Setting up a food delivery is a little bit different from other businesses, so whether you’re a new entrepreneur or an experienced one, there’s plenty to learn. However, nothing is complicated, so don’t worry too much.

Here are some steps to follow in setting up your first food delivery business.

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Get Registered Before You Start

Register as a sole trader, as a partnership, or for a limited company before you get started in the food business. By doing this, it avoids being behind before you ever get started. Plus, when you’re going to arrange for the proper licenses up to 28 days before opening, it’s useful to have a business entity to associate them with.

Arrange for the Proper Licenses

A food takeaway business is similar to that of a catering one. Provisioning food, preparing it and then delivering it to end customers (or using a delivery service) can potentially put people at risk. The food needs to be fresh and produced/stored in a safe manner (like being cooked at the right temperature and stored hygienically). Follow the advice from this page to organise the correct license for your UK catering business to avoid falling foul of the regulations.

Also, it’s useful to have studied food hygiene at college too. When planning to operate a home business, getting a City and Guilds Level 2 Food Hygiene Course is worth the time investment. It usually only costs a little over £10 and so is an affordable first step if you’re still in the dreaming (rather than planning) stage.

Setting Up a Food Delivery Business Partner with Delivery Companies or Create Your Team?

Working with delivery companies like Deliveroo, Just Eat or UberEATS is one option. Another is to create a local team of delivery drivers instead, although there would be costs involved like insurance and petrol. 

Partnering with Delivering Companies

Working with delivery companies, there’s a signup fee usually involved. Occasionally, one or more companies will waive the fee (to compete against the other food delivery companies for new partners) but otherwise, it’s necessary to pay in full. The fees vary from £300 to up to £500 depending on the company and package selected.

Also, there is a commission percentage from the value of the order. That also varies from company to company with some being 10 percent and others rising to as much as 30 percent.

Furthermore, a delivery fee per order is also added. This can be just £0.50 or as much as £2.50.

For companies looking to partner with a delivery company, it saves considerable hassle in having a bike or van to make deliveries, employing the drivers or riders, and all the paperwork too. But it does come at a cost, so the per-order customer value has to support that added cost.

Branding is an essential consideration for any business, especially one as high profile as food delivery. Apart from the careful design of your corporate ID—such as logo, colours, and general “look and feel” of your business—it pays to have your delivery collateral bedecked with quality printed branding, and an experienced partner can help you there.

Having your company’s brand printed on food packaging makes for an easy form of advertising—burger boxes, French fry boxes, snack boxes, trays, and food sleeves—to name just a few delivery solutions—can all be supplied by a third-party provider who will bring considerable experience to the design and manufacture of these bespoke items. Why re-invent the wheel designing and manufacturing these items, when a quality supplier can give you the ideal packaging product right off the shelf?

Along with food packaging, you can also partner for a wide variety of products to get your brand out there—literally! Consider T-shirts, jackets, or face masks for delivery staff; brochures and menus to encourage re-orders; cup-holders for hot beverages; napkins; placemats; cutlery pouches; and even beer mats.

Packaging products such as these can easily be ordered online for delivery to you, simply upload your artwork, specify the type of product required and the quantity, and push play. Gone are the days when this is a time consuming and costly process.

Creating Your Delivery Team

When creating your delivery team, you want to be sure that it’s something you should do yourself. Is it preferable to manage the staff, use delivery vans and take out van insurance ni, and take extra care when delivering food locally? Then being in control from beginning to end might work. You’ll lose some of the promotional benefits from being featured with a third-party like Just Eat or Deliveroo, but it’s still worth it for many organisations. Particularly if you prefer to deliver by van or car, not scooter or motorbike.

Getting van insurance ni is important to cover the drivers and the value of the delivery van. Compare NI provide competitive quotes from a range of suitable insurers to get the right coverage for less. The loss of a van through theft or an accident could immediately impact your delivery business, so it pays to get the best insurance. That way, you can get back on your feet quicker.

Think About Ordering Systems

How will customers find the business and order from it? Will you have a website or a mobile app, or both? How will they pay for the food? You may need to arrange a payment processor to work with you and take payments, then pass them to your business bank account. Plan it all out and then test the systems rigorously to ensure it works properly.

Create a Marketing Plan

When you partner with a delivery service, it provides plenty of promotional opportunities to get your brand out to interested potential customers. Orders flow in by merit of being prominent within their app. Customers can filter the local restaurants, cafés, and food services by locality, cuisine type, etc.

However, if you’re going to organise your deliveries, then you don’t benefit from that promotional exposure. In which case, you’ll need to come up with an affordable marketing plan to get the word out locally about what you offer through some catchy flyers, or local digital advertising. If that’s not affordable to do so, then it may be better to rely on third-party delivery services that take their cut instead, at least until there are enough retained earnings to handle promotions too.

While starting a food delivery business is different from other kinds, it’s not an uphill battle. However, it is necessary to be more organised, structured and focused on the task at hand to not mess up.

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