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How to Start and Grow Your Own Food Delivery Business in the UK

For many years, restaurants offered food home delivery as a bonus service or showed it as a luxury only a few can afford. But with the advent of food delivery and logistic service providers like Uber Eats, the tables have turned.

Today, every restaurant startup wants to capitalise on the food delivery trend and be toe-to-toe with its competitors. For the same, they are adopting newer cloud kitchens or renting models to save money and streamline their services.

However, starting and growing your food delivery business in this competitive market is tough. This is because just like any signature dish, you want to stand out from the crowd to establish your food delivery business as a go-to brand.

But what exactly is a food delivery business and why is it a good idea?

Let’s talk more about the basics first before getting into how to start a food delivery business:

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What is a Food Delivery Business?

In simple terms, food delivery is a business where restaurants, cafes, pizzeria, or third-party logistic providers deliver food from restaurants to customers. This on-demand business has quite caught on these days thanks to the digital revolution.

This model can be expanded to include cooked dishes, groceries, catering, or wholesale. The orders are placed either from a mobile application or web platform and are delivered to the doorstep of designated customers.

Food delivery apps are vital to offering convenience and flexibility to users for ordering food online. In this article, we’ll also talk about how to develop a food delivery app like UberEats, but for now, let’s understand why such a business model is great.

Why Starting a Food Delivery Business is a Good Idea?

Before doing anything, you first need to research and validate that starting a restaurant take-out food business is a good idea.

There are several reasons that out of the top make food delivery business a good idea. It offers simplicity, convenience, lower operating costs, profitability, and many other perks too.

Here are a few more reasons that make the food delivery business a great idea in the UK:

  • According to the official UK statistics, over 19% of the UK population is aged over 65, and 2-4% of the population is projected to have aged over 85. Thus, a food delivery business that caters to the needs of such people seems lucrative.

  • As per a Soil Association report, the organic food market in the UK has shown a 5.2% year-on-year growth and is worth more than £3 bn. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to start an organic food delivery business.

How to Launch and Grow Your Food Delivery Business?

Now that we know why starting a restaurant take out food business is a great idea, let’s get to know how to start one:

#1. Select a Business Model

Before you take any step, it’s important to decide on what model you’ll want to base your food delivery business. There are several trending food delivery businesses in the UK picking up the pace slowly.

For instance, you can open a grocery kit, DIY meal kit, cooked food, etc.

Each model has its own strengths and USPs that will help you grow your business and expand your brand in the market. It’ll determine how you run your business, rent your kitchen and promote your brand.

Also, the way you choose to receive and accept orders can influence your business growth. Will you partner with a food delivery and logistics provider? Or will you build your own delivery services & network?

Also, finalise how you are going to set up your kitchen or food store. Will it be…

  • Delivery only kitchens
  • Catering kitchens
  • Food production units
  • Or any other…

#2. Market Research

Once you decide on your business model, you need to carry out thorough market research to find what works and what doesn’t. You also want to think of what niche to get into and how it will make your business profitable.

You’ll also want to keep a close eye on your competitors and the factors that give them an edge over others. Further, research your target audience & their preferences to determine what food they consume and where they live.

Also, find what’s the most popular and profitable choices of foods and the location that can impact your business greatly. Since you have only one chance to start and grow your business, you want to make it as impactful and strong as possible.

#3. Decide Locations to Serve

The biggest benefit of extensive research is that it helps you find an ideal location to rent your kitchen and determine the delivery radius.

Doing so will help you narrow down on what locations to serve for the high growth of your food delivery business. After knowing how to start a food delivery business, what locations you’ll serve influences the number of orders you receive and sales you make.

Moreover, if you plan to partner with third-party delivery service providers, you want to ensure your locations are serviceable by them.

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#4. Prepare the Menu for Delivery

Preparing an optimised menu for delivery is one of the crucial tasks of starting a restaurant take out food business. Here, you need to utilise the market research data and prepare a menu with popular food choices of your niche.

Once you have a list of items to include in your menu, prepare a trial menu. Doing so helps you record the response of your users and the online food orders they make from your restaurant.

This helps you improve your menu further, minimise wastage and control the stock by keeping your menu simple with limited offerings. No doubt, you can expand the menu to a variety of other dishes once you accomplish your initial goals.

#5. Rent an Office/Kitchen Space

Another vital step of how to start a food or take out delivery business is to find a suitable kitchen space on rental. You also want to set up a kitchen with best-in-class yet sustainable kitchen equipment.

Renting kitchen space and equipment will be an affordable option for food delivery businesses in the startup phase. However, it may not always be a viable option but can prove to be cost-efficient during the initial set-up phase.

#6. Build a Food Delivery App

Food delivery app development is critical and the best decision you’ll ever make. It’s a critical stick that helps you climb the ladder to start a restaurant take-out food business.

Building an app can streamline the food ordering process for your target audience and lure them in to try your food. Moreover, thanks to the increased demand for take-out amid COVID-19, people have chosen to order food using mobile apps.

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Since apps offer convenience and transparency to your users, it has become a preferred choice. Also, the biggest advantage of building a food delivery app is it has a high rate of return visits as your app is just moments away.

The only point of concern is the cost to build a food delivery app, which can be taken away if you outsource it to a cost-effective company like Intelivita.

#7. Get Your Delivery Operations Up & Running

Once you have set up everything from preparing a menu to building food delivery app ideas, the only thing that remains is to get everything up & running. You need to ensure everything works as it’s supposed to.

Here’s a checklist to ensure all your food delivery operations are up and running:

  • Check for reliable internet
  • Have sufficient delivery containers and bags
  • Optimise the preparation time for top-selling food items
  • Take care of extra stock for weekends
  • Set up contactless payment options
  • Apart from these, there are several other operations you must keep tabs on.

#8. Promote Your Food Delivery Services

Last but not least is to promote your food delivery business by utilising strategic promotional channels. Social media and other online channels are the best places to promote your food delivery business.

They hold a key to building a solid web presence as it helps you come out of the completely hidden public eye. A powerful promotion strategy for your food delivery business will also help you target the right audience.

What else you can do is create promotional videos, showcase your USPs & signature dishes, run display ads, and encourage social followers to post pictures with your meals.

Final Thoughts

Times have changed as people today choose their homes for spending leisure time rather than socialise in pubs and restaurants. This enables them to choose the kind of food they want to eat without going through the hassle of cooking.

This presents a perfect opportunity to start a restaurant take out food business. Here, we have discussed how to start a food delivery business in detail from choosing a business model to preparing a menu, promoting and everything in between.

However, the most crucial part of running a food delivery business is building a mobile app. Building an app requires an adept team of developers with rich industry experience and exposure.

Intelivita has a qualified team of mobile app developers with ironclad proficiency to build the most elegant, modern, and scalable apps.

Contact us to consult our subject matter experts for all your food delivery app development requirements.

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Oliver Baker

Oliver Baker is a co-founder of Intelivita, a leading Web and Mobile App Development Company based in Leeds, UK. Oliver has been at the forefront of the business, expanding it globally and into new technologies including iOS and Android, AR, VR and Mobile Game applications. Oliver excels in Project Management, Leadership, Quality Assurance and Problem Solving and has qualifications with Prince2 and APM. He aims to develop his skills further through a shared interest with other leaders in the Software Markets and the Clients of Intelivita.

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