What are your delivery procedures?

I’m looking to have a more specific method of running our deliveries to make things more efficient and to get the food out the door faster. Our way of running deliveries works great when we have veteran drivers that know the area really well, but it’s always a hassle for new drivers to figure out since it relies a lot on experience and intuition. Here’s what we do:

  1. Food is made in 20 minutes or less and placed in heated holding cabinet by the delivery terminal
  2. The next driver up takes the oldest delivery and the ones that go with it (this is a step that I’m looking to define better, ie. how long is acceptable to wait for a delivery if you are going to that area? How do we define which deliveries go with each other, etc…)
  3. Driver checks the orders to make sure everything is in the bag and the pizzas match what is on the ticket

I’m looking to improve Step 2. How is everyone else determining which orders a driver takes? Do you make exceptions for different drivers if they are slower or faster? Can your drivers work together on this most of the time without constant micro managing by a non-driver?

We run a large delivery area. Typically we follow the procedure that you stated in here. I personally worked it out where we have an hour to deliver the food about 20 minutes to make the food, giving the driver 40 minutes to get to any given location. if another order comes out that is going to the same area, it needs to be within 10 minutes of the first one being ready. I just used simple mathematics and it works out pretty well, most of the time. Depending on how far the deliveries are going, I might bend that rule for a minute or two in the longer side i.e. 11 or 12 minutes apart.

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We generally don’t allow drivers to wait on other deliveries. If it’s out of the oven and ready, they need to go. If a 2nd delivery is already out and going the same direction, they can take it also as long they aren’t running late and both will arrive within the quoted time. We don’t usually do triples unless we are completely slammed and backed up with deliveries. We will make exceptions, but that’s for the manager on duty to determine. And yes, different drivers get different exceptions.

To define what deliveries go with others, you can do is divide your entire delivery area into zones. Same zone goes together. Most POS systems can do this pretty easily, but even if you’re old school and still using physical maps I don’t think it would be that hard for drivers to determine.

drivers in my humble opinion don’t work together. They are vicious animals that will cut the throat of their coworkers for that $10 tipper. and they will leave an order to die under the heat lamps if the customer is a bad tipper. Always keep an eye on whats going on with the drivers. a few bad apples can ruin the bunch!

That is why we do first come first serve here. The first driver gets the first delivery in subsequent deliveries after that if it goes along with it. And the next driver gets the next delivery and so on and so forth that way it’s even

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oh yeah! that’s how we run too. but, if no one is watching some drivers will screw over other drivers and customers for the better tipping deliveries. A busy delivery service needs a expo person just like a busy dining service. they are crucial to keeping things moving correctly.

That is true you do have to watch out for that. if you have somebody you could trust to Expo that helps.

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A couple of questions first - how big is your delivery area ? What kind of time estimate do you give your customers? How well does your product fare after being out of the oven for an hour? These are all things that must be taken into account when deciding when and if a driver should take extra deliveries.

I don’t know what kind of tech you’re using but i’m assuming when you get orders you at least print some kind of receipt that has a timestamp on it, so you know when the order was made. You have to factor in how ‘old’ the order is, how long it’s been sitting on the oven and how far the delivery address is.

An example:
You get order #1 at 15:00. You tell the customer it’ll take 50-60 minutes to deliver (15:50-16:00)
The food takes 20 minutes to make so it’s ready at 15:20
The location is 15 minutes away (which should be the maximum time needed to drive 3-4 miles, except if you’re located in a busy city with bad traffic in which case you should be using scooters)
If you get order #2 by 15:25 at the latest in the same direction you can have your driver wait for it (it should be ready by 15:45 + a 15 minute trip to deliver order #1)

If, however, you get order #2 at, say, 15:40 (and order #1 has been sitting on the oven for 20 minutes already and it’s due to be delivered quick), when a driver shows up you can’t have him sit around and wait for it to also be ready, even if it’s across the street from the first delivery. That would mean both orders are ready at 16:00 and order #1 would get there at 16:15-16:20 (20 minutes over what customer was told).

This is fine, sometimes. Depends on your customers and how busy a night it is. If the pizza is good people don’t mind waiting a little longer sometimes but if you abuse this you’ll get pushback and bad reviews. I’ve had people accept 2+ hrs wait time on deliveries on busy evenings.

The first thing you do when it’s busy is you look at the first order and see how ‘old’ it is (how much time you have left untill it’s due to be delivered) and quickly skim over any of the following ones and if they’re reasonably nearby and reasonably close to also being done, you get your driver to wait for it.

I think this is an aspect that should NOT be left in the hands of the drivers. Anyone that has delivered for more than a month or two will start learning the good tippers from the bad and if left to his/her own devices will pass on deliveries even if they’re nearby, while at the same time wait indefinitely for ‘that one good tip’ at the expense of another customer that might end up waiting a LOT more than he was first told. The first thing drivers do is quickly scan all the orders/receipts to see if he can pluck any extra tips on his run.

At the place i used to work at one of the guys who answered the phones also was a sort of informal manager and used to be a delivery driver so he knew the city by heart and knew how much it’d take to get to a certain point so he had no issue combining orders, sometimes forcing drivers to take a no-tip delivery or forcing them to drop any of the well-tipping ones if they took too long. This did not make him the most popular member of staff in the drivers eyes.

You need such an experienced person who knows street names by heart (or at least can look them up quickly on google maps) and can combine deliveries.

Obviously not all drivers are equal, you also have to take into account how experienced and skilful a driver is. You can’t have a new guy take more than 2 deliveries or you risk him becoming disoriented.

On our more busy nights we used to give customers 2-2,5hr estimates at most, during which time i (albeit rarely) delivered up to 5 orders on a single trip.
2 shouldn’t be hard, 3 is pretty regular, any more than that and you’d need them to be perfectly lined up or in the same small area.

Micro-managing is needed only during very busy hours . If you have 3-4 orders on at a time things should be fine by themselves. If however you get 20+ orders during the same hour then someone had better pair them to make the most out of the available staff. This is best done by someone that’s in that kitchen daily to observe how fast or slow any particular driver is, how quickly the kitchen staff is (to determine how much longer a certain order will take to be ready) and who also knows the city reasonably well. During our busiest days the owner would show up and meddle in this process, he’d invariably end up messing things up/doing a worse job than if he’d just leave phone guy handle things.

Thanks everyone! I think I’m going to have to divide things into zones, and specific times for when its acceptable to wait for another order. I just really want a set of ‘rules’ so I can set parameters for drivers that they have to follow unless a manager makes an exception for the benefit of the customer.

I agree with most of what’s being said here. For the most part, delivery drivers are only thinking for themselves. We try to get our food out in no more than 45 minutes and generally do not deliver further than 2-3 miles. I have one driver that’s been with us for 25 years and has no problem getting 5-6 deliveries to the correct houses before any of the orders are 45 min old; he’s able to run 45-60 on a Friday night and make a ton of money. Some of the new guys see this and think that they have the ability to (or are expected to) do the same.

Divide your area in 4 parts. North east south and west. If you have a pos you should be able to pop everything up on the map to get a good ideas as to where everything is going. My drivers go in one direction only and take 2-3 max on a Friday night in the same direction.

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