Over 20% of Food Delivery Customers Face Problems with Their Orders. What’s Your Story?

Man from food delivery service bring pizza and coffee. Hands in protective mask.
Featured image credit: Oleksandr Hrytsiv/iStockphoto.com

The pandemic has caused several restaurants to stop serving their customers in-store to comply with the required safety measures and focus on food delivery. So, food logistics companies saw a surge in demand.

The food delivery market experienced almost 67% growth around March 2020 and saw a 63% jump in online delivery orders, according to a report by the NPD Group in May 2020.

While the demand for food delivery has gone up, so have the associated challenges.

Almost 20% of the corresponding consumers faced problems with their orders, according to First Orion’s survey conducted among 2000 customers. This does not augur well for restaurants or food delivery firms.

Some of the major problems reported by the customers surveyed revolved around late deliveries, incorrect orders being delivered, orders not being delivered at all, rude customer service, cold food being delivered, and the driver requiring a lot of guidance to find the delivery location.

We look at the delivery problems in this article and discuss the possible solutions you can adopt to improve your customer experience.

Late Delivery

The biggest issue was clearly delayed delivery of an order, with almost 50% of the customers surveyed indicating this problem. The delivery personnel often stated the following reasons for the delays:

  • The location was not easy to find, so the driver got lost.
  • A longer route was suggested to the driver.
  • The driver had to deliver another order simultaneously.

In fact, many customers also expressed irritation at having to provide directions to delivery drivers despite having entered the correct address in the delivery app.

Potential Solutions

Adopting route optimization software is a highly effective solution to the late delivery issue. A delivery routing software takes care of the vehicle route problem. It will help you plan well-optimized routes that reduce your drivers’ driving time on the road and provide them with the most accurate directions from one address to another.

With such software, you don’t need to worry about the traveling salesman problem, bad weather, or traffic, as the delivery scheduling software will factor in such constraints while planning the routes.

The software also factors in sunrise and sunset times, one-ways, left turns, delivery time windows, under-construction roads, and load, weight, and height constraints.

All this means that you just need to take a minute of your time to upload the customer addresses into the software, set some parameters, and the route will be ready.

You can even reroute a delivery in real-time if unanticipated situations arise, such as a vehicle breakdown, to ensure you still make the affected deliveries on time.


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Cold Food Being Delivered

Customers order food online so they can relax and wait for their hot food to arrive. However, many customers complained that they received cold and not fresh food.

This generally happens when the delivery personnel uses longer routes than necessary to deliver an order or tries to deliver too many orders in the same locality or area. In the latter case, the customer who gets his or her delivery last will likely receive cold food.

And, after awaiting their orders eagerly, customers will surely be annoyed if they get cold food.

Potential Solutions

You’re likely experiencing a significant rise in food delivery orders after the lockdown. Things can sometimes understandably get chaotic with too many orders being received simultaneously. But, you must ensure that all your food orders are still tasty.

Without a delivery route planner app, you’ll need to keep a watch on such peak time intervals every day and employ more delivery personnel at your service, at least for those hours.

This means increased expenses and wasted time. And, after all that, you’ll still be unable to make your food delivery logistics foolproof.

So, it’s best to adopt a route planner app like Route4Me. Such software will help you manage peak delivery times easily while factoring in the many other constraints explained above.

Also, the software will help you provide your drivers with the best sequence of stops so that each of your customers gets food while it’s still hot.

You won’t need to hire additional drivers or independent couriers with route optimization software. You will also avoid the need to buy or rent more vehicles. The software will help your drivers avoid long routes, which means that they can make more stops in less time.

Moreover, the best route planners have an integrated GPS tracking feature that helps you track your vehicles and drivers in real time.

So, if your drivers take more time than usual, drive aggressively (which will make them more likely to have road mishaps), or even get stuck on the road due to a sudden breakdown, you’ll immediately know about it.

You can either communicate to the drivers to rectify their behaviors or send roadside assistance to help with the breakdown and re-optimize the routes to avoid delays.

Lack of Communication

Customers highlight this issue because many food delivery companies or apps use an unknown number to call customers to notify them when certain items are unavailable or verify the exact address.

And as highlighted in the survey by First Orion, around 62% of the customers missed a call from food delivery because they couldn’t identify the number.

This means that customers aren’t being informed about any issues with orders in advance, so they are likely to be offended.

Also, as per the same NPD group survey mentioned above, around 37% of the customers surveyed stated that incorrect delivery was an issue.

Of course, no customer can tolerate it.

Potential Solutions

Using appropriate communication methods is essential for good customer service. You don’t want to leave the customers feeling deprived of anything, so you have to start using branded phone calls.

In other words, you need to make labeled phone calls so that your customers know who is calling them, which will increase the chances of them picking up the phone.

Using a multi-stop route planner is another solution to this problem.

The best route planners have a customer portal feature that helps customers track their deliveries independently. So, neither party needs to call the other to ask for or give delivery status updates.

Moreover, a route planner comes with a customer alert and notification feature that automatically notifies customers whenever their food is out for delivery or near their locations.

The Verdict about Food Delivery

You might see good demand for food delivery, but you must be prepared to provide the best possible customer service.

Many other businesses are struggling to stay afloat while you have customers knocking at your door to place orders.

So, as discussed above, you need to take all possible measures to optimize your customer service concerning online food delivery.

So how do you ensure your customers do not face any problems with their orders? Do you have any questions? Please feel free to leave your comments below.


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

Start Free 7 Day Trial

About author: Rahul Dasgupta

Rahul Dasgupta is a content writer with over 20 years of work experience. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and has written thousands of blog posts on route planning and scheduling, making it easy for readers to learn about these complex topics. Rahul enjoys playing tennis in his spare time and loves cuddling with his pet labrador Shinu. Rahul is a big fan of Roger Federer, Messi, and Bill Gates - he admires their drive to be the best at what they do and their philanthropic efforts.


About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 40,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.