December 10, 2021

Navigating Online Food Delivery: 10 Tips for Selling on Food Delivery Apps


So you’ve made the right decision to start selling your food on third-party delivery apps. In Australia, like much of the rest of the world, platforms like Menulog, Deliveroo, and UberEats have dominated the F&B industry these past few years. It comes as no surprise if you consider just how many people have started ordering food online instead of dining at a restaurant: by 2024, 11 million Australians are expected to be food delivery users. But selling your food online isn’t as simple as uploading your menu to these platforms. With so many other restaurants doing the same thing, there’s only room for those that stand out from the crowd. Read on for our top 10 tips to increase the number of sales you make through food delivery apps. 

  1. Categorise your menu & optimise for search
  2. Match the price to your food
  3. Don’t skimp on professional food photography
  4. Take the time to write proper food descriptions
  5. Give your customers the chance to customise
  6. Offer meal deals
  7. Cook your food efficiently
  8. Package your food well
  9. Encourage your customers to leave reviews
  10. Place a link to your delivery platform page on your website

Tip 1: Categorise your menu & optimise for search

Many food delivery platforms provide you with the ability to customise the layout of and categorise your menu. On Deliveroo, for example, you can choose between static, a la carte, and small form menus. Each of these has been designed to suit different kinds of restaurant menus: a small form menu is ideal for restaurants that offer “build your own” dishes or ones with lots of customisation options, while an a la carte menu is more catered towards brands that sell individual dishes. 

Not to mention, since your menu on these apps is all customers have to go by when deciding whether or not to order your food, you’ll want them to easily understand what kind of food you sell. Many apps allow you to categorise your food in sections – like mains and sides, or burgers and drinks. 

Lastly, make sure you’re using the right category tags for your restaurant. Normally you’ll be allowed to enter a few of these that should summarise what type of food and cuisine you offer. They will be used to help customers find your restaurant in searches through the app – so it’s vital to get this step done right. 

Tip 2: Match the price to your food

If your competitor is undercutting your prices but offering food of similar quality, you’re going to lose a significant chunk of your customer base. Look around at similar restaurants – your competitors – and see how they price their food. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers, and see what seems more enticing. 

With a well thought out and strategic pricing policy, you can make a good amount of profit on your food while keeping it enticing for customers and building your loyal customer base. If you have multiple locations of the same brand, consider pricing differently based on the location. Not only will rents be different in different areas, but there may be no other similar restaurants nearby – meaning you can charge a slight premium. 

Tip 3: Don’t skimp on professional food photography

In the food delivery world, good visuals are everything. With so much choice at their fingertips, your customers will be more discerning than ever when it comes to picking food that looks good. Rather than taking pictures of your food in poor lighting on your smartphone, hire a professional to take quality photos. Cook and prepare your food to the best of your ability and immortalise it in appetising photos that you can populate all your platforms with. 

The same pictures can be used on your website and social media, as well as your delivery platform’s hero image, individual food listings, and more.

At Chef Collective, we offer a Growth Marketing package alongside our dark kitchen rentals in Australia. Part of this package includes us helping you take these photos, striking the perfect balance between photos that convince your customers to choose you while also reflecting the dish they’ll receive. 

Tip 4: Take the time to write proper food descriptions

After viewing the image, the food description is the first thing your potential customers will come into contact with on the delivery app. Food delivery platforms like Deliveroo make it easy for people to swipe around and compare different dishes from different restaurants, so getting this right is critical. 

Spending all the time you need to write accurate, appealing, and great sounding food descriptions will more than pay off when new customers start ordering your food over your competitors. At this point, it’s up to the quality of your food to please your customer in order to keep them coming back. 

Tip 5: Give your customers the chance to customise

The modern world is full of choices. Now more than ever, customers want customisation options. This trend extends from the fashion industry to business services but is extremely apparent in the F&B industry too. Customers no longer want to have the same dish as everyone else – and everyone has their preferences. Some may prefer extra sauce on their burger, while others might prefer a less spicy option or even a dish without an allergen. 

Giving your customers the ability to easily customise their orders to their exact specifications can give your restaurant an edge over your competitors. This can be done directly through the food delivery platform, and customers will be pleased to know that your restaurant is willing to bend over backwards when it comes to whipping up dishes exactly the way they prefer them. 

Tip 6: Offer meal deals

Depending on the type of cuisine your restaurant sells, meal deals could be a lucrative way to make more money and sell more dishes. Western-style restaurants very commonly do this with, for example, burgers, fries, and a drink, but this can be done for just about everything. 

Meal deals can be organised through the delivery platform itself, and while people are ordering through the app they will be prompted to order a side and drink along with their main dish. Offering discounts for meal deals are a great incentive to upsell. As an added bonus, this food can be packaged together, saving you money and reducing your environmental impact. 

Tip 7: Cook your food efficiently

Each delivery platform has an estimated time of delivery. The faster you cook food and get it in the hands of your customers, the faster your restaurant’s estimated time will be. This is something that customers will look at when weighing up options – a quick turnaround time can convince those who are on the fence. Not to mention, if you cook your food slowly and people get it delivered way after when they were expecting, they’re less likely to order from you again. As a bonus tip, make sure you’re cooking food in a way that will last the delivery process. 

Tip 8: Package your food well

The delivery process can be rough on your food. Especially for more delicate dishes, it’s important to package them tight and secure in a way that means they arrive at your customer’s door just as they would on a plate in a dine-in restaurant of yours. Messy or damaged food will leave a bad impression on your customers, even if it tastes great. 

Good packaging can also consider different materials that are more environmentally friendly, negate the effects of condensation, and include a branded seal to give your customers peace of mind that nobody has touched your food since it left the kitchen. 

Tip 9: Encourage your customers to leave reviews

Reviews are everything in the online world. Consider leaving a note on your food’s packaging or a little card in their order to remind them to leave a review. Your restaurant’s star rating on food delivery apps is a major factor for the platform showing your restaurant to their users, as well as people deciding where to order from. 

Tip 10: Place a link to your delivery platform page on your website

The online world is an interconnected place. SEO optimising your website is a vital aspect of running a successful food delivery business – learn about this in detail by reading our previous blog. One simple and easy thing you can do to make your website more useful is to put a link to your Deliveroo page on it. According to Deliveroo, this can boost your traffic on their platform by 5% – meaning it’s well worth your time and effort. 

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