Starting delivery Monday

Hello,
Many of you have helped me fine tune my delivery service. You have advised me as to the pitfalls and the possible growth.

My delivery service will encompass a basic 4 mile radius. Within the radius is approximately 5k people. Delivery will be from 11-130 & 4-8 with a minimum order of $10. My drivers will be paid $7/hr plus tips and will drive the “company” car. When it is slow they will be expected to work through the drivers if slow list which is stocking, prepping etc.

I have just received and tested a CC machine that can process the customers card on the spot. It works through a cell tower.

While in the learning phase, I have coupons that will entitle the customer to a free topping on their next pickup order. The coupon will be given to them if we realize after the fact that they are out of range. There are few crossroads here, so some areas are iffy.

We have faxed and passed out flyers to most of the area businesses advertising our up and coming delivery service. Te response has been very positive.

We have new full color menus, and boxtoppers with coupons and a delivery map.

An article will be in the local paper and will run on Wed.

The cartop sign will be here Monday.

I am sure that I am leaving out some details, but that is the basic feel of the new service.

Does anyone have any last minute suggestions or comments? Thanks!

Tell your drivers to take it easy while driving. Every time we have a new driver start, I get complaints that all of the toppings are off the pizza. New guys like to spin around those corners!

Also, try to stick with your delivery zone. If the person is 1 block past, you don’t deliver there. My delivery zone has slowly crept bigger since we’ve opened because of the old “Well, it’s only one block further”. It’s hard to say no to a delivery out-of-zone. It may be slow and you’re driver is standing around, so you figure “what the heck?”. But you’ll have problems saying no to that person the next time and you’ll continually gain customers outsize of your zone. That will hurt customers that are IN your zone by greatly increasing delivery times.

This is something we’re trying to fix in my store right now… but it’s so hard to tell somebody that’s had 50 deliveries “I’m sorry, we don’t deliver to you anymore.”

I was playing around last night on google earth and it seems like it might be a nice tool to verify the “right down the block” people.

One time I took a delivery and it was “right down the block” from our farthest point, and the guy said his daughter was sick blah blah… I gave in
and it ended up being 3 miles past our farthest delivery point (5 miles). No tip for the driver either.

I would really reconsider the mobile credit card machine. What do you do when a driver is out with the machine on one delivery and you have another delivery that will be paying by credit card? Do you have to wait for that driver to return from the delivery before sending the next run? Even if you only plan to schedule one driver, there will be times that you and a cook are taking deliveries as well. It will cause problems when you are at your busiest.

Go get it! I am so glad to here you are trying for expansion in the potentially wavering economy. I am looking forward to tales of conquest and glory!

I will keep you guys posted on the events!

I have had 2 wireless terminals since we began delivering and really think it is worthwhile…although Paul does have a valid point that in an ideal situation you would have a terminal for every driver, it can still be done. On our busiest nite we might have 5-6 drivers and they always can call in the cc info as well. We actually enter in our POS if the customer is paying with credit card so that they are ready to accept such payment.

If you have company cars I would recomend a vehicle wrap or at least some large vinyl graphics on the car in addition to the cartoppers…our cars pull in more calls than anything.

I agree to be CONSISTENT with your delivery area and policies from the start to not confuse your customers…also why not delivery through the afternoon…all you need is 1 guy usually and if it slow have them doorhang

PS you are going to charge for delivery of course!

Hello,
We don’t plan on offering delivery in the afternoon because we do not anticipate any demand. Most days we have 5-6 orders total between 2-4. It saves us the wage, and there are currently not enough duties to keep an additional person on.

Delivery will be 1.99 and move up to 2.49 after six months.

Make sure you have others available to drive from 11:45-1:00 and possible 5:30-7:00. Mostly the days though…if we get 20 deliveries 19 of them will be in that 1 hour window. People on lunch break only have a minimal amount of time and you cannot afford to be late.

I would make sure to OVER STAFF to the gill on Wed, Thurs. You want to take care of the business especially right now in the begining while all the bugs are worked out.

MAKE SURE FOR NOW THE DRIVER HAS A CELL PHONE!!! Make sure to get customer phone numbers!

Best of luck to ya…

Kris

Why not just start out at 2.49 ? If you change after 6 months you’ll make some of your customers upset.

Ditto.

Make sure you get a wireless terminal! You will lose busines if you dont have one. Yes it is a challenge if you only have one machine but here is what we do. We ask if the delivery is cash debit or credit card. Cash deliveries go to one driver, debit and CC go to the driver with the wireless machine. Because so many people use debit now we quote a longer time for debit & CC deliveries. If things really get backed up we can send the cash driver on the CC deliveries he just takes a CC slip and the imprinter and we ring it through the instore machine when he gets back. About 2 months ago we had the wireless machine break and it cost us about 400.00 in lost orders we were lucky most people said they could pay by CC instead of debit. This was the first time it has been down in about 6 months but it made me realize how much business we get because we have it.

Rethink your del charge with gas prices the way they are no and are headed you may want to go up sooner

I think the extra charges for the portable credit card machine are a bit much. Just one more expense to pay. We do 50% of our sales in delivery. We simply ask how the customer is going to pay after they order and if they say credit card, we ask for the no. and exp date. We quote the amt due and time for del. We then go to our credit card terminal, enter in the info. and when the slip prints out, hang it with the delivery ticket. When the driver goes out he will get a signature and leave the customer copy with them and bring back our copy. Lot easier than keeping up with a machine and hoping the driver does not drop it or lose it.
just some thoughts.
bubba

Penny wise pound foolish…Yes being in business costs money…

If by only having one terminal (or no teminal) you tick off just one client a week, you start losing ground…Plus these days “non swiped” transactions often cost more and are more problematic (disputed)…You may think they are too expensive, however, I think it is the opposite…

The only way I would consider using mobile credit card machines is if I had as many machines as I have drivers working on my busiest shift ever. The monthly fees would far surpass any savings seen over swiped or keyed transactions as well as a few chargebacks. I can’t see how I could possibly tick off a client by not having a mobile machine as they all still get to use their credit cards, and none of my customers have to wait longer for a driver with a credit card machine.

There is no way you need a terminal for every driver at the busiest time. Remember you still have people that pay with cash and CC (which you can key in later). You dont have to make it more difficult then it is. We usually run 30-40 min for delivery and rarely have a problem with not having the wireless machine available to the ones that need it. With 1/2 our business del and 1/2 of that debit it works fine.

Point well said.
Just so everyone is of the same thought…the only method of having a transaction to be accurate in case of a dispute, is to have the card imprinted with the “knucklebuster” machine from the dark ages. I can bet that no one is doing this on each and every delivery. All credit card disputes are subject to 18 months before being disallowed. Long time, so keep all slips handy --just in case.

I just don’t think that the terminal will lose any business. I have never lost any due to me not having the portable type. I have on a rare occasion had a customer want to charge the pizza after we had arrived and we simply call the store give the info and when it was approved…thank them and leave.

bubba

I get an imprint on EVERY delivery or I don’t leave the food. No plastic no food.

I had my printed make up a patch of NCR papers the size of a credit card and have the drivers do the imprint at the door. They are also responsible for checking the signature matches.

What do you do if the transaction is declined while the driver is standing there with the food?

I’m with Paul. I’ve never understood the need for the wireless terminals. If the customer wants to pay with CC, we just enter the transaction when we take their order - our POS system does the authorization and prints the slips with the ticket. No problem. If it declines, we don’t make the order.

Yes, it isn’t a “swiped” transaction - but as Paul stated above - the breakeven point for the terminals and service is far above what we lose in the few chargebacks and slightly higher fees.