How to Make a Delivery-Only Menu
Nobody out there would argue that a great restaurant needs a great menu. It's kind of the whole point, right? Well, delivery-only restaurants are no exception. In fact, delivery-only menus are arguably even more important, as they're one of the only exposures to your business that your customer will have. You can't win them over with just a great ambience or a smile.
Delivery-only menus require considerations that in-person restaurants don't have to think about. Find out what you should consider when developing your menu.
Find your niche
If you've read any of our other blog posts, you probably recall us talking a lot about how important it is to find a niche in the food delivery business. This is because the market is extremely competitive, so you won't get far doing what everyone else is doing. Of course, you also need to know your niche before you can even begin to develop your menu.
Keeping this in mind, when you're finding your niche in the market, don't just think about what your community doesn't have yet. Think about what it needs. This is to say, if there's something your community doesn't have but easily could, it's probably because there isn't much demand for it. Do your research to find out what your target market is interested in and figure out what parts of that aren't yet being satisfied. If you do this, you'll be able to develop a menu that stands out.
Mare sure your online food orders get delivered
Even more important than the quality of the food is whether or not it even shows up to the customer. You could make five-star quality food that would leave even the harshest critics drooling, but it doesn't matter much if it arrives to customer in poor condition or way too late. Getting this right involves two primary considerations:
1. Prep time
If you want to delivery to your customers in a reasonable timeframe, you can't serve items that require a ton of prep time. Nobody cares how delicious their scratch-made meal is if they order it at 6:30 and it arrives at 8:15. Of course, some of this can be solved by preparing popular but more time-consuming items ahead of time and leaving them to simmer or in a warming tray. However, this requires you to bet on getting enough orders to use that food up, or it will go to waste.
2. Travel capability
You can't just start throwing your most popular dine-in menu items in a box and send them out the door, because often these items don't travel well. For example, everyone loves a good bread bowl, right? But imagine a half-hour-old bread bowl. Not too appetizing, right?
So, if there's a menu item you really want to offer but you know it won't keep particularly well during transit, you'll have to find a creative solution. Instead of a bread bowl, deliver the soup in a well-insulated container with bread on the side. Similarly, if you want to deliver lobster, maybe opt for something like lobster bisque or lobster cakes over fresh lobster, which wouldn't keep particularly well.
In addition, some dishes will continue to cook along the way, if you can believe it. For example, if you place steak in a well-insulated container (which you should) it may continue to cook just slightly while en route. This could mean your medium rare dish arrives closer to medium-well, which would probably be a significant turn off for the customer.
If you do a good job of considering both the time factors and the portability challenges, you should. be able. to develop a menu that not only fits your niche, but arrives to the customer tasting as good as when it left the kitchen.
Of course, if developing a menu or any other part of setting up a virtual restaurant still intimidates you, we here at Forward Kitchens have got you covered.
Start Your Virtual Restaurant with Forward Kitchens Today
We'll handle branding, website and menu design, and everything else needed to get you going. All you have to do is what you're best at: make great food (just for more people). If this sounds more like what you need, email us at email@example.com or fill out this form to talk with a team expert!