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How to keep your food delivery drivers happy (so your food gets to customers FAST)

How to keep your food delivery drivers happy (so your food gets to customers FAST)

minutes read
Published on
September 14, 2023
Last updated on
Aron Lewis
Growth & Marketing Lead
Aron Lewis
How to keep your food delivery drivers happy (so your food gets to customers FAST)
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    If you run a food delivery operation from your kitchen, food quality isn’t the only thing you should be thinking about. You need to consider the entire delivery experience. 

    If a customer has an inefficient, unpleasant experience, it could prevent them from ordering again. 

    Or, even worse, it could result in a bad review. 

    This is where your relationship with delivery drivers comes into play. 

    The only staff that customers directly come into contact with are your delivery drivers. They play an important role in the overall customer experience, making sure food is delivered quickly, safely, and intact. 

    So how can you keep your delivery drivers happy and encourage them to offer the best possible experience to your customers? 

    Let’s find out. 

    How do I keep my food delivery drivers happy?

    We’ve outlined seven ways you can boost morale for your delivery drivers, giving your food delivery operation a better chance of success. 

    Start with communication

    To build a good relationship with delivery drivers, open communication is a good place to start. This means providing updates about order statuses, being transparent about wait times, and so on. That way, drivers can maximise their time by grabbing multiple orders at once or fueling before a long run. 

    Something as simple as text communication can help you keep an open line of communication with your drivers. Or, you could use a third-party delivery app to hire drivers and keep them in the loop. 

    Uber Eats bike delivery driver.

    With platforms like Uber Eats, Just Eat, and Deliveroo, your delivery drivers can use the app to access real-time updates about order statuses, locations, and more. It all shows you genuinely care about your drivers wellbeing and the orders they’re delivering.

    Make your drivers feel welcome

    Delivery drivers are often working outside, spending long hours in tough conditions, and sometimes biking from one location to the next with minimal breaks.

    So, if delivery drivers are in your premises waiting for orders, make them feel welcome. It’s essentially a short break for them, so why not offer a cup of coffee or a drink of water whilst they wait? 

    These little touches are all part of creating a positive work environment for your drivers. It shows them that you value their work and boosts their morale. And when their morale is high, people are more likely to work harder and provide a better experience to your online customers. 

    Create professional policies and standards

    Creating standards and policies is a great way to make sure everyone’s on the same page. It gives delivery drivers a clear overview of your expectations, and how they fit into the bigger picture. 

    For example, you might create some customer-facing policies that tell drivers how to interact with customers or how to talk about your hospitality business. You might also create policies about how your staff interact with each other, your expectations around performance, working hours, and food safety requirements. 

    Deliveroo rider delivering food.

    In the aftermath of the pandemic, policies on health, safety, and food handling are pretty important. It’ll keep both your drivers and diners feeling safe and happy! 

    Find out how to improve your food hygiene rating

    Ask your drivers how to improve their experience 

    If you’re wondering how to keep your delivery drivers happy, why not ask them directly? 

    Regularly and actively seeking feedback puts you in a good position to keep drivers happy.  You’ll know what’s working well and what could be improved to make their experience better. 

    There are a couple of ways to approach this process: 

    • Talk to drivers face-to-face. Talk to your drivers directly and ask for feedback. This can be a great way to develop relationships with your delivery drivers by showing that you care about their opinions. However, you might find that drivers are reluctant to be 100% transparent if they’re talking to you directly. 
    • Ask them to complete a survey. An online survey can provide drivers with a safe space to be honest about their experiences. You can ask them to complete the survey anonymously and in their own time, so there’s no pressure to respond on the spot. Platforms like SurveyMonkey can help you create simple online surveys. 

    Enable tipping in your website or app

    Providing tips for delivery drivers is a great morale-booster. It gives them a reason to do a good job, particularly because people tend to tip based on their experience. 

    In fact, one study found that 60% of people tip if they’re impressed with the service. It makes their (sometimes wet and windy) journeys more worthwhile. 

    Food delivery driver using a mobile phone.

    If you’re not running a virtual brand or using third-party apps to handle your food delivery, you’re probably running the delivery system yourself. This means it’s up to you to consider how people can tip your drivers — especially in a world where contactless payments are so popular

    The good news is that there are platforms made specifically for tipping. Apps like EasyTip allow customers to tip your drivers, so encouraging them to use this platform could help your drivers make more money. 

    Give drivers discounts on your food

    Discounts and freebies are a really valuable incentive for delivery drivers. Why? Because it shows that you value them as part of the team. Plus, if they’re working a long shift, knowing they have a free meal to tide them over is a surefire way to boost motivation. 

    It’s up to you how much you want to discount and how often, but here are a couple of suggestions: 

    • A discount on food at any time. For example, 50% food off the entire menu for themselves, and 25% off for friends and family. 
    • A free meal during their break on shift. Give drivers a nice meal to look forward to during their shift. Sometimes, restaurants may limit the options available (such as one meal under £20 and one non-alcoholic drink). 

    Use delivery management software

    Delivery management software helps you plan, manage, and track food deliveries. For delivery drivers, it streamlines the entire food-delivery process. 

    Depending on the platform you use, you can automatically assign delivery orders to drivers and optimise delivery routes for maximum efficiency. It can also help you manage payment processing, which you can use to collect tips and bonuses for your delivery staff.

    Someone ordering food on their phone.

    If you’re not interested in sourcing and implementing delivery software, another option is to launch a virtual brand

    A virtual brand (also known as a virtual kitchen) is an online-only restaurant. It operates from your existing kitchen, but the food can only be ordered for delivery. It helps you maximise your kitchen capacity, reduce food waste, and increase your revenue. 

    If you partner with Peckwater Brands (that’s us!) to launch a virtual kitchen, you don’t have to worry about how to bring everything to life. We’ll handle all the logistics and provide you with the technology you need to run the entire operation from your current kitchen. There’s no need for new equipment or staff — we’ll make it work using what you already have. 

    Find out more about how it works

    Run a smooth food-delivery operation with Peckwater Brands 

    Keeping your food delivery drivers happy is beneficial for everyone. Not only does it provide your customers with a better experience, but it’s also good for business. When drivers are motivated to work hard and provide customers with a smooth and efficient service, it can improve customer loyalty.

    If you’re thinking about launching a food delivery operation from your existing kitchen but aren’t sure where to start, get in touch with the team at Peckwater Brands. We can help you sell more food, reach more customers, and boost your income in as little as 14 days. 

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