4 Reasons to Update Your Delivery Zones

delivery zone performance heat mapIf you’re like a lot of busy restaurant operators, your delivery zones may be “set it and forget it”—perhaps set up when your POS system was installed, but not reviewed since. If you do a lot of delivery business though, it’s worth revisiting your zone setup regularly.

Tweaking delivery zone settings doesn’t take long, and automating things like charges, taxes, and minimum order size can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Delivery zones help set accurate customer expectations around delivery times, and define delivery charges to recover costs.

Are You Covering Costs?

If you’re not, you should be reevaluating your delivery zones and fees. The first thing to look at is delivery charges. Are you charging customers enough to cover gas and driver labor costs for each zone? When gas prices or labor costs increase, delivery charges may need to be increased. With SpeedLine, a POS built for pizza and delivery, each zone has its own settings, so you can set higher charges for zones that are farther from the store.

You can also set a minimum charge for distant zones to ensure that you can make money on deliveries. This will block staff from entering delivery orders for less than the minimum amount without a manager override.

Are Deliveries On Time?

If you have a pattern of later deliveries in a certain area, it may be time to adjust your delivery zone boundaries. To find out, run a delivery performance report in your POS.

Using SpeedLine LiveMaps, for instance, you can view the report as a “heat map” of late deliveries. Any zones that show a lot of yellow or red (which means late deliveries) may need to have their quoted time adjustment minutes increased. This time accounts for zones with a longer drive or more traffic.

Also, be sure to ask customers for an email address so they can receive automatic delivery confirmation emails at dispatch, if your system can send them. The ETA included in the emails is based on drive time to the customer’s location, so it’s generally more accurate than a quoted time.

Are Your Zone Boundaries Where You Want Them?

Adding a location? You may need to adjust zone boundaries for your existing store, or stores. Likewise, if you notice an area with a lot of late deliveries, you may need to adjust zone boundaries, or break out a new zone to account for the longer drive time. Using SpeedLine LiveMaps, you can adjust the boundaries of your zones at any time by clicking and dragging.

Are Time-Based Changes Automated?

A delivery-focused POS lets you change settings for a zone based on time of day. By automating these settings, you can ensure accurate quoted times and help ensure the safety of your drivers.

For example, you could have:

  • One zone entry with a start time of 8 AM that has no minimum charge, and a quoted time adjustment of 10 minutes, and,
  • A second entry for the same zone with a start time of 9 PM, a minimum charge of $20, no quoted time adjustment (because there’s less traffic), and a restriction that requires a manager override to deliver to the zone (because it’s a higher crime area).

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