How To Start a Food Delivery Service in 7 Detailed Steps

Marketing 21 minute read 25th August 2023

Starting a food delivery service is a profitable industry. You can generate golden income and attract potential clients. And it’s not hard to start a food delivery service for your restaurant, provided you take a practical approach.

The food delivery business saw a peak during the pandemic. It has become a trend ever since. Now, your customers enjoy the convenience of getting their food on their doorstep. So, food delivery is an ultimate sales generator for restaurants, cafes, or hotels.

You might have good food and delivery planning in your mind. Your delivery people, scooters, and uniforms are all prepared. But you don’t know where to start?

This article collects everything you need to know on how to start a food delivery service. You will also learn some tips to ensure the best possible starting.

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What Is a Food Delivery Service, and What Are Its Types?

Before learning how to start a food delivery service, let’s start with the basics. What do you do when you’re hungry but can’t prepare food for some reason? Yes, you place an order through an app. That’s a food delivery service.

It places orders to restaurants on call, app, or web portals. Or you might have a restaurant of your own with a delivery option. Food delivery statistics show this is a growing business.

Food delivery services charge a small delivery fee that varies among restaurants or delivery apps. However, the fee comes after the type of food you deliver. So here are your three options:

  • Fresh food delivered at home: This type of food delivery service has changed the dynamics of the traditional restaurant system. It involves ordering, cooking, and delivery. Some of the restaurants operate all three of them. While some third parties collaborate with restaurants to order and deliver their food.
  • Homemade meal kits delivery: Meal kits provide recipe ingredients and instructions. You can use them to cook your meal at home without figuring out the technicalities.
  • Fresh Groceries on your doorsteps: At the time of the pandemic, grocery delivery became popular. The customer would place orders on web portals and apps. As the grocery app is in contact with local stores, it drops off items at your doorstep.

While the fee might be significant, food delivery apps can help you grow your business. Therefore, do not discard them just for a fee!

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Learn From the Titans: How To Start a Food Delivery Service Like Uber Eats?

Now let’s talk about the titan, Uber Eats, which is the most popular food delivery service in the US. But why does everyone swear by it? Because it’s convenient, fast, and has diversity in the restaurants it operates with. If you’re wondering how to start a food delivery service like Uber Eats, understand its business model.

It acts as a middleman between customers and restaurants. But how does it earn? It charges 30% of the order value from restaurants. And customers also pay delivery fees to Uber Eats. When summed up, it becomes a substantial amount.

Also, it operates food delivery from restaurants that don’t have a delivery option. But don’t plan to start a food delivery service like Uber Eats without:

  • Convenience: It’s easy to order, easy to pay, and get your food delivered at home.
  • Quickness: It will deliver your food within 30 minutes.
  • Order tracking: You know which stage your food is in.

However, if you use this service for your venue, avoid the common mistakes restaurants make when using Uber Eats.

How To Start a Food Delivery Service: The Pros That Serve Delicious Profits

If you’re deciding to start a food delivery service, it is important to weigh the positives and negatives. You don’t want to start the service only to realize it’s not for you, do you? So here are a few pros to encourage your decision.

Firstly, your online delivery business will result in boosting your profits. You can earn substantially more than dining earnings.

Moreover, food delivery services are convenient for customers. They can get their favorite food without physically coming to your place. This means they will be more satisfied with your service.

And lastly, you can save space, rent, and decorate expenses if it’s a ghost kitchen.

Cons That Might Break Your Pact To Start a Food Delivery Service

While the pros of starting a food delivery system are tempting, you shouldn’t neglect its cons. Nothing comes without a cost, and the same goes for food delivery. So here are the cons that could be a hurdle for you.

First and foremost, you can’t control your potential customers’ experience. When they dine in, you can fascinate customers with your exemplary services. But sometimes your service can get late or food can get cold due to traffic. This will leave a bad impression on your customers.

Secondly, you have to put in more investment. Here’s why. You will need to hire more staff and get more vehicles to start a food delivery service.

And lastly, if your restaurant is offering its own delivery system, it might be less profitable. This is because you have to pay the drivers for fuel and other privileges.

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Earn From Your Kitchen: How To Start a Food Delivery Service From Home?

The road map to start a food delivery system is ordering, cooking, and delivery. At first glance, this seems doable from home as well. And the truth is, many are successfully doing it. So let’s answer how to start a food delivery service from home.

Start by setting up a central kitchen model. The whole system will cost you approximately $22,000 to $50,000. On average, it will take you almost three to 6 months to start generating profit. Moreover, you need to buy kitchen appliances, boxes or containers, steady vehicles, and other cooking equipment.

You can manage such a system by setting up a kitchen and distributing food through a food delivery system. Run it with your personal drivers or collaborate with food aggregators to deliver your food.

Alternatively, you can hide your identity by starting a dark kitchen. Your customers will place an order online through the portal or by phone calls. But here, the responsibility to plan out a suitable menu will also fall on your shoulders. So keep these things in mind when starting from home.

How To Start a Local Food Delivery Service: 7 Steps To Guaranteed Success

Why do you need to know how to start a food delivery service? Well, your restaurant is flourishing around the town. Customers love your food so much that your space is full of people.

However, some want to enjoy the food from their homes. So, let’s take you inside how to start a local food delivery service for your local restaurant.

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Step #1 To Start a Food Delivery Service: If You Fail To Plan, You Plan To Fail

It’s not hard to start a food delivery service, provided you do extensive planning. Creating a budget plan for your business is important.

But before all else, you must know if you’ll become an aggregator or deliver your own food. If you choose the first option, you have to gain restaurants’ and customers’ trust.

Alternatively, starting a ghost kitchen needs planning as well. In fact, delivering from your kitchen is more difficult than aggregating. Who will deliver your food? How will you take orders? You also need to plan a menu and source ingredients.

Moreover, the payment can be cash on delivery. Or customers can directly make payments online through their bank or credit cards. Where they order food from and the payment method is up to the customer. So you have to plan for both.

Step #2 To Start a Food Delivery Service: Study the Market and Gain Insights

The second step to start a food delivery service is understanding the local market conditions. There are two insights essential for your local business. These are your ideal target customer in the demographic area and your competitors.

When you have a customer profile, it is easy to understand their needs. You can acknowledge their desires. And when you know their requirements, you know how to achieve them.

For example, suppose you have college students and young adults in your target demographic. They have less time to cook with all the study and work.

So, your food delivery service needs to create meal kits for them. Meal kits will be helpful for them to have homemade meals even if they have no time for groceries.

Step #3 To Start a Food Delivery Service: Claim Your Spot in the Sea of Businesses

If you’re learning how to start a food delivery service, you’re probably going to treat it like a business. Depending on your current business setup, you might need to review your business structure. A formal and specific business entity or permit might be necessary in some circumstances. However, choose yours wisely, depending on your jurisdiction.

For example, if you’re a US resident, you can choose between four entities. Sole proprietorships, limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, and partnerships. But UK food business startups have different options. So check your country’s laws and learn the process of business registration.

Since you’re about to start a food delivery service, you shouldn’t ignore your legal responsibilities. Your restaurant’s credibility will require some permits and licenses to make sure it is legitimate. These permits are necessary to run your delivery service with safety and legal rights.

Firstly, if you’re a restaurant owner or delivery service, you should possess a food handler’s permit. Or else, if it’s your home kitchen, get yourself a home kitchen permit.

If your country puts a sales tax on food delivery services, you must also have a seller’s permit. And most essentially, you should have liability insurance for the future safety of food deliveries.

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Step #5 To Start a Food Delivery Service: Stay in Budget With a Strong Online Presence

Now that you know about registering your business and obtaining legal licenses, let’s discuss the technicalities. How will you deliver the food? This question is not about delivery options but rather the medium people will use to order food.

It might be tempting to go all in and create a full app. However, you’re just a startup, so you need to tread carefully with your resources. So what’s the solution?

Creating a strong online presence can be equivalent to an ordering platform. All you need to do is set yourself up on famous platforms to start a food delivery service. But there’s one thing you should never ignore; brand identity!

Choose consistent colors, a font, a logo, a name, and a memorable tagline. This will help people recognize your brand and become loyal to your business.

Step #6 To Start a Food Delivery Service: Team Work Makes the Dream Work

You don’t need an army of people to start a food delivery system. There are only a few relevant staff members that you need to hire. First and foremost, you need to have chefs to cook food for you. Also, hire other workers in the kitchen like cleaners, helpers, etc.

And since it is a food delivery service, you need delivery agents. But they must be good with riding and communication.

Moreover, you are going to handle your delivery service online. So hire a content marketer to handle your online presence and run marketing campaigns. With this team, you should regulate teamwork and a friendly environment. It will ensure the success of your business.

Step #7 To Start a Food Delivery Service: Don’t Forget To Spread the Word

The last step to start a food delivery service is to spread the word. But since you are a local service provider, your focus should be your local customers. Your marketing plans start with deciding your target customers and understanding their needs.

Once you know the pain points, you can create marketing content that resonates with your target audience.

Moreover, you need to know your unique selling proposition for effective marketing. It will help you know what you should do differently from your competitors.

Also, many marketers cease to notice it, but SMS marketing for small businesses is extremely effective. When your customer receives your catchy and enticing SMS, you will be on their notice.

But that is not the only way to spread the word. You can also use email marketing, reputation management, Google Ads, Guerilla marketing, and events to lure customers.

Don’t Create a Food Delivery Service Without Following These Tips

Now that you know the steps to creating a food delivery system, you must learn some best practices. The secret food delivery business idea is a strong technology system.

When your customer is in the ordering stage, the process must be simple. But it’s not just about technology. You also have to be careful when designing your menu. For example, if your target audience is young, keep junk food on your menu. Alternatively, having an audience conscious about health means your menu needs to have healthier meals.

Moreover, if you’re about to start a food delivery service, make sure you have liability insurance for your riders. This insurance protects from any kind of financial loss as a legitimate claim. For example, if a delivery person causes an accident, liability insurance will cover the costs of this mishap.

How Hard Is It To Create a Food Delivery System?

Your restaurant will generate a high income and revenue once you start your food delivery system. Your foot traffic will increase, and customers will start to choose you once you’ve built a strong trust.

It’s not hard to start a food delivery service, provided you have a business model. You will have to arrange transportation and plan out routes across the town. Along with such a service, improving the quality of your marketing results can be useful. If you have a local business, try Beambox’s WiFI marketing platform. With Beambox, you can gather data from your customers to automate effective marketing campaigns. Beambox will also let you get more reviews than ever to boost the online reputation of your business. Start your 30 days free trial today!

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