The enforced closure of UK pubs, restaurants, cafes and various other hospitality services is an important step in halting the spread of coronavirus (COVID–19). While many industries have been hit hard, government advice to practice social distancing and self-isolation has led to a surge in demand for online food delivery services.
UK food delivery revenue has increased 11.5% so far in 2020, with the trend likely to continue in response to the latest government measures, which will see permissions relaxed so that establishments can start offering hot food take away services without a planning application.
With hotel occupancy running unprecedentedly low, operating a food delivery service out of your existing kitchen is a smart way to bring in some much-needed revenue.
However, starting an online meal delivery business from your hotel requires a little time, and input from an expert. For most hotels, the current menu offerings and pricing will not be appropriate for the local delivery market and there are other factors such as marketing, packaging and distribution to consider. These things could take weeks, possibly months to get off the ground.
We understand that time is of the essence and have partnered with leading food delivery platform Uber Eats to help UK hotels launch a functional food delivery business within seven days.
Put in your postcode to receive a free business case for your location today.
How to launch a food delivery business from your hotel in seven days
The package we’re currently rolling out across the UK features a number of ready-to-go, delivery-only food brands created from the team at Uber Eats, after analysing data from millions of orders.
“We noticed that when businesses that are not traditionally focussed on food take away step in, their brands don’t always fit and they can struggle to gain share from more dedicated brands,” says Sam Martin, Head of Commercial Operations, Performance Programmes and Emerging Channels at Uber Eats.
“So, we created brands that businesses can use. They are designed using Uber Eats data and the recipes are developed with expert chefs to be as easy as possible to produce in the kitchen. They actually outperform most existing brands on the platform.”
These franchises can vary in success from £6,000 to £30,000 revenue per month – depending on location, cuisine and customer satisfaction. They cover everything you need to get up and running, and conscious of the current situation in hotels, have minimised their upfront costs. Each franchise includes:
- Professional branding – logos, slick food photography, lifestyle photography assets, colour scheme, packaging.
- Data-driven menu – based on top converting items across the Uber Eats platform, recipes designed for delivery efficiency comprising of high-quality ingredients, seen to boost conversions 58%.
- Equipment – necessary kitchen hardware, point of sale tablet and order printers provided.
- Training – a trainer will visit your premises the day before you go live to train your kitchen staff, proven launch plans and strategy will also be provided.
- Marketing – to maximise orders, your franchise will be activated across the three main online food delivery platforms: Uber Eats, Deliveroo and JustEat.
- Delivery – courier delivery drivers will collect and fulfil the orders.
We have arranged for the training and equipment charges to be deducted from your first month’s sales, so the only upfront cost is for ingredients and packaging.
The concepts use equipment found in most kitchens. Otherwise, you can simply rent the specific kitchen hardware if you do not have:
- Bun toaster – minimum spec: 100 slices per hour.
- Deep fat fryer with timer – minimum spec: 5L capacity, 2.8kW power.
- Microwave – minimum spec: 23: capacity, 900W power.
- Heating plate – minimum spec: 7.5L capacity.
Get started on food delivery
To prepare for launch you simply need to register interest and the team will get in touch to share the revenue opportunity and potential concept for your hotel. They will then arrange training and for your tablet, printer, packaging and ingredients to be delivered. When the equipment arrives, a trainer will be sent to your kitchen to get everything ready for launch. This process can be completed in less than seven days.
“We stress that these concepts are designed for kitchens with no experience of making take away food. The menus are designed to be as simple as possible,” says Sam.
The food delivery process
Essentially, operating an online food delivery franchise is exactly the same as fulfilling orders from your restaurant.
Each customer order will arrive from the relevant online platform and appear on your point of sale tablet in the kitchen. Your kitchen staff simply have to prepare the order for the courier, who will deliver it to the customer.
Delivery platforms have policies in place, such as no-contact delivery where the package is left on the doorstep and the courier retreats two metres, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Food delivery business strategy
To maximise your chances of success, you’ll be provided with guidance on how to manage the service for the first few weeks.
It’s vital that you obtain a positive rating of around 4.5/5 on the delivery apps. This is achieved by getting each order made within 10 minutes, although the order management platform will adjust the algorithm if it notices that your kitchen is running faster or slower than average.
We will help you gain visibility by putting your brand on the billboard section of the app and funding free delivery for the first fortnight and allocating a promotion in weeks three and four.
We recommend you include a free chocolate bar and a friendly note thanking the customer for their order and asking for a review during the launch period.
New hotel revenue
Based on a location of medium demand, each site can expect to fulfil 700 orders of two main dishes per month, which equates to 700 x £19.80 = £13,860 of new revenue.
When all the costs are removed this comes out at around £3,200 of net profit per property, per month.
How you use this additional income is, of course, up to you. One trend we are seeing in the hospitality industry that has really warmed our hearts is the sense of community and support.
Despite these testing times, many hospitality businesses are donating food and drink to NHS workers, homeless charities and the vulnerable, while some hotels have made arrangements to house the homeless in their properties.
If you would like to get involved in one of these schemes, maybe running a food delivery service out of your hotel could be a good way to fund your community support efforts. We are seeing hotels servicing paying customers at lunchtimes and evenings, and supporting the community with food packages and meals during the quieter periods.
Maybe the financial strain put on your business by the coronavirus outbreak means you simply need to focus on bringing some money through the door to keep your hotel afloat. Either way, we’re here to help you roll-out a food delivery service that brings in new revenue as quickly as possible.
If you would like to find out how much additional revenue your hotel kitchen could bring in through a food delivery service, simply put in your postcode to receive a free business case today.