Race is on with deliveries: How tech can energize agile restaurants and dark kitchens

The delivered food market is growing fast. But when social restrictions are lifted, don’t expect consumers to go back to the same old ways: Eat-at-home habits are here to stay. That’s why agile restaurants and dark kitchens need the right tech to gain delivery market share quickly.

Even before the COVID-19 lockdown began, online food delivery was booming. Just weeks ago, publisher Food Navigator reported a 11.5% rise in revenue from last year for the segment.

But now the delivery business is in overdrive—and it’s here to stay.

Scientists reckon it takes just 66 days on average for new habits to cement into our lifestyles. Considering that F&B venues were asked to shut on March 20, that means that potentially millions of Britons will have cemented their new home delivery habits by May 25.

This presents huge challenges and opportunities. But the right tech is key to success.

The #1 priority for restaurants

Many diners will return in due course when restrictions ease. But holding out until then — in the hope that everything will ‘return to normal’ — is unrealistic. Many of your regular customers may have attached some loyalty already to home delivered food from other providers. You need to win them back fast.

The way to do this is by:

  • Running your business as two operations: Dining (when it returns) and online food delivery.
  • Making it easy for customers to order direct from you on their smart devices.
  • Enabling orders from platforms like Deliveroo to appear automatically in your system without middleware costs or rekeying.
  • Using an advanced POS to optimise your operations end-to-end for online orders, kitchen efficiency and deliveries.
  • Keeping your costs under control, so you can compete with other restaurants and dark kitchens.

The right tech is available for all of this to happen extremely quickly — and with a low entry cost. Take a look.

The big challenge for dark kitchens

Rarely do such fast-emerging opportunities come along in any business sector. But dark kitchens (also known as ghost kitchens, cloud kitchens or virtual kitchens) have particular challenges.

Sure, there are fewer overheads to worry about. But a lack of brand presence on the high street — especially in months to come — means you have to work harder on price, choice and convenience.

You need most of the features we’ve just described above. But there’s more you can do — to compete at speed and scale. This includes having:

  • POS tools that cover your complete operation, end to end — recording every action and putting the key numbers at your fingertips.
  • An array of seamless processes that work automatically, saving hours of valuable time.
  • Fully integrated kitchen production control that helps you manage incoming orders from different brands and aggregators with ease.
  • Staff being able to see instantly what needs to be produced and where it must be delivered with dish preparation statuses, cooking times countdown, and actions for orders.
  • A system that keeps a relentless focus on costs for you— including real-time inventory control and sales forecasting — so you can protect margins and maximise profits while growing rapidly.
  • The tools optimise deliveries, so you can plot routes in the most efficient way, track drivers, and give them an app to guide them.
  • The ability to accept orders centrally and then distribute them across multiple outlets, based on your resources and drivers available.

Again, the right tech is available today and can be delivered rapidly. Take a look now.

How to seize market share — faster

With iiko, you can save time, cost and complexity. You can get everything you need in one place, so you can get started quickly and accelerate successfully as your business grows.

Our tech is cloud-based, so it’s fast to deploy, intuitive to use and available without hefty upfront costs.

Don’t delay. Book a demo now or contact our expert team.

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