In the May issue of Restaurant Hospitality, editor Michael Sanson wrote about how delivery remains popular, yet many restaurants often flub the process of delivery by sending out incomplete or wrong orders. Here are some excerpts from reader responses.
I have a brisk delivery business. We sometimes get complaints on leaving items out, or a small sandwich complaint. We always make good, plus. We give credit larger than the error and put their name in a book. When a customer is in the book more than three times we know there is an issue beyond our control. If they are not in the book at all or two times, it was probably our fault. Nothing in life is perfect, but we always make it right, giving customers the benefit of the doubt.
Mill Basin Kosher Del
We don’t do delivery, for many reasons, but we do have carry-out. It’s about 10-12 percent of our sales. We are a small place and sometimes have a 60-minute wait on carry-out. Most people wait. Thank goodness. We have so many checkpoints in place that I marvel how we occasionally screw up. It starts with the host/hostess who takes the order. They have to take an extensive test to know the menu before they are given the task of taking food orders. They read back the order to the guest after it is rung in and before it is sent.
When the order is put in the window and ready to be packed, only the expediter (either my partner, g.m. or myself) inspects the food. This insures the order is complete and the food is properly presented. I think this process has prevented a lot of problems, yet human error and carelessness can happen. If the guest calls with a problem, we research the order and will give a written credit for the mistake for the guest to redeem on his or her next visit. If they choose to come back in we will either reimburse them for the mistake or offer a complimentary dessert.
Luna Bella Ristorante
I can fully understand your dilemma when you received your salad and it was not what you expected. It most definitely was not what you had when dining in and the question is why?
A takeout container does not have the same appeal as when ordering in. Items are missing because the person that prepared the order was more than likely in a hurry and his or her job was not only takeout, but also in-house meals. Your order was probably at a peak time when priority to in-house customers prevailed. Then there comes the handling by a delivery person who is in a hurry to make all deliveries in the shortest time. In-house orders have several eyes looking at the orders and, if items are missing, all it would take is to lift your hand, tell the wait person and within minutes your order would have been satisfactory.
Dree’s Cafe and Market
Boca Raton, FL
About 65 percent of our sales are meals consumed off the premises. We use a bag tag to improve accuracy. It’s a promotional piece that is stapled to the bag. The FOH crew is required to check and sign their initials on the promo piece. When employees are required to sign off after checking the order, accuracy improves. Accountability is a wonderful thing.
Bob Van Sykes
Bob Sykes BBQ