If your business is going to rely primarily on off-premise sales, whether you’re in a ghost kitchen or trying to stay afloat in the midst of the pandemic, it’s important to be present in all of the main places that a customer can order online including third party platforms. The reality is that DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Postmates are used by millions of hungry people and not being present on those platforms means missing out on new customers who are actively using the apps to order food for pickup and delivery. But it’s not just build it and they will come: to really leverage these platforms you need to think intentionally about how you set up your menu and leverage the features within the app to gain more attention and convert more customers.
Streamline your menu.
For new customers getting familiar with your food on a mobile screen, long menus with a lot of sections can be really overwhelming. Consider cutting your menu down to just a few sections, with no more than seven items per section. Name sections of your menu to make them clear and clickable. Consider “Go-To Combos” or “Gluten-Free Pizza” or “Vegetarian Specials,” depending on your offering and audience.
Take photos seriously.
Make sure you have great photos that make your food look amazing for at least 50% of your menu items; we recommend 100% if possible. If there’s an opportunity to customize your cover photo, update that as well with a display of appetizing food. This will not only help your ranking in the in-app search, but help customers develop the confidence they need to make the purchase.
In addition to cuisine, consider adding dietary preferences like gluten-free or vegetarian (if they fit), what day parts you serve, and any other categories that will help you show up in different sections of the apps and help the right customers match with your offering. Adding the right categorizations (as long as they are accurate to your restaurant) will help your restaurant be seen or recommended by customers searching for specific cuisines.
Invest in marketing.
In the first months in a new location, your third party app listings don’t have any reviews telling new customers that they should order and telling third party platforms to prioritize your listing. Investing in marketing promotions — like 20% off for new customers or BOGO item — will help you show up in the offers sections and carousels of the apps, help you generate initial orders, and get reviews that will help you rank organically.
Think like a customer.
Go through the browsing and ordering experience as a customer on each platform. Add appropriate modifiers to items where applicable (especially modifiers for vegetarian or other dietary options!). Take note of how restaurants are prioritized and which restaurants catch your eye. If restaurants offering a certain promotion are listed first, consider offering that promotion. If brighter colors are more engaging, consider updating your visual assets.
For more to-go tips and advice, visit our blog home page at kitchenunited.com/insights.