In this step-by-step guide, we share strategies for improving customer experience — both for your existing customers and new ones.

10 min read
How to improve your customer experience on DoorDash

When trying to improve the 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 the customer experience for existing customers as well as make a great first impression on new ones. 

Offer high-quality food and trendy menu options

When it comes down to it, taste is king. A recent study found that 68% of diners report that food quality is the main factor in choosing a restaurant. With such a huge number of people looking for delicious 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.

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. A 2022 study found that one in ten Americans consider themselves to be vegetarians or vegans and Canadians are also reducing their meat consumption but for a different reason: to save money. It makes good business sense to include more plant-based 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

Invest in professional website design and 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 brand aesthetics 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. Partnering with DoorDash means higher accuracy and less time and effort spent managing orders. Every time customers order online with us, they can expect the convenience and fast delivery of breakfast, lunch, or dinner straight to their doorstep. Consider how you can streamline your ordering process to reduce avoidable wait times, missing items, and more so your team can focus on the best food delivery customer journey.

Add special promotions and freebies

According to a 2022 study, 69% of customers stated that loyalty programs incentivize them to revisit a restaurant more frequently. Along with boosting your online presence, DoorDash's online promotions and freebies help you reach 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 upgrade your DoorDash subscription to include DashPass. This customer membership program allows the most engaged DoorDash customers to place orders from your business with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees. On average, businesses see at least a 30% increase in take-home revenue after one year of using DashPass through our partnership plans.

Another option is to offer promotions directly on DoorDash or on your website through Storefront:   

  • Sponsored listings: Create ads that are featured in highly visible places on the DoorDash app, like the homepage and search results

  • Promotions: Drive sales by enticing customers with a discount, free delivery, free or discounted items, and more.

  • Loyalty: Set up rewards for customers who reorder from you, customizing how much they receive and how frequently.

  • Gift cards: Ensure future business and let customers share their love of your store with friends and family by offering gift cards with Storefront.

For example, after opening its new location in San Diego, The Melt used both Sponsored Listings and Promotions, resulting in $13,000 in sales and ~500 new customers in just under two months. Here are some other tips on how to attract new customers.

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. Consider how to improve the food delivery customer journey, 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.

Still unsure how to improve customer experience in your restaurant? Including modifiers in your menu is another option. By offering customization such as adding sides, toppings, or different sizes, you provide customers with more choices to tailor their orders to their liking. You can also expand your menu to include alcohol. By offering a variety of alcoholic beverages like wine, beer, or cocktails, you give customers more choices to enhance their meals. This not only attracts a wider range of customers but also presents an opportunity to increase order size.

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 or catering 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. Follow the below steps to obtain a detailed sales report:

  1. Log into the Merchant Portal.

  2. Click on the Export Data tab on the left-hand side or click on the Dashboard Tab to see a summary of your sales within a selected time.

Head over to our article on reporting for a more in-depth explanation on what data and reports are available to you in the Merchant Portal.

Improving the food delivery customer journey in your restaurant can create a lasting experience for your customer, increasing the likelihood of their return. Translate your findings and try incorporating a few new strategies to elevate your restaurant's customer service.

Want to learn how to view and manage Customer Reviews? Head over to Customer Reviews to find out more.