Grubhub catering commonly asked questions

To help you get started with catering on the Grubhub platform we’re answering the most frequently asked questions about Grubhub catering and Group Orders. 

For more information on Grubhub catering and Group Orders please log in to your Grubhub for Restaurants account and navigate to the help portal. 

Not a Grubhub partner? Sign up today by clicking here.

Please click any of the links below to jump to a specific section

how do I manage catering orders on Grubhub for Restaurants?

Once a diner places an order, the order is sent to your restaurant via fax, email or through Grubhub for Restaurants. 

To confirm via email

  • Simply click the Confirmation Link on the order email
  • If you do not confirm the order within a few minutes, we will send an automated reminder call

Fax confirmations

  • Note the 2-digit confirmation code located on the left hand corner of the fax
  • Answer the phone call and enter the confirmation code

Print orders

Prepare the order

  • Use a checklist and be sure to include all utensils, plates and serve ware.
  • Verify all tickets and ensure they’re closed out at the end of each shift

How do I view scheduled catering orders?

Catering orders that are scheduled ahead of time will show up in the Scheduled tab, where you can see all your scheduled orders and key information about each order.

  • Log in at
  • Select the Scheduled tab. Catering orders will have an orange border and say “Large Delivery”, like so:
screenshot of scheduled orders on Grubhub for Restaurants
  • Select the order to see the menu items and any special catering details. Customers can change their order up to 4 hours before the order is promised, so we don’t recommend preparing the order until closer to its Promised by time.
  • The order will move from Scheduled to Active approximately 1.5-2 hours before the catering order should be delivered to the customer.
  • Tap Confirm to let Grubhub and the customer know you are preparing the order.
  • The order will move to the bottom of the page after you have confirmed the order.
  • Once you’ve prepared the order, tap Ready for Driver.
  • Check the top right corner of the order to get updates on when your driver will arrive. We recommend having the food ready 30 minutes before the promised time.
  • Once a driver has picked up the order and left the restaurant, the order will move to the Completed tab.
  • You can check on the delivery progress by tapping on the location icon in the top right corner of each order.

What are individually packaged meals for catering?

With hygiene concerns being top of mind for businesses, we’re taking action to ensure that your restaurants can still offer Catering while keeping your customers happy and feeling safe. Whereas before you may have ordered many dishes to be shared among a group, we’re now offering Individually Packaged Meals, meaning you can order the same catering items to be delivered in pre-portioned packaging for your next meeting. 

How do I add individually packaged meals to my Grubhub menu?

If your restaurant offers catering services, consider adding individually packaged meals to your Catering Menu. 


Screenshot of menu entry

Step 1: sign in to your Grubhub for Restaurants account navigate to your menu page from the left-hand menu

Step 2: Select the Catering section you have set up, and the first item you would like to offer as an Individually Packaged Meal option

Step 3: Ensure the item is offered as Catering Only

Step 4: Select the minimum number of servings this item can be divided into for delivery

screenshot of labels popup in Grubhub for Restaurants

Step 5: Select that this item is available to be ordered as an Individually Packaged Meal under Labels in the Settings and Labels tab

Step 6:  Save the item

Step 7: Repeat steps 2 through 6 for each item you’d like to offer this way

Step 8: When you’ve fully updated your menu, you can navigate away from the menu page–you’re all set!

What your customer sees & how orders appear for your restaurant

Once you complete the steps above, your customers will see your restaurant when they search for individual packaging options on 

Screenshot of Catering options within the Grubhub app
catering selection screenshot

Step 2:  Once they select your restaurant to order from, the menu items you have made available for Individual packaging will show a label that a customer can then select if they would like the item individually packaged.

screenshot of catering option in the Grubhub app

Step 3: Once the customer confirms and places the order, you will see it appear in the Orders tab of your Grubhub for Restaurants account as other Catering orders normally appear. If the order is selected to be “Individually Packaged”, it will appear in the Special Instructions area, so be sure your employees pay close attention to Special Instructions on orders.

screenshot of catering confirmation pop up

What are some best practices for serving individually packaged meals?

Adding Individually Packaged Meals options to your Catering Menu allows for your customers to know their food is safe and touching as few hands as possible. Now that you’ve set up this feature for your restaurant, here are some additional best practices/suggestions:

  • Your restaurant can require a minimum quantity per item type

  • If you’re setting up a “Tray” option for items (such as sandwiches)–you can offer an “assortment” option for a pre-set tray or allow for a customer to select the quantity of each individual item to add variety and allow for flexibility of ingredients

  • You can also set up deli/grocery style items to be packaged individually (such as a quart of hummus to be divided 12 ways)

  • Make sure to place a label on each individual container to indicate what food is inside to ensure your customers know what each package contains, without compromising its safety

Who can place catering orders on Grubhub?

Anyone can place a catering order (consumer or corporate diners). It’s the same process and the same steps, just create a Grubhub account and you’re ready to go!

Who pays for the catering order?

For enterprise clients, you can set up a line of credit (LOC) for your employees to use. You can access the corporate admin tool to set up LOCs. You can pay by credit card, PayPal, Amex Express Checkout as well as apply promo codes or pay with a gift card during checkout. 

When can catering orders be placed?

Catering orders can be placed on the same day, or 7 days in advance on the desktop website. The restaurants that appear in your search will change depending on how early a restaurant sets its settings to be. The earlier you schedule a catering order, the more restaurant options you’ll have!

What is the difference between a standard menu and a catering menu on Grubhub?

Standard menus are for consumer orders so the food will be packaged individually and in smaller portion sizes. These are meant for individual servings for one person. Catering menus are purposely created for large orders that serve groups of people. Catering foods are usually packaged in trays or platters. Some items on the catering menu may have a minimum quantity and serving size label. 

Can customers pickup catering orders?

Pickup is not available for catering orders but will be available in the future. Only delivery is available for catering orders currently.

Which restaurants will be available for diners to order from?

Only restaurants within the delivery area will be shown.

Do I need to provide utensils and silverware?

Yes, please include utensils, napkins, and other serveware unless otherwise specified in the order’s special order instructions.

How do I receive payments and statements for catering orders?

You will receive a separate statement for your catering orders, and you will receive one payment for both your restaurant and catering orders.

Who delivers catering orders?

Catering orders can be delivered by any self delivery restaurant’s own drivers or Premium Grubhub Drivers. 

How can customers place catering orders on Grubhub?

Customers can order catering by filtering their search results or going to your catering menu from your restaurant page.

Take Your Business to New Levels of Profitability with Catering

From special events and holiday parties to office lunches and home gatherings, the $8 billion restaurant catering industry is booming. 

This lucrative market holds the potential for many restauranteurs to create additional revenue streams and reach new customers. Here are some reasons you should consider adding catering services to your restaurant’s offerings:

More Exposure For Your Restaurant

Catering allows you to introduce your cuisine to groups of new people. Some may be familiar with your restaurant but never had the occasion to try your food. Or, this may be the first time they’ve ever heard of your restaurant.

Grubhub reports that the majority of employees who try new food at a catered office meal will visit that restaurant in the future, making it easy to win over new customers.

Catering can be more persuasive in attracting new customers than traditional advertising, which relies on messaging. Catering, on the other hand, wins over potential customers through first-hand experiences. Prospects won’t need to be convinced your food is good—they’ll know by tasting it. The best part? You’re being paid to reach these new customers!

Another Way to Make Customers Happy

Today, people have less time to prepare meals, and crave more convenience and options. This is true for their daily meals, as well as entertaining and corporate events.

By offering catering services, you can provide party planners a stress-free way to feed guests and co-workers.

What’s more, if you partner with Grubhub, customers can place their catering orders online, wherever they are and from any device.

Increase Your Revenue

Catering generates an entirely new segment of sales—sometimes with higher profit margins than regular restaurant sales. This is especially around holidays and special occasions when catering services are in higher demand.

With catering, you are fulfilling orders for large groups of people. Also, for special events, people are more inclined to splurge on bigger ticket items and a variety of food to please all of their guests.

What’s more, with the ability to buy in bulk, you can get the best prices on ingredients and supplies. If you price your catering menu correctly (taking supplies, delivery, etc. into account), your prices can reflect the premium service you are providing. Customers are usually willing to pay for convenience, reliability and value for special occasions.

Also, the Catering on Grubhub platform makes participating restaurants viewable to an extensive database of corporate accounts. This creates opportunities for large (and often repeat) corporate sales.

Technology Makes it Easy to Implement

Advanced catering management software can help restauranteurs run a successful catering operation without negatively affecting other aspects of their business.

For instance, Grubhub can help restaurants receive and process catering orders easily. Orders can be received through emails, Internet-connected devices, or other methods. Also, detailed ordering confirmations from Grubhub help managers plan, schedule staff and accurately prepare orders.

Remember, while adding catering to your restaurant is a big step, the potential for increased profits is even bigger.

Check out Grubhub’s Restaurant Catering Do’s and Don’ts.

Ready to reach new customers and grow your business with Grubhub? Sign up today!

Image: Pexels

Catering to New Demand

Businesses can’t seem to get enough of catering. After all, few perks have the power to bring workers together like free food. Nearly 80% of employees prefer benefits like a free lunch to pay raises.1

And when it comes to special occasions and events — such as the holidays or a graduation party — food is often the focal point for customers. Instead of spending all of their time in the kitchen, customers count on catering services to deliver delicious food without the added hassle of cooking and cleaning.

Go get these orders for your restaurant by branching out into catering. Our infographic can help guide you along the way with a number of tips and tricks, including how to ensure a successful launch and why a partnership with Grubhub is the right move to boost your catering service.

Download the infographic to learn more about catering.


Tis the Season for Holiday Catering

Around the holidays, a few extra hours with family and friends are priceless.

Instead of cooking up a storm, customers are trading in their kitchen aprons for catering menus. Take advantage of this chance at extra sales by giving holiday catering a shot. Offer holiday catering to attract customers who want some extra rest and relaxation as well as companies looking to host holiday-themed events.

Four out of five companies hosted holiday parties in 2016.¹ And nearly 20% of those businesses budgeted more for their celebrations than they did the year before. Ready to see if this trend can help boost your bottom line? Use the following tips to prepare for the season ahead.

  • Pare down your menu. Create a catering menu that features your most popular dishes, but try to choose options that are easy to prepare and transport. Have a dish you can’t bear to leave off the list? Try whipping up a simplified version that includes all the flavor without the added complexity.
  • Sort out delivery. Need help getting catering orders from point A to point B? Grubhub for Work has you covered. Whether you’ve got an order for a bustling holiday celebration or a catered lunch, Grubhub can help meet all of your delivery needs.
  • Dish out roles and responsibilities. When catering orders come in, avoid confusion by clearly explaining which employees are responsible for the heavy lifting. Vacations or sick days may throw a wrench in your plans, so be ready to adjust on the fly.
  • Shout it from the rooftops. From social media to targeted marketing campaigns, a range of marketing tactics can pique interest. Build awareness by including flyers or promo codes for your holiday catering alongside delivery and takeout orders.

Ready to chow down on more restaurant marketing tips and tricks? Subscribe to The Tip Jar today!

¹Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Restaurant Catering: 6 Do’s and Don’ts

Restaurant catering is winning market share every year as more customers turn to their favorite restaurants when treating larger groups.


How to Prepare Your Restaurant for Holiday Catering

With the holiday season quickly approaching, preparations are already underway for office parties and family gatherings. Make your restaurant the centerpiece of this year’s celebrations by offering catering services in and around the holiday season.


Restaurant menu design: tips and tools to help you upgrade your menu

Your restaurant menu is a greeting card, resume, and proof of concept all rolled into one. Even if you have a hostess, your menu is the first chance many diners have to see what you’re all about. The ingredients you use, the dishes you offer, and the colors and fonts you choose affect everything from the vibe of your restaurant to how much money a customer will ultimately spend.

Studies show that a strong menu design can boost profits by as much as 15%. That’s the good news.

The flip side of the coin is that a menu that’s poorly designed can leave customers underwhelmed. That’s why a strong menu is key to your restaurant’s marketing plan. To achieve that tantalizing increase in profitability, you need a menu that’s exciting, enticing, and suitable not only for in-person dining but for use on marketplace apps like Grubhub Marketplace.

Here are our top tips and menu maker tools to help you successfully upgrade your restaurant’s menu design and attract more orders.

1. Analyze your menu items and their performance

The first step toward a more profitable menu is to figure out what needs to stay  and what needs to go. It’s easy to get attached to certain menu items, especially those your back-of-house team loves to prepare or items you yourself love to eat. But this analysis needs to be objective — no personal feelings involved.

  • Remove anything that is out of date, incompatible with the current direction of your menu, and/or doesn’t  appeal to your target demographic
  • Look through online reviews and other forms of customer feedback and remove items are consistently rated low or can’t be made consistently
  • If you’re doing more takeout and delivery business, limit the number of dishes that can’t be packaged for takeout while maintaining quality (i.e., crème brûlée, yogurt parfaits, cheese souffle, etc.)
  • Eliminate options that aren’t popular or cost too much money to prepare. Find out the profit margin of each dish by calculating your cost of goods sold and ditch the items that aren’t generating revenue. 

2. Place items strategically on your menu to avoid clutter

As important as it is to evaluate what you’re putting on your menu, you also need to think about where you’re putting those items. Menu design is part science and part art form. The average diner spends less than two minutes scanning their menu before making a decision. That means you have about 109 seconds to direct their attention where you want it to go.

  • Use design tricks (called “eye magnets”) to subconsciously encourage patrons to choose high-priority items. these tools include borders, shaded or colored boxes, asterisks, photos or illustrations, and bold or specialty fonts.
  • Take advantage of white space. Leaving space for readers to relax their eyes can improve reader comprehension by up to 30%, and increase the likelihood customers will order more items. Pro tip: Use menu maker tools that have optimized templates for you to use for on-premise dining menus. 
  • The top and upper right-hand portion of the menu is prime real estate. Reserve it for your best performing and most profitable items.

3. Use mouthwatering words to amp up your menu descriptions

Which sounds better: a burger and fries or a char-grilled Angus beef burger with aged cheddar and hand-cut Idaho fries?

Your menu descriptions should be concise but descriptive. If that sounds contradictory, just think of maximizing your space. Make every word matter. Longer isn’t necessarily better, but if an adjective or specific name of a product will help sell a menu item, then there’s likely value in including it in your description.

For starters, emphasize “yummy words” that are likely to get customers’ stomachs rumbling. Salads are crispy and fresh, barbecue is sticky-sweet and smoky, and desserts are perfectly flaky with a sinful chocolate drizzle. Consider your demographic, too; if you’re catering to an audience that appreciates locally sourced produce or sustainability, work in related buzzwords.

Here are some examples of descriptions that sell: 

  • Tangy St. Lawrence goat cheese with locally farmed beets and a zesty citrus vinaigrette
  • Pillowy gnocchi in a truffle cream sauce, dusted with aged (2-year) Parmesan
  • Grandma’s Sunday meatballs on a freshly baked roll

4. Follow the best practices of menu psychology

Most menu researchers agree that there’s an art to engineering a menu that drives sales. Diners have a habit of scanning a menu in a particular pattern, starting with the upper right-hand corner. This is why you’ll often find steakhouses displaying their pricey seafood platters here and even diners make use of the “sweet spot” by offering beef short rib benedicts or smoked salmon omelets. If you outline that high-profit item or category with a bold border and use an ornate font you’re even more likely to grab guests’ attention.

Other psychological tricks for restaurant menus include:

  • Avoiding choice overload by limiting menu options to seven items or less per category. Sometimes more is just more, and guests may get overwhelmed and decide to order less (or nothing at all) because they can’t make up their minds.
  • Leading with an expensive item to make every dish that follows seem more reasonably priced.
  • Relying on the power of certain colors to guide guests’ emotions. For instance, red is a stimulating color linked to increased appetite and yellow begs for attention — a combination favored by one of the most successful restaurant franchises on the planet.

5. Rethink the way you determine and write your pricing (hint: no more dollar signs!)

Restaurants of all types and sizes are dropping the dollar sign from their menus, and it’s not just because it looks nice. Diners who look at menu items priced using dollar signs are more likely to make a strong financial association to that item. As a result, they choose cheaper options. Instead, keep pricing simple, using just a numerical value with blank space between the menu description and the price.


  • Crispy-skin Jidori chicken, herbed spaetzle, sunchoke puree     22

It’s also crucial to be strategic and deliberate about your pricing. The cost of a dish should reflect the ideal food cost percentage of 25-30% (fine dining restaurants typically sit slightly higher at 35%). If a cheeseburger costs you $4 to make, it should cost customers roughly $13 to $16.

If you need to lower your food costs to keep menu prices within reach of your target demographic, try working with your distributors, using seasonal menu ingredients, and tweaking portion sizes.

6. Avoid using PDF menus on your restaurant’s website

Here’s some food for thought:

  • Some 61% of all Google searches originate from a mobile device
  • 90% of consumers say they’ll look up a restaurant online before dining
  • 52% of consumers say that a poor mobile experience will make them less inclined to interact with a company

Using a PDF to display your restaurant’s menu automatically violates best practices of mobile optimization because it forces people to download a file that doesn’t read well on a tiny screen. In other words, it makes it difficult for all those smartphone and tablet users to easily access your menu and place an order. 

Instead, consider offering an online menu, like Grubhub Direct, that’s interactive and made specifically for mobile users. That way customers don’t have to work to find what they want, and they can order directly from you.

7. Include menu photos

The right picture can transform a mystery dish into a new favorite and make comfort food exciting again. That’s why restaurants that use photos in their menus get 70% more online orders and 65% more delivery and takeout sales. 

Food photographers know just how to capture dishes so that they look utterly crave-worthy. You don’t want to overdo the visuals, though, so pick and choose your moments. Save the pictures for items you really want to push or those that might need the extra explanation.

4 Restaurant menu maker tools and resources to help amp up your menu design

Ready to get designing? Here are four affordable menu maker tools that will help you create your next winning restaurant menu:

Online ordering menu maker tool: Grubhub Direct

This branded online ordering solution lets you take commission-free orders from your customers via a customized website that features your logo, photos, and menu.

On-premise dining menu maker tool: Adobe Spark

Create custom menus with Adobe Spark that you can print and use for indoor dining. Adobe Spark is a menu maker that makes it easy to design professional menus that are full of personality.

Additional in-person dining menu maker tool: Canva

Similar to Adobe Spark, Canva has a ton of menu maker templates that you can use for on-premise menus.  Combine your own logos and photos with stock imagery and professional menu templates from Canva to generate masterpieces that look like they took weeks to create, not just a few minutes.

Menu design inspiration: Pinterest

Stuck for inspiration? Visit Pinterest to see what competitors are up to and what’s capturing your customers’ attention.

Menu design is one of the most dynamic and flexible parts of your overall marketing plan. When you join Grubhub, you get access to free menu consulting services to help you optimize your menu for online ordering success as well as a free professional menu photoshoot.

Looking for ways to get your menu to customers? When you join Grubhub for Restaurants you’ll get access to advanced technology that will make it easy for you to create an online menu for your own website! 

Ready to get started? Sign up today!

Getting started with Group Orders on Grubhub

To help you get started with Grubhub Group orders we’ve put together this short guide that covers the basics including Group Order setup and management.

For more assistance with Grubhub Group Orders please sign in to your Grubhub for Restaurants to access additional order management resources.


Not a Grubhub partner? Sign up today by clicking here.

What are Group Orders?

Group Orders are similar to a virtual cafeteria: employees log into their Corporate Grubhub account and can select from a number of restaurants daily. Employees must place their orders by a set time each day (at least 90 minutes before the food is delivered). 

Please watch the video to learn more about Grubhub Group Orders and how to get started. 

How do I set up Group Orders for my restaurant?

To get started with Grubhub Group Orders you will need to work with your Account Advisor to ensure your restaurant is ready and available for Group Orders.

Your Account Advisor will set up your account for Group Orders.

Once set up, you will see  “Group” listed on your profile page when you are set up for Group Orders.

Order management

When you receive a Group Order, you’ll see a ‘group’ tag on the order on the order management page.

Setting your hours for Group Orders

screenshot of Grubhub for Restaurants portal
  • You can set hours specifically for your Group Orders in the Grubhub platform. To access and adjust Group Order hours, tap on the Hours tab in the Grubhub platform. Here, you can adjust your Group Order hours on a Weekly, Daily, and Custom hours level.
  • Your delivery and prep time is set to 90 minutes for Group Orders.
  • Delivery minimums, pre order confirmation windows, and large order thresholds used in the past don’t apply to Group Orders.

Group Order delivery boundaries

screenshot of delivery boundary in Grubhub for Restaurants

Similar to Catering, Group Orders can now have their own set of delivery zones and boundaries.

  • Zones can be non-nested.
  • Zones can have free delivery or up to $100 per zone.
  • Multiple zones can exist within a boundary.
  • You can have multiple delivery boundaries (alternate delivery boundaries).

When a Group Order is placed, the company location must be within one of the zones within the live Group Order boundary.

Group Order volume management

You can manage your restaurant’s order capacity by selecting a minimum of 10 and maximum of 40 participants in a single group order.

screenshot of setting delivery boundaries in Grubhub for Restaurants

Grubhub delivery and pickup FAQ

Read our Grubhub delivery and pickup FAQ to learn the answers to the most commonly asked questions about Grubhub delivery and pickup. For more assistance with Grubhub delivery and pickup please sign in to your Grubhub for Restaurants to access additional order management resources.

Not a Grubhub for Restaurants partner? Sign up today by clicking here.

Please click any of the links below to jump to a specific question

How do I update my Grubhub delivery boundary?

If you manage your own delivery, you can add delivery areas and change zones from within Grubhub. You can also set different delivery fees for each delivery area.

To update your Grubhub delivery boundary the first thing you will need to do is sign in to your Grubhub for Restaurants account by clicking here.

How to create a delivery boundary

  • Select Delivery boundary from left sidebar or menu dropdown on mobile.

  • To create a new area, click Create boundary

  • Select a method to create your delivery boundary:

  • Draw my own allows you to customize the area you want to deliver within

    Distance from my restaurant – pick a distance from your restaurantZip code – type in zip codes that you want to offer delivery within

screenshot of create delivery zone in Grubhub for Restaurants
  • There can be multiple delivery zones in each boundary with different fees.

  • Be sure to name all boundaries, include the delivery fee, and then hit Save changes.

Edit existing boundary

  • Click the pencil for the boundary that needs to be updated.

  • Drag the end point to edit your boundary. You can also update the name or create a name for each different boundary.

  • When you’re done, select Save changes.

Screenshot of how to edit delivery boundary

How to add additional boundaries

  • To create a new boundary click Create new boundary and follow the steps above

  • To set an existing boundary live, scroll to the bottom to see a list of existing boundaries

  • Click on the toggle of the boundary you would like to set live and select Activate boundary

screenshot of how to add additional delivery boundaries

Reasons why you may receive an error message when saving a delivery boundary

Receive an error when saving a boundary? Here are some potential reasons why:

  • Boundary is too large: cannot exceed 70 mile radius from restaurant

  • Boundary name already exists: Enter a different name

  • Boundary must have a delivery fee: Enter a delivery fee

  • Boundary cannot share largest delivery fee with another delivery area: Change fee amount

  • Boundary must be within area with the largest delivery fee

How do I set delivery fees and order minimums on Grubhub?

To keep your orders profitable, Grubhub offers total cart minimums that can adjusted at any time. For all self-delivery restaurants, you have the ability to set an additional fee at any delivery boundary in order to cover the cost of your driver.


Delivery Minimum

  • Make sure you are logged in to your Grubhub for Restaurants account.
  • Navigate to the top left and select the hamburger icon. Choose profile.
  • Scroll down to the Order Details section, then select the pencil icon.

Update the delivery minimum. We recommend picking lower minimums and fees, as that will increase the likelihood of customers ordering from your restaurant.

Finally, Select Submit.


Delivery Fees

  • Delivery fee must be updated for each delivery boundary.

  • Navigate to the top left and select hamburger icon. Choose Delivery Boundary.

  • Click Pencil icon to edit fee on each zone.

screenshot of delivery fees

How do I set delivery and pickup hours?

You can update your delivery and pickup hours separately to show when your restaurant is open for business on Grubhub. This allows you to be open for pick-up or delivery to align with your schedule, and remain open for pick-up if you are not doing delivery during all hours of operation. We recommend that you set a wider range for pickup hours than delivery hours if you do not deliver all hours that you are open.

How to set your delivery and pickup hours

  • Make sure you are logged in to your Grubhub for Restaurants account.
  • Select Hours from the left sidebar on desktop, or the icon on mobile.
  • To edit your delivery or pickup hours, click the pencil icon.
screenshot of restaurant hours within Grubhub for Restaurants
  • Enter the open and close times for each day. To be closed all day, uncheck the box for each day.

  • If you have different hours for breakfast, lunch or dinner, click Split to add a second set of hours.

  • Click Save to save changes to your Hours.

How do I set custom delivery or pick up hours on Grubhub?

If you need to temporarily turn off your delivery or pickup but not both, use Custom Hours to do this.

  • Select “Create new” in the Custom Hours section.

  • Update your hours as necessary for your chosen date(s). 

  • To learn more how to adjust custom hours.

How do I adjust my catering hours on Grubhub?

To adjust catering hours, follow the instructions above and toggle to Catering. These Catering hours will reflect the delivery times shown to diners.

On the Grubhub platform, Catering Hours represent when you will have staff available to confirm and begin preparing catering orders. Your first available catering delivery will be the start of your Catering Hours plus your delivery estimate. For example if your catering open time is 6:00 am and your delivery estimate is 60 minutes, then your first available catering delivery will be for 7:00am.

What if I need advance notice?

This can be set using the Minimum Advance Notice field at the menu item level when setting up your catering menu. By default, we will give you up to 24 hours notice for all catering orders.

How to set catering hours:

Set catering hours by toggling to Catering in the Hours tab and using the same process as updating regular delivery or pickup hours.

Writing or updating your restaurant business plan? Here’s what you should include

Are you considering opening a new restaurant, adding a virtual restaurant, or pivoting your restaurant’s business strategy to adapt to the industry’s “new normal” after the pandemic? Make sure you take the time to build a restaurant business plan. Why? 

  • Business plans are like professional road maps — they literally lead the way to success
  • They’re critical if you’re looking for investors and need to outline your restaurant’s current wins and future revenue potential
  • They help you foresee challenges before they arise, so you can sidestep some catastrophes and be better prepared for the others

Some 26% of restaurants fail within a year of opening, and failure to plan is one of the primary reasons those restaurants close. Create a business plan, and you’re setting yourself up to be on the right side of that statistic.

Here’s how to do it.

What is a restaurant business plan?

Before you learn how to write a business plan, it’s crucial to understand what a business plan is — and what it isn’t. 

The goal of a business plan is to create a guide that helps you navigate each stage of launching and running your business. That plan should also be comprehensive and articulate enough that a total stranger, for instance an investor, could read through it and easily understand your vision, your goals, and how you intend to turn your restaurant dream into a reality.

Business plans come in a variety of structures and they can be as short as a single page or long enough to bind into a booklet. You may want to start with a lean startup plan that focuses on a high-level take on your strategy, then follow up with a more detailed plan that elaborates on key points and offers investors more information.

In short, your business plan should communicate everything you have and plan to put into your restaurant to ensure ongoing success.

7 elements every restaurant business plan should include

Your restaurant and mission statement should be unique to your business and your vision, but that doesn’t mean you have to start completely from scratch. There are plenty of restaurant business plan examples on the internet, or you can use a free template from the Small Business Association (SBA) as your starting point. However you write it, your finalized business plan should include seven key sections.

1. Executive summary

This is a brief summary of your company, why it’s something the community wants or needs, and why it will be successful. Many different types of restaurants speak to various demographics, and it’s important to know what kind of restaurant you want to run. Are you opening a quick-service deli focused on takeout sandwiches and ready-to-eat salads? Or are you going to be the first tapas restaurant in a city eager for more variety?

If you’re using your business plan to ask for financing, the SBA recommends including financial information and high-level growth plans in your executive summary, too.

Think of your summary as your opportunity to capture your reader’s attention. Many investors will make a split-second decision based on the executive summary alone — if this section is all they’re going to read, make every word count.

2. Restaurant description

Now it’s time to launch into a more detailed description of the company, including its vital differentiator(s), target audience, and any other factors that could sway investors like experts you’ve brought on board as advisors or a location you’ve already scouted or secured. 

You’ll want to include the legal structure of the business, explaining whether you’re a sole proprietorship, LLC, etc., and list out existing management and their roles (including your own).

Now comes the fun part: Writing out a description of your concept. This is where you can let your creative side come out, showcasing your passion for what you hope to create and using plenty of adjectives to engage your readers and give your concept life. You’ve already decided what type of restaurant you’re opening, now flesh out all the other details:

  • Service style (counter vs. sit-down, casual vs. fine dining, etc.)
  • Restaurant size and seating capacity
  • General ambiance, including décor and music
  • Options for styles of seating, lighting, and other fixtures
  • Operating hours
  • Style of cuisine
  • Peripheral service offerings such as retail products, delivery/takeout, and catering
  • Unique selling points such as using produce grown on an adjacent farm or a 30-minute lunch guarantee to serve the area’s office workers better

3. Sample menu

If you’re a new restaurant, including a sample menu is the only way investors will know what you plan on serving. It’s not enough to say you’re going for “rustic Italian,” as that could mean different things to different people. Chances are your menu is your key differentiator, or at least part of it — otherwise, why will customers choose you over tried-and-true competitors already offering similar dishes?

Collaborate with your chef and keep the core tenets of great menu design in mind:

  • Know your audience and tailor your design and descriptions to your target customer base — a college crowd eager for drink deals and shareable eats will be more interested in pictures and flashy pricing than diners looking for a white tablecloth experience
  • Menu descriptions should be short but evocative — choose words that help customers understand exactly what they’ll be eating and get them excited about trying it (for example, say “succulent tea-smoked duck with anise-scented plum sauce” rather than “duck with plum sauce”)
  • Refer to menu psychology when determining and placing pricing, sticking to simple numerals (no dollar signs) placed to the right of the menu item with no dots or dashes in between
  • Use that same psychology to guide customers through your offerings, using call-out boxes and bold text to highlight more profitable items
  • View your menu as an extension of your restaurant branding, using the same colors, design elements, and fonts

4. Target market analysis

Detail your target market, using buyer personas to indicate who you see being your primary customer and what their dining habits might look like. These personas should include information on where target customers live, their income levels, their pain points (do they hate long waits or want restaurants that are open later?), and how often they dine out or order in.

5. Marketing plans and competitor analysis

Bolster your business plan with an overview of the industry.  This should include competitive research that offers insight into how other restaurants in your niche are doing, what successes they’ve had, and where they’ve faltered so you can learn from those mistakes. Refer again to your key differentiators, this time explaining how your restaurant will address the current market and exceed customer expectations.

This is an excellent place to include your marketing plan, too. For example, how will you be promoting your restaurant? Will marketing be handled in-house or outsourced?

Promotional events, social media, and paid ads are just some ways you can help get your restaurant off the ground, and investors will be very interested to hear what you have planned.

6. Organizational management

While you’ve touched on your organizational structure and management earlier on in your business plan, now you’ll explain your business structure and share a more comprehensive look at your team. An organizational chart can be helpful, as is a summary of your collective experience. Some people include a bullet list of the team’s top achievements that’s easy to scan and digest.

In addition to listing out co-founders, managers, servers, etc., you can attach resumes from your executive team or critical players like a well-known mixologist that’s helping you develop your cocktail program.

7. Financial projections

Finally, it’s time to address the financial side of your business, especially if you’re using your business plan to acquire startup funds or additional capital after you’re already operational.

If you’re pre-launch, your projections are just that: guesses. But these guesses should be based on market research, actual expenses, and projected income, culminating in a five-year look at everything from estimated revenue to capital expenditure budgets.

If your business is up and running, you’ll include actual financial records such as cash flow statements and your P&Ls, ideally for the last five years. Use colorful charts and graphs to highlight financial wins and make it easier for investors to gauge your company’s financial health quickly.

pie chart from Honeybee Burger restaurant business plan
Example of financial projections Honeybee Burger shared when pitching investors through Regulated Crowdfunding

If you’re asking for funding, specify how those funds will be used and whether you have collateral you’re able to put up to secure a loan.

Strengthen business plan by strategizing how you'll capture new customers through takeout and delivery

 COVID-19 has drastically changed the hospitality industry, but many restaurants like Pig & Khoa and The Council Cafe have found ways to revamp their restaurant models to support not only on-premise dining but expanded delivery and takeout orders as well.

In 2020, some 1.2 billion people worldwide used online food ordering. In addition, surveys found that 68% of consumers are more likely to grab takeout from a restaurant now than pre-pandemic, and 53% say takeout and delivery play an essential role in their way of life. 

Platforms like Grubhub Marketplace can make it easier than ever to capture the attention of new customers and reinvigorate relationships with existing customers by offering quick-click access to ordering and stress-free pickup or delivery.

Ready to reach millions of hungry customers? Sign up for Grubhub for Restaurants today!