a takeout bag waiting for the restaurant delivery driver to pick it up

How to optimize your restaurant delivery & takeout operations for success

As more customers opt to have their meals delivered, restaurant managers and owners are looking for new ways to tighten up delivery operations. But to improve your delivery service, you have to evaluate your delivery and identify areas for growth.

There are two key metrics to consider when measuring the efficiency of your restaurant delivery strategy:

Timeliness

Your customers love your food, but they especially love it when it’s delivered on time. Keep an eye on how much time it takes between a customer placing an order and when it arrives. Restaurants that partner with Grubhub for food delivery services get access to technology that enables them to provide accurate delivery estimates to customers as well as update them if there are any delays.

Order Accuracy

Digging into a fresh order of delivered food is like opening a present, but one wrong item can feel like receiving a gift you didn’t ask for. Do your best to double-check orders by encouraging both your dispatcher and delivery driver to check the order before it goes out the door.

Let’s explore how to optimize your restaurant delivery and takeout strategy for success. 

How to optimize delivery and takeout at each step of the ordering process 

Running a successful restaurant delivery operation requires checking your efficiency each step of the way. Here are some things to consider as you get your dishes out the door:

What you should do before accepting delivery or takeout orders 

Creating an efficient delivery process begins before you even accept an order. Partnering with a third-party delivery service can allow you to organize your restaurant delivery operations. Here are four tips for getting your delivery program off to the right start.

Train your staff

Make sure your team is trained on your delivery process and how to use your delivery partner platforms, such as Grubhub for Restaurants. Make it clear to your in-house employees who are in charge of bagging orders and having them ready to go for drivers.

Organize orders

Designate a clear spot for delivery and to-go orders to be picked up. You can update any special instructions for Grubhub drivers using the Grubhub for Restaurants platform.

Optimize your menu

Reduce special requests from customers by listing all possible menu add-on options. Check out our tips for creating the perfect delivery menu.

Check your boundaries

It is important that the delivery boundaries you set for your restaurant can reach the most customers without sacrificing food quality or delivery speed. Learn how easy it is to adjust your delivery boundary with Grubhub in this Help Center article.

How to prepare your delivery and takeout orders

Once your chefs are done cooking up an order, provide a status on the ticket online so that a driver can be assigned and the customer can be updated on the estimated delivery time. 

Before you send the order off, re-read the full ticket to catch any add-ons or special instructions. Finally, label each item with the customer name and the menu item to ensure you prepared everything on the ticket.

Packing orders for delivery and pick-up

All takeout and delivery orders should be packaged together in easy-to-carry bags. Make sure you mark each item as “packed” on the ticket after placing it in the bag. As you package up an order, be mindful of best practices.

Pack hot and cold items separately

Hot dishes that tend to cool faster should be in tight, insulated boxes and transported with insulated delivery bags.

Label correctly

Attach the ticket to one bag and label all bags with the customer’s name.

Choose the right packaging

Your food delivery containers should be durable and the right size for each portion. Be intentional about what material packaging you use for certain dishes.

Seal bags securely

Make sure all containers are clicked into place, and staple delivery bags to ensure all items are secure for transportation.

Learn more about delivery packaging best practices here.

Handing off delivery and takeout orders

The final step is to get the order ready for pickup, either by the customer or delivery driver. Make sure you designate a specific area in your restaurant that delivery drivers and to-go customers can easily find their orders. It can help to have an employee watch over the to-go order area to ensure the orders are going to the right person.

Successful delivery and takeout operations serve happy customers

We know restaurateurs work tirelessly to feed their hungry customers, but sometimes it can be challenging to understand what exactly your customers want and need. Running a smooth delivery operation for your business requires you to understand your customers. 


Partnering with a food delivery service, like Grubhub, can provide you more than just the logistics. Restaurants that sign up with Grubhub for Restaurants also get access to customer data that can help you analyze customer ordering habits and manage inventory so you can adjust delivery times and staffing accordingly. You can even offer promotions catered directly to your customers to encourage them to keep placing takeout and delivery orders from your restaurant.

Improve your delivery operations by partnering with a third party delivery provider 

Ensuring that each order that leaves your restaurant meets timeliness and accuracy standards can be overwhelming. That’s why restaurants partner with third-party delivery service providers, like Grubhub, to ease the burden of coordinating operations and managing deliveries. 

Outsourcing food delivery with a third-party delivery service gives you access to professional, experienced drivers when you need them. Tapping into a third-party delivery fleet is an innovative way to reduce delivery time during unexpected rush periods and reduce food delivery costs such as insurance and hourly wages. This way, you can smoothly get orders to your customers.

It’s time to get delivery right with Grubhub

We get it– there’s a lot that goes into improving your delivery. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. That’s why restaurants are partnering with Grubhub to make sure their dishes reach their hungry customers safely and efficiently. This way, all you have to do is oversee your staff and restaurant setup, and you can trust Grubhub to do the rest.
Ready to reach more customers through takeout and delivery? Sign up for Grubhub for Restaurants today.

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