What is Last-Mile Delivery and How Does It Impact Customer Satisfaction?

Home /Blog /What is Last-Mile Delivery and How Does It Impact Customer Satisfaction?

With delivery orders going strong post-pandemic, people’s expectations for fast orders are on the rise.

Nowadays, consumers are not willing to wait too long for their orders and want same-day delivery for their packages. The growing impatience is giving rise to a new delivery standard known as last-mile delivery.

Last-mile delivery refers to the final destination, in which packages are transported from a distribution center to the customer’s doorstep.

The term “last mile” is used because it is often the most expensive and logistically challenging part of the delivery process.

As customers become more demanding, restaurants are turning to last-mile delivery such as DoorDash, Uber, or Postmates to ensure that their orders are delivered promptly and accurately.

While last-mile delivery can be a great option for businesses, it’s important to keep in mind that it can also impact customer satisfaction.

If orders are delivered late or if there are errors in the delivery, it reflects poorly on the restaurant and can lead to negative reviews and lost business.

No doubt that last-mile delivery has changed the restaurant industry. If you’re a restaurant owner wanting to optimize your delivery service and ensure customers are happy, this article will show you the way!

We will discuss the most pressing challenges related to last-mile delivery and provide you with the best tips for choosing a delivery service that will help you improve customer satisfaction.

Why is Last-Mile Delivery Important for Restaurants?

The restaurant industry has changed drastically in the last few years, and delivery is now a big part of that.

In fact, according to The NPD Group, food delivery sales have increased by 11 percent since 2016. The convenience of having food delivered right to your door has made it a popular option for busy consumers.

However, with the rise in delivery comes the need for faster, more efficient service. Consumers are no longer willing to wait an hour or more for their food.

They expect to receive their orders in a timely manner and are often willing to pay a premium for faster service. This has given rise to last-mile delivery, quickly becoming the restaurant industry’s new standard.

Here are some key benefits of last-mile delivery:

  • Last-mile delivery is important for restaurants because it can help them keep up with the competition and meet customer expectations.
  • It’s also a great way to increase sales, as it allows restaurants to reach a wider delivery radius.
  • Lastly, last-mile delivery can help reduce the number of in-person orders, which can lead to fewer customers in line and more social distancing.

However, it’s important to remember that finding quicker ways to send orders to their final delivery destination is not easy and last-mile deliveries can be challenging.

Head to the next section to see what challenges you may face with last-mile delivery and how you can overcome them!

What Are the Top Challenges of Last-Mile Delivery?

While last-mile delivery can be a great way to improve your restaurant’s delivery service, it’s not without its challenges.

Below, we’ll discuss some of the most common challenges you may face with the last-mile delivery process and how you can overcome them.

1. Increased Costs

Last-mile delivery costs can quickly add up, especially if you have too many food items on your menu, operate a fine dining restaurant, or are located in a rural area.

To offset these costs, you may need to increase your menu prices. However, you’ll need to be careful not to price yourself out of the market.

You may also want to consider offering discounts or promotions for customers who order delivery. This can help encourage customers to choose delivery over other options, such as pick-up or dine-in.

2. Last-Mile Logistics

Another challenge you may face is with last-mile delivery logistics. This includes things like route planning, driver management, and order tracking.

If you’re not careful, these challenges can quickly lead to delivery delays and customer dissatisfaction.

To overcome this, you’ll need to plan your delivery routes carefully and use a software tool that can help you track drivers and orders.

You may also want to consider using a delivery service that offers route optimization and order tracking.

3. Customer Expectations

This can be both a challenge and an opportunity. With the rise of food delivery, customers have come to expect fast, convenient service.

If you’re not able to meet these expectations, you may lose customers to your competitors.

On the other hand, if you’re able to exceed customer expectations, you can create a competitive advantage for your restaurant.

To meet customer expectations, you’ll need to ensure that you have a fast and efficient delivery process. This includes things like preparing orders quickly and using a delivery service that can get orders to customers in a timely manner.

Having accurate, updated preparation times and adding time during busy hours can help also adjust customer expectations if needed.

4. Driver Management

Another challenge you may face is driver management. This includes things like recruiting drivers, training them, and managing their schedules.

These challenges can quickly lead to driver turnover and delivery delays if you’re not careful.

To overcome this, you’ll need to put together a driver management plan. This should include things like:

  • Recruiting drivers who live close to your restaurant, training them on your delivery process, and managing their schedules.
  • Offering incentives for drivers, such as delivery bonuses or tips.
  • Using a software tool to help you track driver hours and locations.

5. Weather and Traffic Conditions

Weather and traffic conditions can also be challenging when it comes to last-mile delivery.

To overcome this, you’ll need to have a plan in place for dealing with bad weather and high traffic. This should include things like:

  • Using a delivery service that offers real-time order tracking.
  • Offering discounts or promotions for customers who order delivery during bad weather.
  • Using a software tool to help you plan delivery routes around bad weather conditions.

Now that you know more about potential challenges, let’s take a look at what features of last-mile delivery service can help you overcome them.

Top 4 Features to Consider When Choosing a Last-Mile Delivery Service

The final mile delivery is crucial to any restaurant looking to offer delivery service, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

Here are the top four features you should consider when choosing a last-mile delivery service:

1. Real-Time Tracking

When the order leaves the transportation hub, ie your restaurant, it is crucial that the customer can track the package in transit to their door.

This not only gives the customer a sense of comfort and transparency but allows you to monitor the delivery in case of any issues.

2. On-Demand Delivery

Offering on-demand delivery means that customers can order delivery whenever they want, without having to schedule it in advance.

This is a great option for customers who need their food delivered right away.

3. Fast Delivery Times

One of the most important features of a last-mile delivery service is fast delivery times.

Customers expect to receive their food within a certain time frame, and if you’re not able to meet these expectations, they may take their business elsewhere.

So ensure you do your research when partnering with a delivery service to make sure they’re able to meet your delivery expectations.

You can also partner with multiple delivery services to give your customers more options.

Orders. co provides a Q-commerce feature where you can easily manage your menu, update items, and integrate orders from various delivery platforms.

4. Affordable Pricing

Another important feature to consider is pricing. You’ll want to make sure that the delivery service you choose is affordable for your business.

You can get quotes from multiple delivery services and compare their prices.

Improve Your Last-Mile Delivery and Make Customers Happy

As more people order online, the need for professional services that can handle the final mile delivery is becoming more and more important.

If you’re not already offering this service, now is the time to consider adding it to your business.

Keep the challenges and features we’ve discussed in mind as you research different delivery services, and you’ll be sure to find the perfect one for your business.

 

What to read next