Tips for a food delivery business

Updated April 17, 2017

When you consider the cost of ordering food out versus cooking it at home, a delivery food business can appear to be a lucrative investment. Many budding culinary businesspeople have got their start working delivery and catering services, but there are some important things to consider when setting up a new food delivery business.


Delivery food must differ from fast food because it must have a slightly longer shelf life than fast food. While fast food is meant to be consumed immediately, delivery food must survive the trip to the delivery location and arrive in delicious condition. Thus, the delivery service must provide equipment that keeps the food at its proper temperature so it is appetizing and ready to eat when it arrives. The delivery market is often well-saturated in urban areas. In addition to small delivery food shops run by independent owners, many corporations offer delivery food such as pizza, pasta, salad and sandwiches. To survive in a market already saturated with food options, you must serve food that is different from the daily delivery fare. Options to consider to make your delivery food business unique include ethnic cuisine, health food and novelty foods.


It is important to deliver the food promptly and at the time that was agreed upon, so your company's staff must have a punctual attitude. Choose your location wisely based on the demand for delivery food in the surrounding area. Delivering food costs gasoline, vehicle maintenance and manpower. The more remote the delivery location, the higher the cost to deliver the food. Set your prices and delivery boundaries accordingly.


Formulate a unique menu that will set you apart from other delivery businesses in the area. Set your prices high enough so that you make a profit over the cost of the item, including food costs, electricity, rent and manpower to prepare food and clean up the cooking area. Determine your company's minimum order for delivery. The minimum order should be enough profit to cover the cost of gas to drive to the delivery area. You may want to consider adding a delivery surcharge, which is often a flat fee added to the cost of an order.

The Customer

When designing operations for any business, it is important to consider the customer's point of view. Think about what your customers might want to have, and consider what is missing in your local area. You are a customer yourself, so if you build the kind of business that is attractive to you and your social group, other people with similar tastes will appreciate the business as well. If something would make you angry as a customer patronising another delivery business, avoid doing it in your own business. Observe the practices of other food delivery businesses that are successful and operate ethically, and try to improve upon what they do.

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About the Author

Heather Bliss has been writing professionally since 1998, specializing in technology, computer repair, gardening, music and politics. Bliss holds an Associate of Arts in journalism from Moorpark College. She also has a Bachelor of Arts from California State University, San Marcos, completed with a focus on music and performing arts technology.