5 Food Delivery Marketing Tips for Restaurants

Check out these food delivery marketing ideas to help you get the word out about your off-premise offerings.

9 min read

Food delivery is becoming the norm as more customers are enjoying the convenience of getting meals delivered. In fact, 78% of customers say that DoorDash helps them be more productive, giving them more time for family, school, work, and caring for children.

But just because you have a delivery offering — whether with your own drivers, via a third-party partnership, or a combination of both — doesn't mean you're done. Business owners still need to make sure customers are aware that they can get your food delivered to their door. Try the following food delivery marketing ideas to help you get the word out and increase delivery sales.

1. Polish your delivery processes

Before you start promoting it, make sure your food delivery service is a well-oiled machine to ensure you meet or exceeds customer expectations. The whole experience should feel smooth from your customer's perspective, with a simple 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 for your business.

Whether you have your own driver 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.

2. Build a searchable web presence

Next in your delivery marketing plan: make it easy for new and existing customers to find you online. 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. Learn more about building an effective website in The Ultimate Guide to Restaurant Website Marketing.

When merchants partner with DoorDash, they get access to their very own page on DoorDash Marketplace, which helps boost your SEO and awareness. A DoorDash partnership offers a streamlined way for businesses to advertise their delivery offerings, and includes free services like a professional food photography session to show off your delicious dishes.

You can also turn on DoorDash Storefront to accept online delivery and pickup orders directly on your website, with zero commissions or monthly fees.

Even if you have your own delivery fleet, you can still partner with DoorDash to grow your off-premise sales. DoorDash Self-Delivery enables you to reach DoorDash customers at a reduced commission rate while fulfilling deliveries in-house — and you can try it free for 60 days.

Discover how you can boost your sales while using your own drivers by reading our blog post How Self-Delivery Works.

3. Make the most of social media

A key way to raise awareness about your delivery offerings is to post regularly on social media. In fact, nearly 50% of United States 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.

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 discounts to attract new customers. DoorDash partners get access to easy-to-use advertising formats like Sponsored Listings and Promotions, including offering customers free delivery on their first order.

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 counting. With regular posting and quick replies to follower comments, you can entice new customers, engage existing ones, and encourage everyone to become loyal regulars.

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

4. Influence with influencers

Influencers can be great partners for food delivery marketing. 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.

Remember that while follower counts are important, it's more important to work with creators who are a good 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 relevant, local audiences. Boost your best posts with sponsored ads to reach even more diners.

5. Get creative

Really, the sky's the limit when it comes to food delivery marketing! Think about all of the touchpoints your customers have with your business and start to brainstorm marketing ideas from there.

For example, you could create custom packaging that advertises your food delivery service, such as printed stickers or napkins. Launch merchandise like branded t-shirts and socks, turning your biggest fans into walking advertisements for your business. Engage with posters on local community centers and message boards. Try out flyers or mailers that land in your customer's' mailboxes, reminding them that getting delicious food delivered could be as easy as checking the mail.

Speaking of mail, you can also build an email mailing list 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 reminders 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. Learn more about this critical channel by downloading the free Ultimate Guide to Restaurant Email Marketing.

To get creative, think about who would be ideal delivery customers and market your offerings at places where they might be. For example, if your business is in a family-friendly community, target parents by advertising at daycares, swimming pools, local online parenting forums, and more.

The takeaways

With these ideas, you can create an effective food delivery marketing strategy that's as unique as your business. Your customers are out there — they just need to know that you offer delivery. Be creative and test out new ways to reach them, as you never know what will work best for your business.

Ready to become a DoorDash partner? Explore our plans and pricing today.  


Ali Cottong
Ali Cottong


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