Pizza delivery is pretty much synonymous with most pizza restaurants. In fact, for some 80% of pizzerias, pizza and delivery go hand-in-hand. Americans spend nearly $10 billion on delivered-to-the-door pizza every year and while not having a delivery service is now deemed a bad move for business, having a poor delivery system in place is even worse. Customers ordering food are eager to dig into their pizza as soon as possible. If their delivery is either delayed or inaccurate it can completely ruin customer experience and make them think twice about ordering from your restaurant next time.

Offering a delivery service requires constant attention and a commitment to ongoing monitoring to ensure customer satisfaction. As the old saying goes, what gets measured gets managed and in today’s competitive delivery world, there are certain performance metrics you should be tracking and evaluating to understand your delivery performance, help you can catch negative trends and identify areas that require improvement.

A POS system designed for pizza and delivery can make life a lot easier. With a modern POS system you can capture a wealth of information and use the metrics provided to help fine tune your delivery operations and get your customers returning for more. So what key delivery performance metrics should you be looking at?

Promise Time: How long is too long? While Delaget data shows that the average customer will remain loyal to a brand if pizza is delivered within 35 minutes, it is very easy to lose business by giving inaccurate delivery times. As little as +/- 5 minutes can make a big difference. If the time you quote customers is inaccurate, it can be the source of late deliveries and customer dissatisfaction, even for a very efficient operation. Set clear expectations. It’s very important that the initial prediction is highly accurate and that any delays are communicated effectively.

Out-The-Door or OTD Time: If it isn’t already apparent, time is critical in the pizza delivery business. In fact, speed of delivery is the biggest variable in customer satisfaction, with an average 60% of consumers across markets citing it as a key factor. Out-the-door (OTD) time tells you how long it took from the time the customer’s order was entered in the POS until it was assigned to a driver. If this is too long, you may have a problem with kitchen efficiency, or with kitchen or driver staffing. Similar to Promise Time, set clear expectations. Specific delivery responsibilities should be assigned to the kitchen staff and delivery drivers. Delivery drivers should be well versed in their coverage area and kitchen staff should know who is charge of bagging the orders so that they are accurate and ready to go.

Average On-Road Time: Once the order is out for delivery and on its way to the customer you should keep track of how long it takes for it to reach its destination. Does it arrived at its quoted promised time? If this metric is too high, you may have miscalculated your Promise Time or OTD target, or it may even be that drivers are taking more orders than they can deliver in the time quoted. If the latter is the case, most modern POS systems will allow you to control this by specifying the maximum number of orders a driver can be assigned at once in order to meet your set Promise Time keeping your hungry customers satisfied.

Customer Reviews: While this might be a little more tedious to track and analyse, online reviews nowadays can be a critical factor affecting if and why consumers frequent your pizzeria. According to a 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey conducted by BrightLocal, only a very small minority (9%) do not read online reviews. The research found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, 58% look at overall star rating when judging reviews, 59% look at two to three review sites before making a decision, and seven out of 10 said they would leave a review if they were asked.

Online reviews are now important when it comes to developing and maintaining a positive reputation – even negative reviews, when managed correctly, have the potential to leave a good impression as they can show that you are dedicated to resolving issues customer may have. Not only that but they’ve also been shown to directly impact your bottom line. A study by Harvard Business School found that an increase of just one-star rating on Yelp could lead to a 9% revenue increase for a restaurant.

So identify which sites are most relevant to your business, and respond to reviews, both good and bad. Maintaining a higher rating will mean that customers would be more likely to order from you and keeping track of what customers are saying about you online will allow you to identify any issues and improve your service.

In summary, when it comes to delivery, the number of pizzas sold by your business depends on how quickly they can be made and delivered. The key to improving your delivery program is to continually monitor performance, measure results and take action to bridge gaps, tweak standards, and adjust work structures as necessary.