September 28, 2020 | Ian Cook
Legendary UCLA Basketball Coach, John Wooden, used to tell his players, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make the big things happen”. This proverb, along with others, helped guide his team to go on to win ten NCAA National Championships in twelve years. But what does Coach Wooden’s teaching have to do with food delivery?
From the outside, food delivery looks like a simple, cut and dry process: the customer orders a meal, the restaurant prepares it, and the delivery driver picks it up and drops it at the door. And of course, all these things are true. But the restaurant’s participation in this process is not limited to simply preparing the meal. In an OnTrend Concepts interview, Ray Blanchette, CEO of TGI Fridays, underlines, like Coach Wooden, that a key factor to success is taking care of the small details. From order to pick-up, TGI Fridays tends to all the important details that create customer satisfaction and restaurant success.
A crucial dimension in managing successful delivery is precision in knowing what customers appreciate—what they tend to rate more highly. “Accuracy is the key to high satisfaction scores in take-out/delivery,” Blanchette says, “Customers rate things like packaging and having the appropriate utensils or extra sauces. If we forget to put something in a bag, we have already disappointed that guest with no real opportunity to recover”. For this reason, TGI Fridays pays close attention that everything the customer would want is included with their meal.
Once the meal has been prepared, packaging is the next step. This part of the process is handled by the restaurant: “Our focus is on the packaging. We seal each bag once the contents have been double checked to prevent tampering,” Blanchette says. In a study done on delivery, US Foods found that 28 percent of delivery drivers had tampered with a customer’s order. Attention to making sure food is properly sealed removes the chance of an incident like this happening.
TGI Fridays ensures that in the time between the meal being ready and the time it is picked up by the delivery driver, their meals are well insulated to preserve their warm temperature. Blanchette affirmed, “Many of our restaurants have warming bags that they store the food in while waiting for the driver. Recently, I have noticed that the delivery companies have started using insulated bags more frequently”.
Collaborating well with delivery companies is an important detail for a restaurant to administer. When asked what the average wait time is from the meal being ready to the time it is picked up by the delivery driver, Blanchette answered, “Varies by region and delivery company but is monitored closely by our restaurant staff”. Paying attention to timing allows TGI Fridays to deliver meals to their customers effectively and efficiently. Blanchette continues, “People order food and drink because they are hungry and thirsty, so anything you can do to improve the speed the better off you will be. We are constantly challenging our restaurants and our delivery partners to fulfill orders faster!”.
Whether it’s winning basketball games or delivering dinner, it is crucial to take care of the little details well and effectively. From double checking order packages, making sure they are properly sealed, and closely monitoring delivery efficiency, TGI Fridays proves themselves to be experts in the details, making them the successful business they prove to be.