A Delivery Notification and Tracking Idea

Hi folks, I’m new here. I am not a Pizzeria owner, I am a mobile app developer. I thought of an idea the other day, and I wanted to get some initial opinions about it before I bother to decide whether to actually try to make it or not, as it would probably take a year to do it. Honest opinions are extremely appreciated, harsh or not.

It would be for independent pizzerias/sub shops. I was thinking of an easy to use app where the driver enters his delivery addresses (using google auto suggest field for quick entries), and the driver can adjust the order of the addresses he entered to see the best delivery times or fastest ETA, and get voice guided driving directions to his next stop.

When the driver decides which order is next, he presses a button and a text message is automatically sent to the customer’s mobile phone. In the text message would be a link to the customer’s own temporary private order page. They tap it and see a page that has their order status and ETA. It would also show the driver’s location and the customer’s location on a map, where the driver’s location updates maybe every 10 seconds or so until it arrives at the customer location. Similar to what Uber already does when you request a ride, but it’s for deliveries of independent restaurants that can’t afford to create this sort of software themselves.

Also, aside from the order info, the Restaurant owner would be able to enter in any ad messages they want on their administration page, and they would show up in a rotating banner space on the order page the customer sees. So you would get to advertise your latest specials for the week, or enter any message you want, and it would be viewed by targeted customers who are already interested in the Restaurant’s offering, and might place a repeat order that week because of it.

Finally, the Restaurant owner, or the phone order taker can also bring up a page where they can see all their drivers locations, deliveries, ETAs and estimated time of return to the shop.

Critical comments are quite welcome. If it’s a mistake, I would rather know sooner than later. Thanks.

we have been using this for a while with Foodtec’s Delivery IQ app…it does all of the above and also allows us to handle the credit card transactions on their phones by accepting signature and adding tips…this is a huge help when cashing out at the end of the night since there is no finalizing transactions and drivers know exactly how much they owe the store

I think the ability to configure into the POS would be critical

Hey famousperry, thanks for your response. :slight_smile:

POS integration sure would be critical and the optimal solution. I would know how to do that, but the problem is that the POS companies would have to adjust their software to allow for a third party to talk to it or vice versa. Try corralling all of them. It would take forever. And, eventually, they are all going to integrate this stuff into their POS systems, but how many people feel like paying the huge expense of a new POS? This is why I decided that I would stay away from that altogether as it sounds too messy. It’s a short term solution (maybe three years) until everybody gets a POS with this capability built into it.

All of the phone and address entries would be made by the driver on the app he installed on the phone and it would not effect the POS or change anything about the way the Restaurant currently does things. So no changes to POS required at all. It would not handle financial transactions either. These would all be done on the existing POS. It is my understanding, that most of the time, the credit card is punched in from the phone call before the order is even accepted. So however the Restaurant wants to handle payments would remain exactly the same.

All that this would do is to automatically notify the customer that they are next and give them a more exact ETA than they originally got, and the Driver’s location, and also show them the latest specials. It would also help the driver organize his route for maximum efficiency and shortest ETAs. And finally, the Restaurant can see where all of the drivers are, their orders are, and when they are expected back.

I was thinking about charging something like 25 cents flat rate per delivery with no upfront costs or subscriptions if I can find a way to make it that cheap. Maybe even cheaper. So it would be a pay as you use situation.

How much do you pay for the Foodtec Delivery IQ and what features besides CC transactions do you use it for? Does it show on a map where the driver is? Currently I have my drivers text me when they’re on their way back so I know when to fire orders.

Just to make sure, does it send out a notification to the customer when the driver is on his way and does it show the customer the ETA of their order and location of the driver?

You are exactly who I am thinking of with this idea. To have drivers text you is a hassle. Why not know everything they are doing and where they are at whenever you want? Also, I think the customers would love a heads up like this when their order is on the way, and the ads you can put on the private order page could boost repeat business. And, because of this added courtesy you provide the customer, tips could go up keeping turnover lower.


With this as soon as we assign an order to a driver their app allows them to get directions instantly (no need to input addresses)…they can choose to text the customer but we do not use this feature. Instead the customer can track their order at anytime and see if it had already left the store and the vicinity of where the driver is.

there is no added charge, yes it shows drivers exact location including alerts if they are stationary for a set time amount.
when drivers go out the screen shows them in red and when they are on the way back shows them in green which makes it super easy to plan the next orders

yes and when the customer call us to check we can tell them exactly how much longer it will be

Ditto, what famous said.

Delivery IQ rules!
Best part was it cost $0.

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The other POS companies better be working on this feature asap. It is going to cost them customers down the road if they don’t add it

I’m sure they are.

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How does the customer track it? Do they have to have an app? Or do they have to be told to go to a certain website? Or, do they just receive a text message? Or do they have to call you? Thx.

My store is in a town with a simple grid system that with minimal effort any driver can master in a week. But yet todays drivers can’t be bothered to learn the system so they GPS every single run. I had a driver recently who has worked here for a month or so come back from one delivery and I sent him on his next one and told him this is the apartment complex right next to the one you just delivered to. He still had to spend the time to put the address in his GPS. I know your app is more geared to the customers but if it is going to slow the drivers down by having to plug in even the easiest of addresses it is not for me. I spoke to my POS company while at Pizza Expo about an Uber like system that sends turn by turn directions to a drivers phone when he dispatches runs and they said something like that will be included at some point in the future. How soon I don’t know but I hope it’s right around the corner.

Online ordering customers have a link at checkout for the order tracker.
Once the delivery order has left, the tracker updates the customer on the arrival time (gps location of driver does this automatically). The drivers app connects to the store and updates every minute. .

Phone order customers only can access the tracker by an email sent from the store if requested .

I have to say it’s best feature is : Drivers are constantly tracked , and they can’t horse around. It makes the store more efficient by knowing how long until they return and dispatching the next runs.

The driver has the option on the app to shoot a text to the customer saying " your order is on the way"

Paul is right , it does slow drivers down a little. But not the ones who know where they are going and not using the gps.

We had a 3 hour power outage recently, and once the power goes out , everything doesn’t work. One driver couldn’t function without the app. I explain to them when theyre hired, if you know the area you will make money, If you are going to rely on the gps, it will slow you down.

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Hi paul, thanks for your reply.

As far as the driver taking time to make entries. At a fairly slow, careful pace, each delivery will take approximately 5 secs. So 3 deliveries and he is going to spend an extra 15 secs while in the kitchen or out in his car. Is that too much time? You seemed to suggest it is. I thought that usually the phone order taker’s time was more important than the driver’s because you lose orders when the phone is busy, but maybe not.

The main thing of what I am talking about is not really GPS for the driver. Most drivers will often know where they are going after a while, but if they don’t, they would get voice guided driving directions to their next stop with the press of a button. But that wouldn’t be the main feature of this and it is not the focus.

While this would allow for all of the tracking of drivers and their ETA for each delivery and their estimated time of return to the restaurant on a map, like POS systems are starting to add, it would also add one more piece to the equation.

What about the customer knowing where their order is in real time like the restaurant does? The customer would only see their driver when they are the next stop, and not all drivers like the restaurant does. So while POS systems are adding driver tracking, it seems as though they are adding little that can benefit the customer except a one time notification which might not be very accurate if there are multiple stops because it’s not real time tracking.

Also note, with the idea I am thinking about, since the customer would see a page with a map on it that has the driver’s location and ETA in real time (updates every 10 seconds), the restaurant can also show them revolving ads on the page of their current specials to help promote repeat business.

I don’t see any POS systems planning that either, but maybe they are.

Hi rob, thanks for your input. My question really isn’t so much about driving directions or the restaurant being able to track the location of their drivers (although what I am thinking of will do all of that), it’s about how the restaurant communicates with the customer about their delivery status. The customer seems to be getting lost in this discussion by most responses as if they are not really the main concern.

So you said the tracker updates the customer about delivery time once the driver has left. How does the customer receive this update? Via email? Text message? If it’s by email, often the customer might not even see it until after the order has arrived. And does the ETA continually update in real time on a map or do they just get one notification and that’s it?

I suppose it’s ok to send out a notification to all three deliveries at once when you have three, as long as they can’t see the location of the driver. But if they can, like what I am planning and like what UBER does, then they would not get notified until they are the next stop as I am planning, as it would be pretty bad to notify a customer that their delivery is on it’s way only for them to watch the driver drive to everybody else’s house first and their’s last. What kind of a tip will the driver get then? Probably not so good.

But overall, I am getting the sense that this piece of the puzzle, improved customer communication and showing them ads to boost repeat orders for the week, doesn’t really seem to be where most restaurant owner’s minds are at. I don’t see much interest in this area. It seems it’s all focused getting the delivery order via any avenue possible and getting as many as possible and managing how you handle the orders.

Maybe what I am thinking about just isn’t really very important to restaurant owners, and that’s what I want to learn before I even bother making something.

Thanks again. Your input is really appreciated. You might save me from a big mistake or waste of time.

I can see my customers now… “I saw that stopped for gas and now my food is ice cold!”, or “Why did you stop at 2 different houses before MINE?!”

The idea to track on the management side is a nice one, but I honestly don’t know if I’d want my customers tracking my drives in real time.

Hi noreason, thanks for the response. You are spot on correct!!! That’s why in my idea the customer only sees the driver’s location after he selects them as the next stop. He needs to decide when he is sure he is actually going to head straight to the delivery before he marks it as next. So in that respect, the driver controls things. And, if the driver uses it correctly, it will most likely be seen as a nice convenience for the customer, which could mean better tips. Customers always love to be in the know. Also, you would get to show customers any ads that you want to create on their order status page, such as weekly specials, etc… which may sometimes get you another delivery order for that week from that customer.

So what happens if the driver has three deliveries, and notifications go out to all three customers at the same time? Are their ETA’s going to be accurate? Probably not any more accurate than the standard 30-40 mins answer given by most places. So at that point, what’s the point of even giving them an ETA? However, if they are watching a map on a web page, only when they are the next order because they can’t see the page otherwise, the ETA is getting updated every 10 seconds, so it ends up being accurate to within a minute or two because it’s in real time and it allows for ETA adjustments if unexpected things happen (traffic etc…)

Our system doesn’t pinpoint exact location. Just a few block radius is shown to the customer. Imagine getting setup for a robbery with exact location?

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