Trying to develop a food delivery business is completely different now from decades ago. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on people dining in at restaurants as lockdowns and work-from-home arrangements have resulted in a drastic surge of people ordering food online. The change has been felt in Hong Kong, too, as food delivery platforms have further cemented their position in the industry. With more and more restaurants opting to go down that route, Deliveroo alone now has 140,000 restaurant and grocery partners in Hong Kong.
With competition becoming increasingly fierce, the question many food delivery businesses face is how to stand out from the crowd. Essentially, it all comes down to cooking good food and marketing your company in the right way. Since dine-in customers are not the target market of CloudKitchensTM, a strong online presence is pivotal in order to build a dedicated following of committed customers who order from your restaurant regularly.
This is obviously much easier said than done, so here are 10 practical and actionable ways to develop a thriving food delivery business in Hong Kong.
1. Get professional media to work with
Having professional pictures and videos that showcase the beauty and freshness of your food is one of the optimal ways to develop a cult following. Sometimes, customers find themselves in a bind in regards to what they want to eat. By having striking photos, it can ultimately sway their decision and make them choose your eatery over the rest. Videos will also provide a personal insight into the freshness of the ingredients and the intricacies that go into making your food stand out.
These photos and videos can be used in different ways, but they all help to develop your food delivery business and customer base.
2. A Captivating Website
If people are going to be placing orders on your website, it cannot afford to be anything less than perfect. Visually satisfying with an excellent user experience, it has to woo your customers and give them a reason to keep coming back.
Using a third-party company to create or improve your website is generally the best way to go unless you possess an in-house expert who can work their magic and take care of everything. In addition to aesthetics and user experience, eloquent content, stunning photos and videos, as well as the overall speed of the site are all things to keep in mind.
Of course, it is essential to have an online menu that is easily accessible so that your customers can order their food quickly and efficiently. If their experience falls short of the mark, they will bid your site adieu and head to one of your food delivery competitors.
Don’t forget to also spend the time to learn how to optimise your website for search engines properly. Given that only 0.78% of search engine users go to the second page of results, it’s in your best interest to be among the websites on the first page.
Mastering SEO can be a long and arduous process, meaning you either need to dedicate some time to hone your skills or outsource it to an SEO agency in order to ensure it is done correctly. In order to boost your ranking, you need to ensure you are targeting the right keywords, creating compelling content, building backlinks, and much more.
A Google My Business (GMB) listing is also crucial as giving Google the information it needs to display your business can send more customers your way and help increase your food delivery sales.
3. Move your food delivery business into a CloudKitchensTM
With competition steeper than ever in the F&B world, it’s imperative to know how to keep costs low and profits high. One of the best ways to do this is to move into a CloudKitchensTM space itself.
These are highly optimised spaces that are designed to cater to delivery orders like nothing else. By bringing highly-analysed kitchen arrangements and new food delivery tech systems together, CloudKitchensTM effectively removes the bottleneck of traditional brick and mortar restaurants. In these spaces, the only limitations to the amount of food you cook are how much your chefs can whip up, and how many orders you receive. Ultimately, CloudKitchensTM help keep upfront and operational costs at a minimum while giving restaurateurs access to all the optimisation techniques and flexibility they need to run a successful business without unnecessary risk.
4. Price your menus based on location
Whether you have one restaurant or multiple, you need to consider where you’re located in your pricing. Different locations will have different target markets, rental prices, and more, and all of this should be factored into your pricing model in order to get the most profit possible out of your kitchen space. At Freshlane, we have a sizable database and use innovative technology which helps all our CloudKitchensTM restaurants better understand their position in their local market and price dishes accordingly. This is further optimised the longer you operate a CloudKitchensTM with us as all orders and pricing data are tracked in order to provide valuable insights as to how to make your restaurant as profitable as possible.
5. Be Active on Social Media
Virtually everyone is on one or more social media platforms these days and not utilising this to your benefit would be a lost opportunity, to say the least. With so many people using social media at any given time, having an official page that shows off the culinary delights you serve from your CloudKitchensTM could be the perfect way to gain new customers.
For a wider reach and to build a strong reputation, it is worth trying to reach out to key opinion leaders (KOLs) or social media influencers, who can try the delectable dishes your food delivery business serves up and review them.
6. Physical marketing still works
Despite the many advantages associated with SEO, SEM and social media, a more up close and personal approach to marketing can also pay dividends. Many brick and mortar restaurants rely on banners, signs and leaflets to get people talking about their food and visiting their establishments.
Just because you operate out of a CloudKitchensTM doesn’t mean you can’t hand out leaflets in busy areas to help spread awareness about your brand and the tantalising cuisine available to order.
7. Ask your customers to leave reviews
In the online world, reviews are everything. A restaurant with hundreds of 5-star reviews will be far more appealing to potential customers than a restaurant with countless negative reviews. Consider adding a little reminder with your food packaging asking your customers to leave a review if they enjoyed the food. Many customers are more than willing to do so, and building your online reputation is a step that cannot be missed when it comes to growing a successful food delivery business.
8. Prioritise repeat customers
Rewarding customers is a surefire way of ensuring they keep ordering from your food delivery business on a regular basis. Like how certain restaurants have loyalty cards that offer discounts, a company that operates out of a CloudKitchensTM can implement similar strategies that keep customers coming back.
9. Try your hand at email marketing
Email marketing is an effective digital marketing tool where you can inform your customers about your food, upcoming promotions and loyalty system as well. In a nutshell, it allows your food delivery business to develop a more personal connection with your customers.
10. Nothing beats word of mouth
Word of mouth is the lifeblood of any restaurant, whether it’s brick and mortar or operating out of a CloudKitchensTM. If your establishment has a distinctive dish or creates stunning and mouth-watering masterpieces from a certain region of the world, focus on this as much as possible as it gives you a unique selling point. It will cause your customer base to swell and send your profits skyrocketing.
In Need of More Information?
Freshlane operates CloudKitchensTM in centrally-located areas in Hong Kong and knows the ins and outs of the food delivery industry. Interested in our facilities? Fill up the form below to contact us today!