On the Line / Operations / No Contact Delivery for Restaurants: What It Is & Best Practices

No Contact Delivery for Restaurants: What It Is & Best Practices

What is no contact delivery for restaurants? In this primer, we'll cover the core concepts you need to know about this new type of delivery.

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DISCLAIMER: This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting, tax, HR, or other professional advice. You are responsible for your own compliance with laws and regulations. You should contact your attorney or other relevant advisor for advice specific to your circumstances.

What is No Contact Delivery?

No contact delivery is a method of delivering food that involves as little person-to-person interaction as possible. Typically, contactless delivery involves leaving a customer’s order at a predetermined location (i.e. their doorstep) and then walking away. The delivery person can then notify them of order delivery via text message or a third-party deliver app and wait at a distance to make sure the customer receives their food. In some cases, drivers send photos to show the food has been delivered and then head out on their way. 

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Learn how a better online ordering system can help you grow your restaurant.

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Why Implement No Contact Delivery?

No contact delivery became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to prevent the spread of the virus and maintain social distancing measures. And this continues to be a priority for customers. 

Besides health concerns, patrons have grown accustomed to the convenience of no-contact delivery. Who wants to open the door to a stranger in their sweatpants and messy bun, amiright?

So for restaurants with delivery options, this particular method appears to be poised to stick around.

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Take out and delivery have been the two leading revenue-generating options for restaurants looking to stay afloat during the pandemic. Here's everything you need to know.

What You'll Need For Successful No-Contact Delivery

Read on to find the key ingredients to implement contactless delivery. 

1. A great online ordering system

Restaurant owners find that an organized online ordering system is one of the keys to a thriving takeout and delivery business. Instead of taking orders only over the phone, online ordering software can help simplify and streamline the process for both the customer and your restaurant staff. 

Not sure what you’ll need in an online ordering system? Here are some components to think about:

  • Website integration and customer experience: Implementing an online ordering system that integrates easily with your website and brand will make the experience seamless for customers. Consider how the ordering system works both on a computer or laptop as well as on a mobile device.

  • Cost and fees: Online ordering software usually comes with both a subscription cost and fees for processing payments — sometimes as percentage-based commissions, sometimes as flat fees. Understand the fees you’ll be responsible for so that you can find the best deal for your business.

  • Customer support: Does the ordering software have an accessible customer support system built in? Most restaurant owners don’t have time to troubleshoot website issues.

  • Data tracking: An online ordering system can be a great way to collect data on your customers and what they order. 

Consider Toast online ordering in your search. With features like saved credit card and user profiles, customizable restaurant branding, and integration with Toast POS, it will help you offer guests a simplified digital ordering experience.

2. An efficient delivery system

You’ll need a stellar delivery system to help build your contactless services. When choosing your delivery system, think about a few key questions:

  • Do you want to build your own delivery system or use a pre-existing service? Both options have pros and cons. Building a delivery system yourself may be time consuming, but it can allow for more control and customization over how it works. You won’t have to set up a pre-existing service, but you may have to pay extra fees or follow certain protocols.

  • Which delivery services are used most in your area? If you do decide to go with a third-party service, consider what’s most popular in your area. You’ll likely get more takeout traffic with a service that’s frequently used in your city. For example, according to Statista, 37% of food delivery orders in New York City are processed through Grubhub. In Miami, however, only 7% of food delivery orders are processed through Grubhub.

  • Does the delivery system integrate with your POS? Another consideration is POS integration. Having a delivery system that works easily with your POS will save time during the order and delivery process. For example, if you use Toast POS, Toast Delivery Services integrates seamlessly so that you don’t have to take extra steps to complete takeout and delivery orders. 

icon Tech Tip

Learn how a better online ordering system can help you grow your restaurant.

Read now

3. Texting of guests when food is on their doorstep

While delivery drivers traditionally knock or ring the doorbell to hand off food to the customer, contactless delivery requires a new method. 

Instruct your staff to drop off food, walk away, and then send a text to notify customers that their food has been delivered. Some apps and delivery services already have a built-in notification system that allows drivers to virtually notify customers of delivery.

What About No-Contact Delivery After Covid?

Offering contactless delivery will put many customers at ease. While some customers remain concerned about the spread of COVID-19, others may simply prefer the privacy they can get with contactless food delivery. So allowing customers to choose their delivery method will give them even more reason to keep coming back for your delicious takeout.

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