When it comes to dining & delivering, convenience continues to be top of mind for consumers. Online ordering, on-demand expectations and hectic schedules are changing the way people eat. They are increasingly looking for speed, service quality and ease without sacrificing quality, taste and variety.

Last year, food delivery and takeout outperformed total traffic across full service, QSR and retail food-service channels. Furthermore, with an abundance of third-party online apps to choose from. Hence, it is easier than ever for restaurant operators to take advantage of delivery. As well as takeout opportunities to grow their business.

FOOD SERVICE QUALITY:

Food-service quality holds huge importance in the food and services industry. This is because quality standards mean that the business is striving for efficiency and perfection. Hence, this is especially in terms of quality assurance measures. The ISO standards are related to the International Standards Organization for delivering in the food industry. These holds immense priorities for the maintenance of food quality standards. SERVQUAL model is most often used in the services industry for following QA procedures. The five dimensions related to this model are;

  1. Reliability
  2. Assurance
  3. Tangibles
  4. Empathy
  5. Responsiveness

RELIABILITY:

Reliability is a factor that determines the consistency in following the standards and how far the company or organization has shown compliance with the International quality standards. The reliability factor is important once the food company is consistently in the market and delivering every day with strict quality assurance procedures. ‘Reliability’ means business in the food industry as it is a key business generation keeping in view the priority aspects.

ASSURANCE:

Linked highly with Quality Assurance, ‘Assurance’, is part of the quality assurance measure for food safety & service industry. The ISO standards followed in the Food industry are ISO 9001 for Quality food safety standards. These are the ones that keep in mind the aspects linked with health and hygiene in the Food industry and keeping up with the assurance measures with consistency. Health & Safety management is a dedicated field that makes sure that food processing, control, and delivery is measured above all for the health of the customers. Even after the delivery of food in the markets. Assurance checks make sure that food quality is maintained at all levels.

TANGIBLES:

The tangibles are aspects that refer to the physical facilities, equipment, and appearance of personnel. It is worthy enough especially in the food industry where the deliverables are in a take-away or a dining arrangement e.g. restaurant. The appearance of personnel includes Management staff, waiters, and others involved that are directly involved with the customers for the sake of first and best impression.

EMPATHY:

The caring involved in the industry and giving individual attention that is required is known as empathy. For most owners and restaurants it is a must to keep an influence according to the empathy pre-requisites. We are dealing with how to influence people according to individual care and affection and giving importance and value to people.

RESPONSIVENESS:

‘Responsiveness’ is the willingness of the firm to help the customers in the provision of prompt services. This has a lot to do with time-saving aspects, being fast in approach, decision making, and influencing the customers. It can also be termed as the capacity of the restaurant, take away or any food company to know customer requirements and deal with it in the best & fastest possible way. Responsiveness in decision making is also very important keeping in mind how to focus on the customer’s demands and fulfilling them accordingly.

But, there are numerous factors operators should consider when leaping into delivery, not the least of which is food quality because while consumers crave easier options, they are not willing to sacrifice food quality or taste for this convenience.

How can operators capitalize on the shifting industry landscape? What do they need to do to adapt to this new market opportunity? And, how do you ensure that the food quality your customers experience at home is in-line with what they would expect in your restaurant?

SUCCESS STARTS WITH MENU SELECTION:

 As you plan your delivery menu, there are several critical factors to consider. Finding the right balance between associated costs, what consumers crave, and delivering on expectations with signature dishes is key.

Fried appetizers, snacks, and sides show strong development and payoff potential and can help increase cheque size, especially as we continue to see a drop in beverage sales as a result of delivery. In fact, research shows that adding a fried appetizer selection to your delivery menu can increase profits by 38 per cent. They are also a great delivery option because they are popular, profitable, and hold well.

Delivery can also be an opportunity to test new products, offering customers something new to try. Customers are drawn to smaller price points so to meet and even exceed the minimum order threshold. Hence, consider featuring special product options or offerings to grow dining cheques. These include examples as small-sized apps or a delivery fee deal after a specific cheque size.

DELIVERING CONSISTENT QUALITY:

One of the biggest issues when it comes to delivery is consistency and quality control. Some food items, like pizza, have mastered delivery. Others require a little more innovation. Ensuring that the food being delivered is as good as it is in the restaurant is critical to success. In fact, according to Technomic, 94 per cent of Canadian consumers expect the same or better food quality when ordering delivery as they do when dining in the restaurant. Herein lies the challenge: How do you ensure your customers get the quality they expect?

Select ingredients that are optimized for delivering. For example, larger cut French fries with thicker coatings like wedges offer better options as they’re able to hold the heat and crispiness longer. At McCain Foodservice, we’ve created several delicious products that are well suited to withstand delivery and takeout, such as our Twisted Potatoes, Sea Salt Fries and Pickle Spears.

Make sure you’re packaging the food properly. McCain Foodservice tested several delivery packages to determine the best options for packing French fries and appetizers.

Here is what we discovered worked best:

  • Use open-mouth containers and place near the top of the bag
  • Refrain from using Styrofoam
  • Insert napkins between fry containers to absorb steam
  • Vented packaging to release steam and preserve crispness
  • Clear packaging to ensure accuracy
  • Separate hot and cold items
  • Place condiments on the side
  • Seal delivery bag to avoid tampering

Finally, consider setting a delivery radius, limiting the distance travelled to within a few kilometres of your restaurant to ensure food arrives hot and fresh.

By keeping the above in mind, diving into delivery may present a new opportunity to build customer loyalty and drive greater business success while maintaining a focus on profit.

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