How to Launch Your Own Delivery Channel in 5 Easy Steps

Stuart

28/07/2022

Walking down any city street in the evening, it’s clear that ordering in has become an easy option for lots of hungry people. Bicycles zoom past, carrying freshly made burgers and crisp fries from busy restaurants straight to diners’ homes. It can feel like everyone in town is enjoying an amazing takeout. But if you’ve ever wondered whether your restaurant could launch its own delivery channel in parallel to Uber Eats, we have great news. Not only is it an excellent investment, but it’s also simpler than you think. Read on to discover the five steps to getting started.

Step 1: Offer delivery to your customers

As obvious as this sounds, it’s a crucial first step for any restaurant looking to take advantage of the dynamic—and growing—demand for takeout. Over the past several years, the range of choices for food delivery has exploded. Formerly limited to pizza, sushi and other quick specialities, home delivery can now be ordered from all kinds of establishments including some with Michelin stars. Bottom line? Even if you hadn’t considered delivery to be a good fit for your restaurant, it’s time to think again.

That’s because restaurants everywhere and of all kinds now know that delivery is a service you can’t afford to avoid. While the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic forced restaurants to find creative solutions to lockdown restrictions, we can now see lasting changes to consumer habits emerging. First, new customers began using food delivery services during the pandemic—and many of them say they’ll continue to use such services in the future. Next, broader trends like partial work-from-home and fully remote employees are proving to have an impact as office workers stay home more and order lunch.

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Finally, the total share of delivery is only expected to increase in the future. Experts say that growth equivalent to years’ worth of projections happened across a matter of months in 2020 and 2021, with no sign that the appetite for restaurant meals at home is slowing down. In other words, if you have a restaurant—or two, or twenty—you need to offer delivery today.

Step 2: Diversify the options

Once you’ve decided to offer delivery, the next big question is how? Conquering the logistical challenges of receiving, filling and dispatching orders so that they arrive hot, undamaged and to the right address can seem daunting. However, there are several solutions for businesses looking to get set up fast with online ordering and at-home delivery. For example, marketplace providers like Uber Eats make it simple to start. You can list your menu, manage orders and offer delivery—all on their platforms.

But despite the appeal of their “all in one” simplicity, marketplace platforms also have a basic disadvantage. In exchange for simplicity, restaurants that work exclusively with marketplace platforms risk sacrificing important areas of control. Or to put it another way, the “all in one” platform where the entire ordering process takes place belongs to another business. From browsing through different cuisines on the website to waiting for her dinner to arrive, the customer interacts with the marketplace to patronise your restaurant.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative choice that will let you maintain control over your delivery offer while continuing to benefit from marketplaces: diversifying your online options. In addition to existing third-party platforms, you can launch your own delivery channel and create a custom path for clients to order directly from your business. Thanks to last-mile innovators, it’s easier than ever to integrate your digital interface with a turnkey delivery solution. Why not build a better delivery offer?

Step 3: Optimise your channel

Although creating a new channel sounds like a big job, keep in mind that you won’t be starting from scratch. You’ve already dedicated time and resources to designing a great menu, strong brand and an effective online presence for your business. Most likely, you have crafted a website that welcomes new and returning customers and reflects the essentials of your brand identity. If so, you have the foundations to launch your own delivery channel—just add an ordering feature to your site.

"By visiting an owned, branded delivery channel, your customers can stay focused on ordering from you."

There is significant brand value to allowing hungry customers to purchase through your website or app. On one hand, you’re free to brand the ordering purchase point with your own logo, colours, font and visuals. That’s quite a contrast to marketplace channels, where the marketplace’s own branding always comes first. In fact, your restaurant’s marketplace presence is standardised to match the look and feel of every other restaurant on the platform. Not to mention that marketplaces encourage users to browse around in search of today’s lunch! By visiting an owned, branded delivery channel, your customers can stay focused on ordering from you.

You’re also free to experiment with the whole customer journey as it takes place on your own channel. Research shows that adjustments to the user experience of online checkout alone can improve conversions by 35%. On the other end, the marketplace view of their customer’s journey may not align with the priorities of your brand.

The best kind of optimisations that can help fine-tune your customer’s ordering journey come from analysing the data. In the age of digital transformation, the idea that good data is good for business has become familiar. Indeed, 90% of corporate strategies are predicted to include data and analytics by 2022. And data should be part of your strategy to launch your own delivery channel.

Step 4: Make the most out of your data

The best kind of optimisations that can help fine-tune your customer’s ordering journey come from analysing the data. In the age of digital transformation, the idea that good data is good for business has become familiar. Indeed, 90% of corporate strategies are predicted to include data and analytics by 2022. And data should be part of your strategy to launch your own delivery channel.

"Having control over your data makes a huge contribution to your strategic toolset and is a major advantage of having your own channel."


When you build an ordering feature, you can control how data is captured according to your business’s needs. Just as marketplaces own their platforms’ data, you can take charge of the metrics for your delivery channel. For instance, you may wish to understand the most popular menu items at specific times of the day or how often the average customer starts an order on your website. Since the channel is yours, your access to information won’t be constrained by third parties that can decide what to share.

As a result, you’ll be able to take action using these insights. Want to develop promotions or special offers and email them directly to your existing customer base? Or maybe you’d be more interested in expanding your business by locating growth opportunities in areas that are currently underserved. No matter what your particular business needs, having greater control over your data makes a huge contribution to your strategic toolset and is a major advantage of having your own channel.

Step 5: Build on your processes

In order to make the launch of your delivery channel a success, it’s crucial to invest in the right logistics operation. You don’t need to choose between listing exclusively through marketplace platforms and creating your own fleet of drivers. With the advanced last-mile solutions provided by Stuart, there are plenty of ways to make delivery logistics work for your restaurants. But first, you’ll need to make sure that your restaurants are prepared to handle the operational challenges of providing food for delivery. Some of the top questions to consider are:

  • Which menu items will stand up to transport?
  • What kinds of packaging will keep food fresh for delivery?
  • How will my online ordering channel connect to POS in-store?
  • Do my restaurants need additional staff to manage filling delivery orders?
  • Where can I create additional space in-store for preparing and handing off delivery orders?
  • Can a dedicated team member be trained to supervise relaying orders to delivery drivers?

To complement your restaurant’s operational processes, our specialised solutions allow you to define how delivery is offered. Plugging the Stuart API into your online channel is not only simple, it also means that you can determine the parameters that best suit your operations. Decide on delivery zones, timed options and tracking features you’d like to make available for clients ordering through your site. Then sit back and relax as we take care of bringing your great food to customers at home.

When you partner with Stuart to launch a delivery channel, you’ll benefit from our experience and expertise. Since 2015, we’ve been focused on developing services that respond to what today’s businesses really need: fast, precise and reliable delivery. Our white-label solutions for restaurants include store-to-door delivery in under 30 minutes, highly trained independent couriers and custom integration with your processes.

Ready to start taking control of online orders for your restaurant with your own delivery channel? Get in touch with our Sales team today to learn more about Stuart’s solutions!

45% of retailers & grocers choose ship from store delivery as their first choice

45% of retailers & grocers choose ship from store delivery as their first choice

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Stuart is Europe’s leading last-mile B2B delivery platform. Since 2015, we’ve been empowering businesses across all industries with fast and reliable on-demand delivery solutions. Our platform instantaneously connects businesses of all sizes to a fleet of high-quality couriers.