Your delivery representatives are the faces of your company. Your clients will see their faces more than anyone else. You want your deliver representatives to be clean, polished and know your brand (and menu!) During the hiring process make sure they look presentable, have a clean and ironed uniform and that their presence is engaging. If you have a themed restaurant, maybe a barbeque joint, you want your drivers dressed in the same uniform that the rest of your staff is wearing, after all they are wearing your brand.
Remember that your deliver representatives are potential prospectors and lead generators also. When they deliver to large companies and office buildings a great grassroots way of getting new leads is to take pictures of directories in the building lobbies.
They will also be using this time to continue the relationship between your company and the client. Be sure to treat your delivery staff well. You want them to have a positive experience with your company and they will represent you in a positive light in the field. You want your delivery staff to take pride in their job, so let them know they are valued. In turn they will let your clients know that they too are valued. Did you know that there is data to prove that if a client loves the food but isn’t happy with the delivery service they will order less frequently than if they don’t like the food but love the delivery service? You know what this means right? Your delivery staff needs to step it up, this time and every time. They need to set-up each job exactly the same as other similar jobs. For example, the coffee, cups, add-ins need to be set-up the same way every time. Knowing the exact time the client wants to eat is important, do they want to eat their food at 8am or do they want it set-up at 8am? This is important information for your delivery driver to know so make sure these details aren’t slipping through the cracks. And whatever you do, don’t depend on everyone else to make sure things are playing out smoothly in the field.
Your managers play a role, sure, but as an owner you can and should do spot checks every so often. If there’s a regular delivery at a certain company every Tuesday at 8am, show up at 7:45 to check on how your delivery team is doing. In the off-chance your team is late, part of their job is also to communicate clearly with your client. Let’s face facts, there is not a caterer in the world who has a 100% on time record, things happen that are beyond your control; a breakdown, car accident, traffic, an elevator is out of service...it’s life. However, clear communication is absolutely crucial in this business if you’re going to keep your clients. Part of the delivery team’s responsibility is to let the client know they’re going to be late, and obviously they need to call well in advance. Teach your team to calm your client’s fears immediately upon calling, “Hi Karen, this is ABC Catering, your lunch is fine, I have it on the truck right now, however, I’m running about 15m behind.” Perfect! There’s a methodology to this as well, which you would have outlined in your operations manual. As with everything we learn during this process we will reiterate an important philosophy and that is to document EVERYTHING! This includes all of the expectations you have of your delivery driver.
Here’s an example of a random scenario that should be addressed in your Operations Manual; someone on the delivery team has noticed that the salad dressing is missing from a client’s order. What should they do? Well, that simple...they fix it. Anyway, anyhow, they fix it. Perhaps there’s a cafeteria in the building where they could purchase a small amount, or maybe they could run across the street to grab a bottle, there may even be left over dressing from previous orders so check the company fridge...figure it out until the problem is solved. And remember to always keep the client in the loop. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “Excuse me Ms Smith, it looks like the salad dressing was left off the truck this morning, but don’t worry, I’m going to take care of the problem and you’ll have plenty of dressing in time for your lunch.” Now that’s a job well done!
Three Indicators Your Delivery Representative is Doing a Good Job
If the rep discovers something is missing and has been placed on another vehicle. They promptly inform the customer, and proactively takes necessary steps to ensure the issue is resolved.
Here is what they might say:
“I apologize, we had a mix up and your [item] is on another delivery vehicle.
Someone from Taking Responsibility Catering is delivering it as quickly as possible. I estimate that it will arrive in [#] minutes.”
2. Your customers will occasionally let you know: “[Employee name] did a great job getting everything set-up for us. She always takes good care of us.”
3.The representative is consistently in clean uniform, maintains cleanliness of delivery vehicle, checks orders before leaving, and answers all cell calls.
Three Indicators Your Delivery Representative is Not Doing a Good Job
They say to the customer, “I don’t have time to set-up your order — I have a lot of other deliveries and I am running late. Sorry.”
They tend to map their route according to what is most convenient for them rather than what is best for customers.
Is seen smoking in or around a delivery vehicle. Delivering fresh, quality food and smoking do not go together.
Three Suggestions Regarding Your Delivery Representative
1. Have the same representatives deliver to the same companies or area as much as possible. This will give your customers a sense of comfort and strengthens loyalty.
2. Check in with your customers. Ask about the delivery and setup process.
3. Spot-check larger set-ups occasionally. (As in, go to the company and take a look.)
How to Write a Job Ad/Description for Delivery Representatives
- Go to www.indeed.com and search “Catering Delivery Driver.” examples of job ads.
- Review the example below of an ad/description.
- Make sure to include all the pertinent information such as:
- Company (optional)
- Salary Range
- Employment Status (e.g. full or part-time) - Benefits
- Duties & Responsibilities
- Qualifications, Skills & Knowledge
- Driving record qualifications
- Work conditions
SEEKING DYNAMIC DELIVERY REPRESENTATIVES
We are seeking highly motivated, customer-service oriented individuals to become part of our team. Currently, we are accepting applications for Delivery Representatives.
Location: Town, State
Salary Range: $15/hr and gratuities (starting pay) Employment Status: Full Time Schedule: Monday – Friday 6am-2pm *
Benefits: Full benefits package with paid vacation and 401(k)
Duties & Responsibilities
- Demonstrates excellent customer service skills
- Shows willingness to go the “extra mile” to ensure 100% satisfaction - Follows all company policies and procedures
- Checks all orders to make sure they are accurate and complete
- Provides safe, timely delivery order
- Loads/unloads delivery vehicle
- Provide onsite set-up services as required
- Owns and immediately resolves any customer request or issue
In addition to deliveries, a driver will help in the restaurant with the organization of the catering orders, food prep, customer service, bussing, and other duties
Qualifications, Skills & Knowledge
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Valid driver’s license and an acceptable driving record
- Must provide proof of automobile insurance
- Knowledge of the delivery area
- Ability to read a map, use a GPS device and locate addresses
- Ability to communicate effectively with customers
- Excellent customer service skills
- Flexibility to work in the restaurant during lunch rush
- Previous restaurant and or delivery experience is preferred
- Must be fluent in English.
- Able to regularly lift and carry items in excess of 30lbs.
- Driving record must be free of the following violations:
- License revoked or suspended due to moving violation
- Reckless driving
- Speed in excess of 25 mph over posted limit (if reported on Motor Vehicle Report)
- Criminal convictions
- Driving without a license
- Failure to report an accident or making false report to authorities
- Driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol
- Open container violation
- Work Conditions and Hours
*Hours may vary and may include early mornings, late evenings, weekends and/or holidays. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly exposed to outside weather conditions.
Qualities of Highly Effective Delivery Representatives
It is not enough to hire warm-body reps who will simply drop off orders. If you want to build a great reputation for your company, consider these as important qualities for your delivery representatives:
- Have a valid driver’s license with a good record.
- Possess excellent customer service skills.
- Detail oriented and able to multi-task.
- Strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication abilities.
- Proactively solves simple and complex problems.
- Takes initiative, goes beyond expectations.
- Enjoys educating customers about the company and its food options.
- Trustworthy and professional.
- Able to learn and assimilate new information quickly.
- Familiar with your delivery area.
- Perhaps the #1 skill is the ability to evaluate a situation and take proactive action.
Your delivery representatives will encounter problems without black and white solutions. When this happens, it is important that they are able to quickly and accurately evaluate the situation and trouble-shoot on the spot.
Can you recall a time when you had a restaurant server who was cranky, impatient, and/or unknowledgeable about the menu? What should have been an enjoyable dining out experience probably wasn’t because the server was having a bad day. You may not have returned and perhaps you shared the disappointing experience with others. You do not want your delivery representative to have a similar impact on your customers.
Can you recall a time when you had an outstanding server who was patient, polished, and very knowledgeable about the menu? This was likely a very enjoyable experience. You probably have returned regularly and recommended the restaurant to friends.
Take-Away: A LOUSY service experience will ALWAYS be what your customers remember most- everything else will take a backseat.