How to Optimize Food Quality for Off-Premise Orders

Looking to ensure food quality in off-premise orders? Learn how to optimize your restaurant menu and operations for takeout and delivery food quality.

7 min read
DoorDash How to Optimize Food Quality for Off-Premise Orders

Delivery has become an essential marketing and sales strategy for any restaurant today. Consumers across all demographics are turning to takeout as a convenient way to enjoy high-quality meals at home. In fact, one recent report predicted that the global online food delivery market will grow nearly 10% annually, reaching a valuation of $230 billion by 2027.

With delivery here to stay, restaurant owners are wondering how to ensure the same food quality in off-premise orders as in their dining room. Here are a few steps you can take to optimize your menu and operations for takeout and delivery food quality.

5 ways to maintain off-premise food quality

1. Streamline your menu for profitability

You don't have to include all of your menu items on your delivery menu — in fact, you probably shouldn't. Focus on higher-margin items, best-sellers, and dishes that can be prepped in advance to ensure an efficient and profitable off-premise operation. 

2. Feature food that travels well

The last thing you want is for your off-premise customers to experience a soggy mess at home. Be sure to only include food that travels well on your delivery menu. If you're not sure whether a dish will keep its food quality, the best thing to do is test it. Prepare the item, wrap it in foil, let it sit for 30 minutes, then taste it to get an idea of what customers will experience.

3. Include mouthwatering photos and descriptions

Upload appetite-inducing photos that provide a realistic representation of each of your menu items. Give your dishes the spotlight they deserve with natural lighting, garnishes, and experimenting with different angles. DoorDash offers new partners a free food photo shoot with a professional photographer. 

4. Invest in the right packaging 

Successful off-premise operations require a steady supply of transport-friendly packaging. Choose to-go containers that prevent your items from spilling or falling apart. Additionally, take steps to ensure food quality, such as placing hot and cold items in separate bags, and piercing hot food containers with a small hole. Finally, package sauces, broth, and dressings separately so your dish doesn't get soggy in transit. 

5. Encourage upsells and add-ons

Increase ticket sizes by offering modifiers for an additional cost — think adding protein or toppings to salads, bowls, burgers, and more. You can also allow customers to upgrade to a larger size, or make customizations for a fee. Consider new menu offerings that encourage larger orders, such as meal kits, family-style meals, or dinner for two. And don't forget to include profitable menu categories like sides, desserts and beverages. 

How DoorDash helps ensure food quality 

With the above steps, you've done your part. But how can you be sure that your food delivery partner will maintain a high level of food quality off-premise? Here are some of the ways that DoorDash keeps your takeout orders fresh for customers:

Meal delivery optimization algorithm

Our engineers have worked hard to develop an algorithm that minimizes the time between a meal being ready and its delivery to the customer. Our dispatch system ensures Dasher efficiency and food quality by factoring in driving distance, food preparation time, customer expectations, and more. Through optimized matching of Dashers to deliveries, our technology ensures more deliveries are completed in less time — so that customers receive orders faster, and restaurants have a reliable partner to help them grow their businesses.

Customizable order protocol

Our customizable order protocol allows you to track and manage all of your DoorDash delivery and pickup orders with the technology solution that’s right for your business. In other words, when you sign up for DoorDash, you can choose to receive orders via tablet, email, fax or your POS system. DoorDash easily integrates with POS systems so you can receive orders directly to your register or kitchen, helping to increase back-of-house efficiency.

Insulated food bags

All Dashers are equipped with insulated food delivery bags that maintain food at the right temperatures — so your pizza arrives piping hot and your margaritas stay cold. Dashers are also trained to carefully pack and secure food during travel and keep their bags clean and sanitized.

Real-time menu customizations

Need to 86 a menu item? No problem. With the DoorDash Merchant Portal, you can instantly edit your menu to add or deactivate items and modifiers as well as update prices. And if your kitchen is too busy, you can temporarily pause new DoorDash orders from coming in, or mark that your store is busy to dissuade new customers for the moment. Just remember to hit resume once you’ve caught up!

Products and promotions to fit your needs

We know there’s no one-size-fits-all delivery solution for restaurants — that’s why DoorDash offers a variety of products to fit your unique needs, including delivery and pickup, commission-free online ordering where restaurants only pay for payment processing, delivery using your own drivers, white-label fulfillment, and more.


Sara DeForest
Sara DeForest


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