How to start a food delivery business

Written by allison dodge
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The last decade has seen a huge increase in the amount of food delivered to people’s homes. While originally pizza places where the major food businesses that delivered, other restaurants have followed suit due to the financial opportunities that exist through food delivery. Some restaurants don’t offer delivery options, however, and you may be able to capitalise on this by learning how to start a food delivery business.

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  1. 1

    Determine how your delivery business will be set up and run. Some food delivery businesses simply order and deliver from restaurants in a particular city or neighbourhood. Others actually make the food themselves and deliver it.

  2. 2

    Register your business. Once you have determined how your business will operate it is important that you get it registered. You can get an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS. This serves as the identifying number for your business on all forms and documents. At the state level, you can register your business to collect sales tax on the products or services you provide to customers. You may also need to register with your local government depending upon your local law.

  3. 3

    Get a license from your health department if needed. Some states require that companies transporting food need a license, while all states dictate that any company making and producing food needs a food license. You can determine what applies to you by contacting the health department in your county or your state’s department of health.

  4. 4

    Establish relationships with restaurants to deliver their food. If you choose to simply deliver restaurant food to customers rather than make food yourself, it is important that you gain the permission and OK of the restaurant to serve as its delivery service. Failing to do this could result in a lawsuit if the company believes you are profiting from using its name and products in association with your business.

  5. 5

    Advertise your business. There are a number of different ways that you can get the word out about the services you provide to prospective customers. You should consider the demographics of the city or neighbourhood you are targeting when considering what advertising methods might be most effective.

  6. 6

    Hire staff. While you can start out serving as the sole driver for your company, you will need to hire additional staff as the demand for services provided by your company grows. You will need to decide whether you require drivers that have their own transportation and insurance or if you provide company vehicles for them to use.

Tips and warnings

  • If you provide transportation for drivers, you are required to provide insurance for them and the vehicles they operate. Your insurance company may require you to only hire drivers that are 21 and older.
  • Regardless of whether you provide transportation for drivers or require them to provide their own you should ensure that each one has a driver’s license.

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