With consumers placing a high priority on convenience, delivery remains one of the fastest growing trends in the foodservice industry.
A space once dominated by pizza, deliver is now as diverse as ever. As fewer people walk thru restaurants’ front doors, operators are using delivery to take their products to consumers. Of course doing so is easier said than done. Before getting into the fast lane known as foodservice delivery, operators need to weigh a variety of factors including how to process orders without compromising the in-store guest experience, packaging and more.
Dickey’s Barbecue represents one of the most recent restaurant concepts to enter the delivery game. The company includes both company and franchisee operated locations throughout the company. Here, Renee Roozen, president of Dickey’s Barbecue, discusses this fast-growing barbecue chain’s approach to delivery.
FE&S: Why is Dickey’s getting into delivery? What’s the company’s goals?
RR: The needs and wants of consumers are changing. People want things when they want them and how they want them. We needed to change to stay relevant in the mind of the consumer. And barbecue travels so well. It stays warm and fresh.
FE&S: Will this rollout by system wide?
RR: Right now about 80 percent of our system is signed up with delivery partner. And we are developing our own delivery system in the form of curbside delivery and direct delivery.
FE&S: How are delivery orders getting to the stores? Via a Dickey’s app? The company’s website? Third-party delivery providers?
RR: The orders come in a couple of different ways. Consumers that are loyal to third-party vendors like GrubHub can order through there and those orders arrive in our stores via their tablets. And we have links from our website to the third party vendor sites. And if you order from our website it will go directly to our stores. And we are developing an app. We want to be anywhere we can.
FE&S: Once a delivery order arrives, how does it get processed? Some restaurants prepare the food on the same line, while others have a second line for overflow/catering orders/delivery orders. How’s Dickey’s handling this?
RR: We use one line no matter how the order comes in to ensure we have fresh, quality food. When the orders come in, when know what time we need to prepare it. It gets shuffled into our regular process.
FE&S: How do you avoid production bottlenecks?
RR: It’s all about scheduling and preparation. Any items we can prepare and organize ahead of time we do. In general, you will have a regular business flow. We get great analytics which allows us to plan accordingly. It’s also important for the team members on the line to remain friendly and keep chopping while they interact with customers.
FE&S: Is Dickey’s using different or special packaging for delivery orders?
RR: Right now we have not found the need for special packaging. We use high quality packaging but we look at it every couple months to ensure the product remains hot, fresh and looks good.