Over the last decade, the restaurant and hospitality industry has been transformed by online delivery services. In 2019, restaurant-to-consumer food delivery has brought in revenue over $50,000 million, with an annual growth rate of almost 10%. Food delivery has become a key way to diversify and attract new customers.

But restaurant-to-consumer food delivery is also a crowded market. Whether you share your menus on a service like UberEats, DoorDash or PostMates, or set up your own restaurant app… you’re competing with a lot of other restaurants for space in diners’ budgets and on their plates. In this post, we’ve collected 4 essential strategies for marketing a food delivery service.

1. Design for customer convenience

Why do consumers choose food delivery over cooking at home or going out to eat? One word: convenience.

So the first step in online food delivery marketing is to create – and advertise – how convenient your restaurant delivery service is.

  • Responsive design. If you have your own food delivery app, then make sure it has a responsive design that works on desktop, tablets and mobile devices. Make it easy for customers to find and order the perfect meal.
  • App feedback and restaurant reviews. Make a habit of checking your online reviews. Respond whenever appropriate, and most of all, use that feedback to improve your food delivery service.
  • Key concerns. Depending on your target market, you might get a lot of queries about sustainability, delivery zones or allergy-friendly menus. If these questions are important to your customers, then make the answers obvious in your delivery app and marketing materials.

Of course, different customers will have different needs and wants. Spend some time creating buyer personas so that you can design and market your food delivery service in ways that appeal to them. Think about who you’re delivering to: city professionals, busy families, college students…

2. Build a strong online presence

Convenience is also key when it comes to marketing online food delivery. Wherever your customers search for you, you should be there – ready and waiting with menus, opening hours, and contact details.

  • Google My Business. Set up your Google My Business profile so that people can find you in online search results and on Google Maps. Fill out every single detail, and schedule regular sessions where you check and update your information.
  • Paid Search Ads. If you have the budget for paid promotion, then consider Google Ads. These will show up as featured results when someone searches for restaurant food delivery in your area.
  • Review platforms. Whether you like it or not, customers will leave reviews on Yelp, TripAdvisor, OpenTable, and other platforms. Claim your profile so that you can provide accurate information and respond to reviews.
  • Third-party delivery platforms. This should be obvious… but if you offer food delivery through a service like Seamless, GrubHub or JustEat, then you should fill out your profile in as much detail as possible.
  • Social media marketing. Most customers now turn to social media when they need customer support – and they expect a fast response. Set up profiles and social listening tools on the various social platforms which your target audience uses most.

3. Use email marketing to stay in touch

Once someone orders food delivery from your restaurant, add them to your email marketing lists. Send regular food delivery marketing campaigns to stay in touch. Try these ideas:

  • Seasonal menu updates.

Example of seasonal menu updates.

  • Exclusive, limited-time offers for subscribers.

Example of an exclusive, limited-time offers for subscribers.

  • Behind the scenes. Share staff stories or secret insights into your restaurant kitchen.

An example of sharing staff stories or secret insights into your restaurant kitchen.

  • Personalized messages. Use dynamic messaging to send offers and insights which are personalized to each individual reader. Use information like location, order history, or birthdays.

An example of personalized email from a tea retailer.

All examples via ReallyGoodEmails.com

4. Create a consistent food delivery brand

Finally, make sure that your food delivery business is serving up a consistent brand across all your channels. That’s everything from your website to your restaurant signage, delivery app, social media profiles, and food wrappers.

Armed with these food delivery marketing ideas, you’re now ready to grab a big slice of the restaurant industry pie.