Business Builders

Creative Solutions

Takeout Window Growth

When restaurateur Maria Fox originally moved into her present location, she eliminated delivery in favor of installing a drive-up takeout window alongside the building. However, during the pandemic, the window has been a godsend which has helped sales steadily grow. Perhaps because many locals still feel uncomfortable about entering public spaces, this safefeeling version of “curbside pickup” continues attracting 20 new customers weekly. And thanks to Maria’s greattasting food, many return as regulars!

Maria Fox, Owner Pizza Ria’s Too Thurston, OH


Solving Limited Labor

To get more done with fewer employees, Scott Anthony has shortened business hours and closed one day per week to better match available labor to when customer demand (and sales) are highest. He has also encouraged his regulars to order online, thereby freeing team members from less-productive phone duty. Similarly, Scott is keeping close tabs on rising wages and ingredient costs and has successfully adjusted his menu prices three times this year to keep up with unavoidable increases. As a result, Scott’s unit sales and profits are actually tracking ahead of 2019 prepandemic levels!

Scott Anthony, Owner Punxy Pizza Punxsutawney, PA


Secrets to Delivery Success

If you are short delivery drivers, reducing delivery range may increase driver pay, boost food quality, and help you profitably deliver more orders per hour. Similarly, avoiding “multi-destination” deliveries can boost quality, service, and better distribute driver earning power.


Boost Driver Pay by Limiting Range

Because drivers typically earn more in tips than base wages, this restaurateur limits her maximum delivery distance to 15 minutes round trip. That keeps her drivers delivering (and earning tips) at least four times hourly.

Between a state-mandated minimum wage and four $5 tips per hour, most of her drivers consistently earn more than $30 per hour. As a result, the labor shortage has not limited her ability to attract and keep dependable drivers.

To identify exactly which neighborhoods to include within her service area, she uses a mapping app with a “drive-time” function to chart how far from the store drivers can get within 7 minutes.


Banning Daisy-Chain Deliveries

Allowing drivers to daisy-chain multiple destinations into a single delivery run may seem more efficient. But this restaurateur found the opposite to be true.

In addition to promoting “tip hogging” by drivers, combining multiple destinations guaranteed late deliveries (and reduced food quality) for the 2nd and 3rd stops. Studying actual deliveries also revealed that combo deliveries also frequently lengthened total driving time due to inefficient routing between destinations vs. straight out and back to the store.

Insisting on 100% “single destination” deliveries has improved service speed, boosted food quality, and customer satisfaction. It also distributes “earning power” more evenly across her drivers, promoting greater driver retention.