Moving into online food delivery could be just what your hotel needs to maintain profits in these challenging times. Salima Vellani, CEO of Kbox, offers some useful tips for how hoteliers can rethink their kitchens for delivery and use technology to help serve up more relevant and responsive food menus.
1. Adopt a delivery-first mindset
Imagine a delivery customer scrolling through Uber Eats or Deliveroo. What do they want? To succeed in delivery, you need to serve up food that’s easy and quick to prepare, travels well and isn’t prohibitively priced. This audience won’t be aware that your kitchen is run by a world-renowned chef. And they won’t care.
2. Break with ‘one brand, one kitchen’
Most commercial kitchens are loss-making. This is because the traditional business model of using one kitchen to serve one brand/menu is outdated and inefficient. It’s time to break from this mindset and reconfigure your kitchen to prepare multiple delivery brands concurrently, so that both staff and equipment are kept busy.
3. Look beyond your existing menu
What works in your dining room might not work well on Just Eat. But the great thing about the food delivery market is that you’re under no obligation to use your existing menu, or even your existing brand. There are plenty of popular, high-quality food brands out there that you can license, prepare, and sell for delivery, without having to change anything for your on-premises customers.
4. Think local
Your delivery proposition won’t stretch beyond a 2-4 mile radius. So, you need to get a clear sense of what food is already available within this area and who these nearby delivery customers are. Understanding local demographics, tastes and ordering habits will help you arrive at the right set of food brands to serve up for delivery.
5. Now is not the time for cutting back
Instinctively operators are cutting costs where they can, but in doing so they could be missing out on useful new revenue sources. For example, by maintaining evening shifts for one or two chefs, you could be bringing in an additional £2-5k in weekly delivery earnings. By taking this approach, when hotels return to normal your chefs will already be upskilled to produce multiple menus which you can add into your all day dining, breakfast, and room service menus. Now is the time for optimising the resource you have, not cutting back.