If you’ve wondered whether your food based business could benefit from using delivery apps, here’s some food for thought.

With so many delivery apps to choose from, it’s never been easier for someone to have a meal, snack or special treat delivered to their door.

If you run a food based business, you might have wondered if it’s time to get your food into the hands (and stomachs) of your customers in a new way, through delivery apps. Here’s your guide to what to consider before you sign up and some handy tips from one of our business advisers, Ali Richards, to help you make the most of delivery apps if you do decide to use them in your small business.

Weigh the benefits and risks

Our SBDC Business Adviser Ali Richards recommends asking yourself these four questions to help decide if delivery apps could be a viable option for your business:

  1. Is your target market likely to use these apps?
  2. Are your products suitable for delivery - or can they be made suitable for delivery?
  3. Does having online delivery options suit your business brand and values?
  4. What are you hoping to achieve? For example, are you primarily a takeaway business who could benefit from multiple platforms and delivery options – or a hospitality business looking to supplement your in-house sales and increase sales during down times?

It’s important to then weigh the benefits and risks of using food delivery apps. According to Ali, the potential benefits of food apps could be more convenience, reaching new customers, expanding your online presence, streamlining your order management and having more access to customer analytics and insights to invest back into growing your business.

On the other hand, delivery apps involve commission fees, loss of quality and brand control through external providers and can also create disruptions for your in-house customers as delivery drivers come and go through your premises.

How to get started

If you decide to go ahead and try out one or more delivery apps, here’s how you could get started.

Do your research

Find out which apps are available in your area and how popular they are, what their delivery radius is, their fee structures and contract terms.

Start small

You could start with a trial of limited items which are only available at certain times, while you learn and streamline your processes.

Know your products

Offer your products or dishes based on what can be packaged to travel well. You could consider combos or bundling items to increase your revenue per customer.


When you’re getting started with a delivery app, ask your friends and family to place orders so you can get their feedback on delivery waiting times, packaging quality and food temperature on arrival.

Photo of SBDC Business Adviser Ali Richards sitting at her desk in the SBDC's office in the Perth CBD.
SBDC Business Adviser Ali Richards.

How to make the most of delivery apps

Using delivery apps could be a great opportunity to showcase your customer service skills and stand out from your competitors. Think about how you can package your items well, add personalised notes or free items in the delivery bag, and communicate with your customers if there is an unusually long delivery delay or certain items are unavailable.

Once you have your processes, products and packaging set up, you can then explore ways to make the most of your delivery app or apps.

Streamline the process

If you are considering using multiple delivery apps, consider a consolidator platform that brings everything together for you to manage in one place.

Make the apps work for you

Take advantage of in-built marketing features to increase your visibility and attract new customers. You might want to use discounts or incentives to encourage repeat business or arrange for promotional prices to apply during times which are usually quiet.

Promote home delivery

Make sure your customers and potential customers know about your new delivery options through your own social media and marketing channels. Take advantage of any delivery app marketing materials which are available to you, such as signage for your door.

Look after your dine-in customers

Depending on the nature and set-up of your business, your in-house customer experience could suffer from noise and constant interruptions. Consider setting up a separate area to keep delivery collections away from your dining customers and keep the noise of delivery apps and notifications down.

Communicate with your delivery customers

Make sure you’re realistic when you set your estimated delivery times and include some extra minutes as a contingency. Sometimes things can go wrong at your premises or once your products are in the hands of your delivery drivers. If something unexpected does happen, keep in touch with your delivery customers to help manage their expectations – and know how to use ‘pause’ times on the apps to avoid getting overwhelmed.

Find out more

As our Business Adviser Ali says, it’s good to consider food delivery apps as just another tool which could help you succeed in business – and it can come down to how you make that tool work for you.

For more help to determine if food delivery apps are right for your business, explore the finance tools on our website to calculate the potential costs and benefits or get in touch with the SBDC's free business advisory service.

Starting and growing
08 April 2024