As we step into the new year, the food delivery landscape continues to evolve. Here’s a few trends that I believe will shape the food delivery landscape in 2024, presenting significant opportunities for the industry. 

 

Meal Kits Are Making a Comeback  

Projected to reach an astounding £247bn by 2040, meal kits are witnessing a significant resurgence. An increasing number of our partners including the likes of Kricket are expanding their services to include nationwide delivery, offering not just meal kits but a variety of items ideal for gifting. We anticipate this demand will continue to grow as restaurants broaden their horizons beyond last-mile delivery. This is particularly relevant for key gifting occasions like Valentine’s Day. Research indicates that 8 in 10 people prefer celebrating at home, presenting an ideal opportunity for customers to indulge in unique dining experiences delivered right to their doorstep.

 

Office Perks 

We’re seeing more and more businesses encouraging employees to come into the office regularly and they’re using great food as a tool to do this. Be it free Doughnuts on a Friday or a team lunch once a week, office catering is a booming sector. In 2023, Just Eat reported a 56% growth in this type of ordering and many of our partners, like B Bagel and Dom’s Subs, are benefiting from this trend. Corporate clients want to order directly from restaurants in bulk, but the people making the orders don’t want to deal with endless back and forth on email or holding on the phone, so digital solutions, like Slerp, are key to this growing trend. 

 

The End of DIY Last Mile Delivery

Over 90% of restaurateurs consider marketplace pricing to be unfair. But we’re still seeing many restaurants link to Deliveroo or Uber Eats from their own website rather than offer a direct delivery solution. Why is this? Because doing last mile delivery is often too hard when you try to do it all yourself. It involves several different elements that need to work together seamlessly. Balancing customer delivery enquiries alongside in-house diners whilst managing couriers or hiring your own drivers is a lot to think about. 

Restaurants don’t avoid direct delivery because it’s hard to get the customers. We know that the average customer only orders from a small number of restaurants on any platform, so moving them to order directly isn’t that hard, it’s managing those deliveries and offering a high quality experience that is. 

This is where we stand out, and where other Direct Platforms need to step up. In 2024, we need to show that offering a direct delivery channel is just as simple as being on a marketplace, and then it will really become a no-brainer for every restaurant out there. 

One way we did this in 2023 is with our live customer service team managing partner deliveries, but also communicating with their customers. We handle everything from courier assignments to customer refunds, and we’re proud to have 97% positive feedback. Since launching this, we’ve actually reduced the number of refunds issued by our partner restaurants by 30%, saving them thousands of pounds each month and we are just getting started. 

The post-Christmas season may seem less busy, but for hospitality, the start of the new year is bustling with opportunities for delivering gifts and catering. 

Last year, for example, we saw a 42% increase in orders with our partners around Valentine’s day. How did they do it? Aside from promoting offers ahead of these events, our partners used some great and simple tactics to boost their order value with success. We’ve compiled a list to inspire you to think about delivery, or, if you already have an online presence, optimising your online deliveries:

 

Add a vegan section during Veganuary

Over 700,000 people took part in Veganuary last year. After a meat-heavy Christmas, customers are looking for a lighter, veggie centric month. Adding a vegan section to your online menu makes the ordering experience easier and reduces cart abandonment.

 

Offer bundles for Valentine’s Day

8 in 10 people prefer to stay at home, making online ordering vital for taking advantage of the occasion. Offering meal kits, hampers and bundles that target couples ensures catering efficiency for both your on premise and online customers.

 

Add gift wrapping for Mothers Day

Aside from Christmas, this is one of the biggest gifting occasions of the year. Adding gift wrapping options and notes is an excellent way to increase the average order value – one of our partners made over £30K last year simply by doing this.

 

Promote limited edition specials for Easter

The perfect excuse to create some delicious easter themed goods. Making them limited edition creates a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) amongst your customers and consequently encourages sales.

 

With the rollout of our Slerp CRM system which directly links up with our partners’ online ordering system and allows them to engage customers with personalised offers with ease, we’re anticipating even more delivery success this coming year. 

Interested in finding out more about how Slerp can help boost your deliveries, or how Slerp CRM can help you drive repeated orders? Drop us a message here, or visit our website to book a demo.  

When delivery orders go well they’re great, at just 8.5% a direct order is much cheaper than a marketplace and you can pass some of that saving on to your customers via a loyalty program or special offer to keep them coming back. But what about when something goes wrong?

Dealing with customer queries can be time consuming and challenging, your team needs to focus on your diners in the restaurant and your customer wants to talk to someone with all the information at their fingertips.

That’s why we’ve launched live Q&A support for your customers.

If you’re using our courier partners (like Uber, Stuart and Addison Lee), our team of delivery experts will provide live support for your customers, handling any queries on their behalf, fixing any delivery issues and working directly with the courier companies and your team (where needed) to ensure a smooth service. 

We are the first and only direct provider to currently offer any service of this nature.

 

How will it work?

Once a customer has ordered, they will be able to contact us through a live chat box that will appear on their order confirmation page. Our team will be available from 8am – 11pm, 7 days a week. 

They monitor every single delivery that is assigned through our system, ensuring they’re delivered efficiently and correctly. We also have automated SMS updates that are sent to customers so they’re kept informed as to where their delivery is and when it’s arriving. These include a live map and tracking. 

 

How can I benefit?

Live support is available for any business using Slerp’s courier partner and it’s included for no extra charge.

This may be a new service but so far our team of logistics experts have a 96%+ approval rating from both our partners and their customers. 

Slerp CRM is your new, dedicated marketing sidekick that directly links with your online ordering system and enables you to harness your customer data to drive more repeat transactions. It’s built specifically for hospitality operators and your needs.

 

So what is a CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Which is essentially the process of managing interactions with your customers. This can be both existing and new/potential customers. 

A CRM system means you can better track your communications and helps you to organise and utilise your data better. It’s likely that you’ve heard of or even use one. So what about ours is different or dare we say better?

 

Create detailed customer profiles

Already using Slerp for online ordering? You can import all of your customers’ transactional history. Our CRM integrates with all of your order types, loyalty programme and even your booking system.

Slerp CRM will help organise all this data so you can see everything from what your customer purchased and how they order, to when their birthday is. This allows you to interact with your customers on a personal level and drive loyalty and repeat business

For example you could send an exclusive birthday discount, which not only makes them feel special, but encourages them to make a purchase. Driving repeat customers is a lot cheaper than generating new ones and they actually spend up to 67% more on average – win, win.

 

Build powerful email campaigns

Email marketing remains a tried and tested form of communication for hospitality businesses. It’s both effective and affordable, and when paired with detailed customer data you will see it really help to grow your sales. So how does it do this? 

Features like pre templated designs and the ability to create automated emails that are triggered by customer actions are designed to be effective whilst saving you time. We give you the ability to personalise content (e.g. names, birthdays) so that you can continue providing a personalised customer service even when online.

Many of our partners use email marketing in conjunction with SMS, a combination we find to be incredibly effective. Partners already using our CRM have seen 12% MoM growth from a combination of email and SMS marketing.

 

Send fast SMS

SMS marketing is one of the fastest and most reliable ways to communicate with your customers. It has an average open rate of 98% with 1 in 3 people opening messages within the first minute of receiving. 

This makes them a great way to let customers know about any offers you’re running or perhaps a new menu launch – anything to tempt them into ordering. Some of our partners have seen their sales increase by as much as 63% from a single SMS.

 

Automate your communications

When we speak to our partners and other operators about marketing, one of the main things we hear is that they don’t have the time. Automated emails and SMS allow you to maximise impact for minimal input. 

Our CRM system allows you to set triggers such as; someone ordering, the date of their birthday or an abandoned cart. This will cause a message to be sent to them thanking them for purchasing or encouraging them to with an offer. 

Our expertise means we know what the best performing automations are, so we can set these up automatically and suggest what might work best for you. This means you’ll have a series of regular communication that keeps you at the forefront of your customer’s mind without having to spend hours writing and sending emails.

 

Grow your database

All of this sounds great of course but naturally you need a good database of contacts to send to. We can help with that too. 

Slerp products like digital loyalty are a great way to incentivise sign ups. You can pull all of this information as well as transactional data into Slerp CRM, where it will be organised, managed and utilised.

Gifting season is fast approaching. With nearly half of all Christmas presents in the UK bought online last year, if you’re not online you could really be missing out. Customers are looking to order gift packs, hampers and treats for their loved ones. So offering these could create some great opportunities for sales. Here is our official checklist of 2023, the key to having a very merry Christmas.

 

Get your online store ready

Just like with your brick and mortar site, there are certain things you need to add to your online store to set yourself up for success.

 

Be ready to take orders in advance

First things first, whilst we too love a last minute gift, the majority of Christmas shopping will be done in advance. So if you don’t allow your customers to pre order, they will take their business elsewhere.

We have several tools at Slerp that can help you manage these orders well:

 

Nationwide deliveries 

This expands your consumer reach, creating more opportunities for sales. With the right delivery partner, the process can be pretty simple. We work with high quality couriers delivering all over the UK. 

 

Hampers and bundles

The number one reason customers do their Christmas shopping online is that it’s easy. So you need to make it as simple as possible for customers to find their gift of choice. Having a separate gifting section of the menu along with hampers and gift packs for them to choose from does this. 

 

Gift wrapping

Take it one step further and increase your average order value with the optional add on of gift wrapping. As well as adding value, it adds a personal touch to the customer’s gift and saves them time on the other end.

Our partners can use a convenient feature that enables gift wrapping on their online store with just one click.

 

Last year one partner made 30k in gift wrapping alone 

Make sure people know you offer gifting

All of this is great but it’s utterly pointless if you don’t tell people that they can buy gifts from you this Christmas.

 

Email and SMS

You probably have a healthy list of contacts from your reservations system. Now you just need to start using it to communicate with your customers and increase your sales. Got a limited edition special? Send an SMS and let them know this is a time sensitive offer, this creates FOMO and encourages them to act. Or you could send an email letting them know that your new gifting menu is live and available for nationwide delivery!

Our CRM platform can help you organise all of your data and get you using it in an efficient way with segmentation and automation.

 

Ticking these tips off your Christmas list is bound to make a big difference to your festive season. Interested in working with Slerp? Get in touch now.

 

October to December are a busy and exciting time of year for hospitality, with lots of occasions to celebrate. 

Some of the biggest dates to note include:

With each of these events comes a high demand for gifting. So these occasions are the perfect time to bring out a new menu or a themed special. Here are some tips from on us on how to make sure you’re set up for a successful gifting season:

 

Let your customers order ahead

These kinds of occasions are usually planned for and so customers want to place orders in advance. Pre orders are also a great way to increase average order value (AOV), in fact last year, Slerp partners found pre order AOVs to be as much as 50% higher than same day orders. 

 

Set your menu up for gifting

With celebrations come presents, and name a better present than food? 

Make sure it’s easy for customers to find what they’re looking for with specific gifting bundles and options. With Slerp, you can split your menu into categories and have a section designed especially for gifting, making your customer’s user journey quick and easy. 

 

Offer gift wrapping 

It’s also worth offering gift wrapping and personalised notes as an add on. This is another easy way of boosting your AOV whilst giving customers the ability to add a personal touch for their loved ones. One of our partners made over £30k in sales last year from gift wrapping alone.

Slerp Tip: Our partners can use a convenient feature that enables gift wrapping on their online store with just one click.

 

Tell your customers

All of this is great but if you don’t give your customers a heads up they won’t know that they can order from your business for these kinds of occasions. There are three key ways you can do this:

  1. SMS –  An SMS offer is a great way to spike traffic and sales. Some of our partners have seen their sales increase by as much as 63% from a single SMS. Timing is key. Black Friday is a great example of this, it’s pay day so your customers have more to spend AND the countdown to Christmas is on so they’re looking to buy gifts.
  2. Email – email marketing is a tried and tested tool, great for promoting a new menu or a gifting opportunity on a key date like Diwali or Christmas. This form of communication is great for promoting limited edition specials. Make sure to include some images to really tempt them into ordering.
  3. App Notifications – If you have your own ordering app, notifications are a quick and affordable way to boost sales. Use these in a similar way to SMS to communicate a promotion. Try putting a timeframe on it like ‘available for 48hrs’ or mentioning that stocks are limited, this will drive FOMO and encourage the customer to order there and then. 

All of this can be organised and managed through our own CRM system, designed and set up for hospitality businesses. Our experts can help you send communications to your contacts via SMS and email and set up automations to minimise effort and maximise impact.

Following these tips means you’re sure to have a great gifting season and finish the year on a high. Interested in working with Slerp? Get in touch with us now.

Last year we launched Slerp Dispatch, our product to directly integrate our online ordering platform with a host of the UK’s leading last-mile courier providers like Stuart and Addison Lee. It has provided our restaurant partners with a truly turnkey end-to-end solution to grow delivery orders at scale. Some of the results we have achieved already include:

With the addition of Uber Direct, our restaurant partners now have access to one of the largest last-mile courier fleets in the UK, including bikes, motorbikes and cars. As a result, we can offer our powerful, fully-integrated dispatch solution to even more locations across the UK, and increase the number of available drivers. That means faster assignment and delivery times.

 

Uber Direct and Slerp, the best of both worlds.

Slerp Dispatch is more than just a link between your restaurant and a courier provider. It’s a dynamic platform backed by logistics experts which can turbo-charge your last-mile delivery. Here’s how:

    1. Pick the best courier & vehicle type for the job: Based on your settings, the size of the order, the distance travelled and the local courier availability, Slerp Dispatch will automatically assign and route the best driver to you for the job, plus provide the end-customer with live tracking. 
    2. Integrated billing: No need to reconcile multiple courier invoices or set up accounts with each provider. Slerp takes the courier’s payment at source and provides you a breakdown of the fees charged, so the courier reconciliation is done seamlessly and automatically.
    3. Live support 7 days a week: Our Dispatch solution is solely for our Partners and backed by a team of operators who manage courier jobs in real time, meaning if there is a problem (a courier breaks down, can’t find your restaurant, etc.) you have someone there to support you 7-days a week with an average response time of just 73 seconds!
    4. Great pricing for you and your customers: Due to our scale, we have preferred  pricing with our courier providers. We also make sure you can provide competitive prices to your customers, with an ‘optimised rate card’ – designed to maximise your order conversion and gross profit. 

Ultimately this integration with Uber Direct will contribute to an already industry-leading service. We are trusted by hundreds of restaurants to manage their tens of thousands of deliveries from beginning to end.

Simply put, working with Uber allows us to do more of what we are great at and we are excited to get even better!

Already a Slerp partner and not yet offering delivery? Get in touch with your account manager now. 

Want to find out more about delivery with Slerp? Click the link below and get started on your delivery journey. 

Introducing our new Senior Sales Manager for the North West, Holly Anderson. We interviewed her in her home city of Liverpool, to talk about what it is that’s driving the success of online ordering and what makes hospitality here so special.

When it comes to good taste, and by good taste, we mean great food, it’s hard to compete with Liverpool. 

One of our absolute favourite foodie hotspots, Liverpool has built a vibrant cultural scene around food over many years. Residents and the many millions of tourists who flock to the city each year can choose from more than 300 restaurants in the city centre alone.

So we sat down with Holly to talk about what exactly it is that’s driving the success of online ordering, the kinds of food businesses that are thriving and why D2C delivery (direct to consumer) helps solve some key challenges for Liverpool hospitality. 

Holly Anderson, Senior Sales Manager

So tell us about why you think Slerp is doing so well?

I think businesses in the UK are recognising the opportunities that D2C delivery brings. In this economy operators are really feeling the expense of marketplaces, but most of all they want access to and control of their data. I’d also say with the growth of delivery, it makes sense that Slerp is seeing growth too. I’m obviously biassed but delivery is our bread and butter. We are the only ordering platform who handles the whole process end to end, from courier assignment to invoicing. So with more operators opting to do direct delivery, we’re the obvious choice. 

 

What is so special about this city in particular, when it comes to hospitality? 

Liverpool is a vibrant and busy city with a strong local economy. It has a good balance of residents, students and tourists who provide a significant customer base for restaurants and takeaways. The high population density ensures a steady flow of potential customers looking for good eats. However, unlike some other areas of the UK, the cost of commercial spaces, including retail units, tends to be more affordable, giving smaller, independent restaurants, with very loyal followings, the opportunity to thrive.

 

Why do you think Slerp is thriving in this region?

In short, the unique cultures of Liverpool makes it an incredibly rewarding place to operate, as does the community. It’s the perfect environment for D2C. Operators want more contact with their customers, to know who they are and give them an ordering experience that is tailored to their brand. Customer service and building genuine relationships is so important to us here, our team understands the importance of this and we’re excited to partner with more of the incredible brands that this city has to offer.

 

What kind of businesses do well at online ordering?

A real variety. We work with enterprise partners and mid market businesses as well as local heroes. Recently we’ve seen lots of our partners start to capitalise on pre-orders and the opportunity that they bring. This includes big corporate catering orders or events (the kind that are normally ordered ahead of when they are needed) as well as those promoting big calendar events for gifting (like Valentine’s Day, Lunar New Year, Halloween). This style of online ordering helps drive average order value up and we’ve noticed that operators offering these options tend to be the ones that are really thriving. 

 

Which of Slerp’s products do you think operators will benefit from most in Liverpool? 

I would say delivery and loyalty. Delivery in general has seen significant growth across the UK in recent years. We specifically have an extensive fleet of delivery drivers operating in Liverpool, Merseyside and the surrounding areas. With the growth of direct delivery, I definitely think we’ll see more and more operators looking to do it. 

But features like digital loyalty also align perfectly with the industry in Liverpool where restaurants see a lot of repeat customers. We have a really collaborative and supportive environment here. With Slerp’s digital loyalty programme businesses can reward customer loyalty easily, however they order – whether it’s online, in person or on an app.

 

You could have the best set up online ordering platform with beautiful branding, a quick and easy checkout process for customers and delicious products for them to buy. But if you’re not generating enough traffic, it won’t make a difference.

 

What do we mean by traffic?

Traffic is the number of visitors a website or web page gets. You can track where the ‘traffic’ has come from i.e. did they just google your name? Or maybe they came from a link or an ad on one of your social media platforms.

 

Regardless of how they got there, (although this is important when looking at growth) the main thing you need to know is that in order to increase your sales, you need to be generating enough visits to your website. So here are five things you need to do to increase your traffic…

 

1. Direct links to your online store 

We talk about this one a lot but it’s for a reason. How do you expect anyone to order from you if they can’t find your online store? Priority number one should be making sure you have multiple buttons on your website and links on your social media that send customers directly to your shopping page. Make sure these are in easy to find places i.e. link in bio or at the top of your homepage. It’s also worth keeping the CTA (call to action) something clear like “Order Now”.

 

2. In-store marketing

Just because pretty much everything is digital now does not mean print & physical collateral no longer has a place in your marketing strategy. In fact things like flyering are a low cost, high return activity, with 89% of people remembering receiving a flyer, more than any other form of advertising

 

Connect your in-person customers with your online platform using QR codes that provide a direct link to your website. You can print them onto flyers, loyalty cards and even window decals, so customers can scan and instantly start browsing.

 

If you’re going to do one thing with print, make sure you pair it with some kind of incentive. Flyers that include a discount code are 50% more likely to be kept for at least a week and are more likely to drive sales. 

 

3. Email and SMS

Similarly to our first point, how do you expect customers to order from you if you don’t tell them they can? Email and SMS continue to be incredibly effective methods of communication, for the best results we recommend the following:

 

Pair with a promotion

This doesn’t even have to be a discount, it could be a quick message to let customers know about your new menu or a limited edition product. 

Give your customers FOMO

Putting a time limit on an offer, creates a sense of urgency and fear of missing out, encouraging customers to commit to buying.

Better together

In the case of communications they are really best done in tandem. One of our partners saw a 190% increase in revenue when they used email, SMS and push notifications simultaneously.

 

4. App notifications 

We know what you’re thinking, apps are very expensive, but you’d be wrong. With Slerp you can have your own branded ordering app for as little as £25pm. There are so many pros to having an app, it’s a really smooth ordering process for your customers, goes hand in hand with digital loyalty and when done properly is the perfect way to display your brand and own a spot on your customers phone. We won’t go on too much but if you’re interested in an ordering app you can read more here

 

Back to driving traffic… if you already have your own ordering app or are getting one, make sure you’re utilising app/push notifications. If you’re not sure what this is, they’re the notifications that pop up on your phone home screen from various apps and they’re FREE to send. Unlike SMS and email that can feel a little spammy at times, push notifications are an ‘official’ looking way to communicate an update or promotion. 

 

5. Social media

Last but not least, social media. Whilst this is a pretty obvious one, it’s still worth mentioning. To see results you need to be posting regular and consistent content reminding your customers that they can order from your online store.

 

Try utilising features like story links where you can edit CTAs and send customers directly to your store. Paired with an enticing image of your food and posted just before lunch or dinner time, this can be a great way to boost traffic and orders.

 

Summer is fast approaching now, but as we well know, warmer weather can cause a noticeable change in consumer buying habits. So what you should be doing to weatherproof your sales for the summer months, and a different set of customer demands. 

Well one thing’s for sure, demand is definitely still there. Just because customers might be ordering fewer takeaways on their sofas, doesn’t mean they’re not still after your delicious dishes. UK sunshine is often in short supply, so when it’s out, so are we! Here are some tips for how you can make the most of online ordering this summer.

 

Skip the queue with click and collect

Summer means warmer days, lighter nights and customers that are more likely to be out and about. So are you offering click and collect?

Click and collect really is such a win-win for the customer and the business, whether you’re a restaurant, cafe, bar, bakery or coffee shop. Walking in and skipping the queue is always a great feeling. It also gives you as the operator a chance to prep and get an idea of order volume for the day.

Last year, 4 in 10 orders on Slerp were for collection, so if you’re not offering it, think of the number of sales you’re missing out on. You want to ensure your customers can order from you in multiple ways. Our most successful partners are those offering customers both click and collect and delivery. For commuters and other busy customers, it pairs perfectly with app ordering too – our PressPay feature allows them to order in as little as six seconds, saving them from long queues! Find out how here.

And in summer it means the consumer can pick up their order and take it outside to enjoy. Maybe in the park, on a bench or back home. It’s versatile and it’s easy. Which brings us nicely onto our next point…

 

Optimise for outdoors

 

QR code ordering

If you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space, use QR code ordering on your tables. It will allow you to collect customer data for marketing and save your staff time. It also gives your customers a better experience when they no longer have to disrupt their conversation flagging down a waiter to order.

Park deliveries

Park deliveries… the gen z answer to a traditional British picnic. Sushi in the park, pizza in the park, noodles in the park… the possibilities are endless. Is there really anything better than having a takeaway brought to the exact spot you’re sitting in the park? But how you might ask? Well you could just wing it and send your delivery driver into the depths of the trees to locate your customer. Or you could use apps like ‘what 3 words’ who have assigned 3 words to every 3 square metres in the world! Ask your customers to provide this in the notes of their order and you have an exact location without any faff.

 

Mix up your menu

 

This might sound like an obvious one but a seasonal menu is a great way to tempt customers into ordering with the excitement of new dishes. Take some photos and get them on your socials to drum up some buzz. In summer customers might prefer a lighter, fresher dish with the warmer weather. Take advantage of local seasonal ingredients, it’s better for the environment and a nice added detail to your menu when you can tell customers exactly where an ingredient came from.

 

Crosstown

Willy’s Pies

Pavilion

 

 

Schools out

 

This one likely brings some mixed emotions for some parents. But for the restaurateurs in the room, it brings opportunity and more families to your venue. Now is the perfect time to run a promotion such as ‘feed four for £x’ or create a bundle for kids and adults. Everyone loves a deal and the school holidays are the perfect time to take advantage of that. There is a big demand for family dining both at home and in-house. 54% of people want more kid friendly options when ordering. That can mean smaller portions, fuss free dishes and healthier options. Either way, you don’t want to miss out on that business, so make sure your menu caters to everyone.

54% of people want more kid friendly options when ordering
KAM Media X Slerp
Consumer survey

So in short, let’s look at this summer as a great opportunity to make the most of the weather and the consumer habits that come with it. You’re already used to adapting to all sorts of situations, online ordering in summer will be a doddle.

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