How Do I Open Food Delivery Near Me( Read This)

Food delivery near me

Food delivery near me: Food-delivery businesses are a popular and fast-growing field.

These businesses typically thrive in college towns, large cities, or other areas where large populations of adults are willing to pay to have food from restaurants delivered to them.

The basic business model for this type of business is to approach local restaurants and ask to deliver their food, then charge a small commission for your company’s profit.

Build a small fleet of delivery drivers, and set up a website or app that your clients can use to order.

Strategizing and Registering Your Business

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Structure your business as an LLC to protect your finances.

There are a variety of ways to structure a small business, but an LLC is one of the most common since it allows you to keep personal finances and business finances separate.
To form your LLC, you’ll need to file “Articles of Incorporation” with your state’s secretary of state.

Also, make sure that your company’s name ends in “LLC” and open a bank account under the company’s name.

  • Most LLCs are “member-managed,” meaning that all of the LLC’s owners take an equal share in managing the company.
  • If you were to not structure your business as an LLC, the bank (or other debtors) could come after your personal finances and savings if your business went bankrupt.

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Find a source to finance your business if necessary.

When you’re starting up your business, you may need financing in order to purchase delivery vehicles, rent office space, and pay for insurance and permits.

If this is the case, finance your business by taking out a bank loan. Or, see if you can find prospective investors who may be interested in a chunk of your company’s future stock.

  • On the other hand, if you have several thousand dollars in savings and plan to start with just 2–3 drivers (with their own vehicles) and yourself, you probably don’t need any financing.

Select a catchy name that will stick in your customers’ minds.

You only get 1 chance to name your business, so make sure to select a name that describes your company. The name itself should also clue people into some of your business’s selling points.

A clever name is also a great way to set yourself apart from some of your competitors.

  • For instance, if you want to alert potential customers to your affordably-priced meals, use a word like “affordable” or “budget” in your company name.
  • Avoid bland or forgettable names like “Chicago Lunch Delivery.” Instead, try something snappier, like, “On-Time People Food Delivery,” “Sandwich in a Crunch Delivery,” or “Fine Dining 2 You Food Delivery.”

Register your business with your state and local governments.

Before you can begin conducting any business, you’ll need to register your delivery company.

Specifically, you need to register the business name with your local (and maybe state) government. If you live in the U.S., start the registration process by visiting the website for the secretary of state for the state you reside in.

  • You’ll also need to register to obtain a federal tax ID number.
  • Registering your business name prevents others from using it. Registration also ensures that you’ll receive legal and tax benefits as well as personal liability protection.

Buy general liability insurance and any other kinds your state requires.

Nearly all large insurance companies offer general liability business insurance.

Speak to a representative from the company of your choice and ask them what level of insurance you’re required to have in order to comply with state guidelines.

  • Besides general liability, many states also require that you obtain workers’ compensation insurance to protect the livelihoods of your employees.

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Obtain the required permits and licenses to operate in your state.

If you live in the U.S., the licenses and permits you’ll need in order to run a food-delivery business will vary from state to state.
The state permits you need will also with your business’s location and activities.

Figure out which permits and licenses you’ll need by checking out your state’s secretary of state website.

  • Your insurance company representative should also be able to advise you regarding the permits you’ll need to file for.
  • There may also be various fees associated with obtaining the permits and licenses.
  • Unless you’re planning to deliver alcoholic beverages, you shouldn’t need to obtain any federal licenses.

Calculate an operating budget for your delivery business.

 Add up all of your business’s prospective expenditures, including renting office space (if applicable), driver salaries, insurance, and gas/vehicle costs.
Offset these by calculating your business’s prospective income.

Figure out how much money you can afford to spend on a monthly basis without going into the red. You can further break the budget up by separating necessary expenses (e.g., rent) from optional expenses (e.g., extra advertising) and finding ways to spend less on the optional expenses.

  • As with any kind of business startup, you won’t begin turning a profit right away. It may take a couple of years.
  • Broadly speaking, startup costs for a food-delivery business average between $3,000-$25,000 USD. In most cases, this money will need to come out of your pocket.
  • Also factor your employees’ salaries into your budget. While you may start out paying delivery drivers minimum wage, advertising and graphic-design specialists will need salaries. Do some research online to calculate reasonable salary amounts that exceed the annual cost of living in your area.

Partnering and Arranging Deliveries

Cater to a specific market and demographic that you’d like to work with.

Consider your potential client base. This will influence the type of restaurants that you approach about delivering their food.
If you’re undecided, drive around the area you live in and take note of the types of restaurants—and restaurant clients—that you see.
Especially when you’re first starting out, it makes sense to capitalize on the food markets that are already in place.

This will also help you find a niche for your business, rather than attempting to serve too broad of a market. For example, ask yourself things like:

  • Do you want to sell cheap eats to hungry college kids? Or would you rather deliver gourmet meals to upscale townhome residents? Alternately, would you prefer to deliver affordable lunches to businesspeople in an office-heavy district?

Map out the delivery area that you’d like to serve.

Whether you live in a large city or are delivering in a rural area, you’ll need to decide on a reasonably-sized delivery area.
Clients will expect your company to deliver their food promptly (within, say, 15–30 minutes).

So you can start by setting a 15-minute radius around your delivery headquarters. Pick 2 or 3 neighborhoods and expand from there.

  • Honing in on 1 or 2 specific parts of town is a great way to build a niche for your business. Even if people across town haven’t heard of your company, people in the neighborhoods you cater to will be familiar with your delivery service!
  • You can also decide on a delivery area based on the location of the people you hope to deliver to. For example, if you’ll deliver fast lunches to busy business people, look into focusing on densely-concentrated business centers or corporate campuses.
  • Or, if you want to deliver late-night food to college kids, center your deliveries around student housing and affordable apartments in student-heavy areas of town.

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Meet with restaurant managers to discuss delivery partnerships.

Start small by selecting 2 or 3 local restaurants that you think would appeal to your target audience. Ideally, the restaurants should be centrally located within your delivery area.
Call and ask to meet with the manager. When you meet, explain that you’re starting a food-delivery business to a lucrative audience and that you’d like to deliver their food.

Explain to the managers that you won’t be taking money from them; rather, you’ll be establishing a partnership that should increase their profits.

  • For example, if you’re focusing on an upscale audience, start out by delivering food from a local 3- and 4-star restaurants. Avoid reaching out to chain restaurants, and instead, focus on a diverse representation of your city’s fine dining.
  • Make it clear to the restaurants that your company holds many of the same values that their does. For example, explain that your company cares about healthy food access and food sustainability.
  • Also ask each manager for a copy of the restaurant’s menu to post on your website.

Set a reasonable commission to receive on each order delivered.

Food-delivery businesses make money by receiving a commission from the orders they deliver.

But, the restaurants still need to make money off of the food they sell.

When you sit down with each restaurant manager.

Hash out a commission amount that will let you keep your business afloat but not keep the restaurant from making profits.

Try calculating various commission percentages based on the total amount of sales you hope to make in 1 month.

  • The restaurant itself will pay the commission to your food-delivery business.
  • For example, you may figure out that a 15% commission allows both you and the restaurant(s) to turn a profit.
  • On the other hand, a 20% commission might cut too deeply into the restaurant’s profits and a 10% commission might not allow your company to balance its budget.

Choose a flat-rate delivery fee to charge customers on all orders.

A flat-rate delivery fee, paid by your customers, will help your business turn a profit and can be used to pay your drivers.

Select a low enough dollar amount that won’t deter customers from ordering food in the first place! Setting a delivery fee of $5–7 USD would be a good starting point.

  • It would also be wise to set a minimum order amount.
  • For example, you could require that customers pay at least $15 USD for their delivered meal.

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Designate a location to serve as the hub of your delivery business.

 Your business will need to have a headquarters, from which you can dispatch drivers and to which they’ll return after each delivery.
It’s fine if this location is initially in your garage or out of the back of your apartment.
However, as the company grows, be on the lookout for cheap office space or a cheap storefront to rent.

This will allow you to expand and grow the business.

  • Specify this primary location on your business cards and website so your customers know roughly where you’re based.
  • As your company grows, you can also set up offices for on-site personnel who aren’t directly associated with food delivery (e.g., web specialists and advertisers).

Hire delivery drivers who can start delivering food to clients.

Delivery drivers will form the backbone of your delivery company.

So you’ll need to hire several before you can start delivering food.

When you bring in the prospective drivers to interview them, make sure that each of the drivers has their own car and a legal driver’s license.

Ask the prospective hires about their availability, and make sure they understand that the majority of their working hours would fall on nights and weekends.

  • It would also be wise to run a background check on each of the drivers to make sure they don’t have a criminal history.
  • If you’re a student or live in a college town, try posting “Help Wanted” ads in your student or local newspaper.
  • If you’d like to hire more drivers—say, 20–30 people—post a job ad online in forums like Indeed and Monster to attract many applicants.

Post job ads and hire people to fill other key company positions.

Your food-delivery business will need an accountant to handle financial issues and a graphic-design specialist to come up with a company logo and design the website.

As your driver base grows, you may need someone to oversee all of the drivers and manage their schedules, and someone to handle PR with the restaurants. 

Try posting job ads online through LinkedIn, Monster, and Indeed to find qualified individuals to hire.

  • If you’re starting the business out as a tiny, at-home operation, you may be able to fill all of these positions by yourself initially. However, the sooner you hire other employees, the faster your business will be able to grow and profit.

Delivering Food and Advertising Your Business

Develop a website that lets users select a restaurant and purchase food.

When your business is first starting out, the website can be straightforward.

It should clearly present the different restaurant options whose food your business can deliver.

After users select an option, the website can present the delivery options, each marked clearly with a price tag.

Then, let users select their delivery address and entire their payment info to conclude each order. Design your website so that it’s visually appealing and user-friendly.

  • If you don’t know anything about coding, don’t worry.
  • There is plenty of website hosting pages that let you build websites for free.
  • Check out options like Wix and WordPress.

Create a companion app that functions similarly to the website.

Many users—especially younger people—prefer to order their food via an app, rather than using a web browser.

It’s okay if you launch your business without the app in place, but aim to get the app up and running within the first 6 months.

Like the webpage, the app should allow customers to select their restaurant and food options, input a delivery address, and pay using a credit card.

  • The Apple and Android app stores are the most popular, so start by making your app available in those markets. Let users download the app for free at first. Once your business starts turning a profit and becomes well known, you can charge for the app if you like.

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Establish pickup and delivery workflows for incoming orders.

The workflow process should be streamlined and set in stone before you start taking orders.

Once a customer places an order online, someone from your business will need to call the respective restaurant and place the order.

Then, dispatch a driver to pick up the food and deliver it to the customer.

  • If the restaurants you’re working with have sophisticated-enough computer systems, you may also be able to link their computers with the app and website directly.
  • This will save you (or another employee) from having to relay customers’ orders over the phone.

Market your business through social media accounts.

Social media is a great—and free—way to spread the word about your up-and-coming food-delivery business. Start with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Reach out and like, follow, and friend people you know on all 3 platforms.

Then, start posting! You can post pictures of your drivers, photos of tasty-looking meals, and screenshots of your website.

  • Invite customers to leave positive reviews of your business in the “Comments” section of Facebook and Instagram to build up your online credibility.
  • You could also advertise your business in local papers, or create a radio ad to air on local stations.

Advertise your business through flyers and physical mailers.

Online advertising is great, but you should have physical ads as well.

Print out flyers and staple or tape them to telephone poles throughout the neighborhoods you’d like to deliver food to.

Also, try plastering your company’s logo all over your delivery containers and menus!

  • Consider printing stickers that have your company’s name or logo on them, and placing 1 or 2 in each delivery bag.

Post ads at the locations of restaurants you’ve partnered with.

As long as you’re already in business with 2–3 restaurants around town, take advantage of their store space by putting up ads.

For example, pin a few flyers on the store bulletin board.

Or, ask the store if they can paint their windows to display your company’s logo or name.

You could even see if the store would be willing to pass out your fliers with every order they sell.

  • Of course, make sure to get the store manager’s permission before putting up any ads.

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Place advertisements in local community papers and newsletters.

You want to get your company’s advertisements in front of as many people’s eyes as possible. Community newsletters and locally-circulated papers are great venues to use.

They’re cheaper to advertise in than widely-circulated papers.

Plus, you can target your advertisements to the specific areas you’d like to deliver food to.

  • For example, say you often deliver breakfasts and lunches to a large corporate campus.
  • Reach out to the campus administrator and find out if they have an employee newsletter that you could place an ad in.

Food delivery near me

More tips

  • Try thinking of a clever slogan to make your business more memorable and set it apart from the competition.
  • For example, if you want your business to be known for having personable delivery drivers, the slogan could be, “Service with a smile!”

  • Streamline the delivery process by having drivers pick up 2-3 orders at a time, as long as their delivery times don’t lag.

  • Encourage your customers to tip their delivery drivers.
  • It’s common courtesy, and will also help offset the drivers’ wages if you can’t afford to pay them much at the beginning.

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