The Covid crisis has really boosted the meal delivery industry. The demands are increasing and some issues are taking hold. The first is that customers are complaining about receiving their dishes damaged. A container has opened or the dish has spilled and it is no longer pleasant to eat. Another problem is that the dish arrives cold to the recipient.
Here are 5 tips to make sure this doesn't happen to your customers.
1. Paper napkins
A little-known but fairly common technique for keeping certain dishes warm is the use of napkins. All restaurant owners use napkins so there is no extra investment. This technique is mostly used in fast food restaurants because in addition to keeping the food hot, it allows to absorb the humidity that the heat gives off while preserving the crispness of the food. For example, for a hamburger, simply place a towel underneath and on top of it, inside the packaging itself to keep it warm longer. It's quick, easy and really slows down the cooling process.
2. Hot dishes underneath, cold dishes on top
Another tip is to place hot food underneath cold food when you put it in a bag to be ready for transport as the temperature spreads upwards. This is done by adding towels to keep them well separated and prevent the heat from evaporating. Placing the cold food underneath will cool the whole food much faster.
3. Choose the right packaging
Don't be afraid to invest a little extra in appropriate packaging. This way, your food will stay warm and your customers will be satisfied. There are many options: polystyrene packaging, cardboard packaging, paper bags, etc. Look for packaging that seals properly, insulates when needed, is microwaveable if it needs to be reheated, and is breathable if steam is a problem (drill holes if necessary).
4. Work with reputable delivery companies
The delivery company you work with contributes to your customer's experience with your brand. It is therefore important to choose the delivery company based on different criteria. Make sure that the delivery people, whether they are in-house or outsourced, have the proper equipment to maintain temperature and that they don't make five stops before dropping off the next order.
You can easily find information about customer satisfaction of different delivery companies on Google.
The most reputable ones right now are Deliveroo, Uber eats and Takeaway.
5. Prevent your packaging from arriving damaged
Obviously, it's important to make sure that the delivery goes smoothly and that the dish arrives in good condition at the recipient's house. Otherwise, all your efforts will be for nothing.
Here is an article that will explain how to prevent this from happening.