pizza delivery wait times

Pizza delivery wait times: keep them calling back for more


In the world of pizza delivery, waiting is built into the process. Your custo­mers will wait. But what if you could improve pizza delivery service and transform your pizza team, creating a positive delivery experience?

Wait time: a shift in mindset

Waiting is defined by two very different mindsets:

  1. “To remain neglected for a time.”
  2. “To look forward with eagerness.”

Same word, different mindset. Your new goal is to orient your team so pizza delivery customers experience waiting as looking forward with eagerness. If customers are feeling neglect, your business will suffer. Approach the experience of their wait with a new mindset that could catapult your business into the productivity necessary for sustained success.

Harvard Business School professor David Maister and his research into the science of waiting discovered this: The more valuable the service, the longer the customer will wait. If your pizza is superb and the entire ordering experience is stellar, customers will more likely look forward to receiving it with eagerness and be willing and happy to wait for it.

Creating the worth-the-wait pizza experience

Since pizza delivery customers have no choice but to wait, your challenge is to ensure their wait is positive and worth it. Delaget analyzed over 8 million observations of pizza delivery experiences learning that customer loyalty is retained when pizza is delivered within 35 minutes of placing the order. Consider all the moving pieces that need to come together to ensure a pizza arrives within 35 minutes. When brand loyalty is at stake, orienting all those moving pieces is of utmost importance.

The longer a customer waits, the unhappier they become which, in turn, negatively affects their loyalty to a brand. A study by Wonjae Lee and Carolyn U. Lambert revealed that as each minute of perceived wait time increased, customer satisfaction decreased by nearly 19 percent. After 57 minutes of waiting, you lose 80 percent of customer loyalty and after 63 minutes of waiting you lose 100 percent.

6 tips for a revenue-boosting pizza delivery experience

1. Hire the best:

Your delivery people are the most personal point-of-contact your customers may ever experience with your business. They are doing more than moving pizza from point A to point B. They are walking and talking: customer service reps, brand ambassadors, and customer satisfaction surveyors. Hire the best because their work ethic can influence your customer loyalty.

2. Repeat the messaging:

Positively repeat clear goals to your team. It’s Marketing 101 and it works: the power of repetition to ensure messages are heard and absorbed. Choose three main goals for your pizza delivery team (from the person receiving the order, to the staff preparing the order, to the person delivering the order) and positively repeat those goals. Short, positive, repeatable messages that embed in the mind of your staff might sound like this:

  1. Be friendly. Work efficiently. Deliver quickly.
  2. Be nice. Be good. Be quick.
  3. Smart. Swift.
  4. Best service. Best kitchen. Best delivery.
  5. Do it nice. Do it well. Do it rapidly.

3. Outfit the kitchen:

People do some of their best work in thoughtful environments. Grant Schofield, an area coach, trained teams to understand what a ready make table was. “Many teams thought having sauce and cheese done was ready, when in reality they needed to make sure they were also ready with:

  1. back-ups
  2. full shakers
  3. done dishes
  4. paper-stocked registers

The make table is the engine of the store—if it isn’t efficient, speedy deliveries won’t work.” Outfit the kitchen because a well-planned make table means well-made pizza and more loyal customers.

4. Create urgency:

For a pizza delivery order to be received with a kind voice, created with efficiency, and delivered swiftly, urgency must be instilled in your staff. Urgency during rush periods, yes, but also a sense of urgency during each daypart.

Creating urgency signals to customers they’re being cared for.

5. Track the progress:

Receiving, reading, understanding, and shifting practices based on performance reports like Delaget Coach can positively impact pizza delivery times. Delaget Coach is a helpful tool for improving pizza delivery times because you can see stats broken down by day part – and view on-time service rates for dining room, carry out, and delivery.

If you work with the data, the data will work for you. Track the progress so you can identify ways to improve your customers’ experience.

6. Thank the heroes:

Gratitude for work done well goes a long way in the restaurant world. Maintain thankfulness towards your crew.

Thank the heroes because appreciated staff work with more efficiency and happiness, which spills over to your customers.

Shorter wait time = more moola $$.

In terms of profits, Delaget analysts report that the average annual revenue for each pizza customer is $520. By keeping pizza customers waiting longer than 35 minutes when they feel neglected and begin the process of moving away from loyalty, brands risk losing at least $400 each year per customer.

There is no way a pizza delivery customer will not have a wait. Knowing how to create a waiting experience that will have customers looking forward with eagerness by implementing these tips, will orient your business towards success.

calling back for more


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