How to Succeed in Delivery

9 ways to get your restaurant ready for delivery during Ramadan

April 14, 2022

Just as we welcomed the second quarter of the year, Ramadan is upon us. For most of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims observing the fasting month, this means a sharp change in lifestyle and most noticeably dining habits. Food and drinks are inherent to the celebration as Muslims abstain from partaking during the day and look forward to the breaking fast event that brings people together every evening.

From declining orders in the day to changing customer needs for food delivery, savvy restaurant owners know that the season will have a massive impact on their business. But the fact is, not many will have the bandwidth to think about how to best tackle it. That’s why we’ve taken a closer look at how to get your restaurant ready for Ramadan with this nifty guide!

Here’s what you’ll find inside this blog post

  • What is Ramadan?
  • When is Ramadan 2022 happening?
  • How does Ramadan affect restaurants?
  • Proven strategies to optimise your restaurant’s delivery operations this Ramadan

What is Ramadan?

For the uninitiated, Ramadan is the ninth month of the Arabic lunar calendar and marks the arrival of the Islamic holy book or the Quran. Ramadan takes place every year when the new moon is sighted.

As a sign of faith, Muslims are called to fast during daylight hours throughout the month. But Ramadan is also a time for contemplation and spiritual growth, to give back to those in need and to spend time with loved ones.

When is Ramadan 2022 happening?

Since the Muslim calendar year is shorter than the Gregorian one, Ramadan starts about 11 days earlier each year. In 2022, Ramadan begins on April 2 and will last for 30 days until May 1 before culminating in Eid al-Fitr, the celebration of the Islamic new year on May 2 (that’s a topic for another day!).

How does Ramadan affect restaurants?

We’ve established that Ramadan does have an impact on restaurants, most evidently due to the fasting behaviour during the day. But not all is lost! Since the pandemic, we’ve also seen how the season links to increased food delivery orders, as people seek to put rest first and break fast with delicious meals from their favourite restaurants.

A little tweak to the way you operate during Ramadan could go a long way in not only ensuring that your restaurant thrives during the season, but also that you are helping your customers have better food delivery experiences during a trying time.

How to make the most out of delivery this Ramadan

1. Add popular Ramadan dishes to your menu

Seasonal favourites are one of the things your customers can look forward to during Ramadan. Some are savoury, others are sweet, but all are sure to add some festive flair to your menu. Take a quick check of what your restaurant pantry has in common with hearty dishes like biryani and maqlooba, or chicken rendang, cream-filled qatayef and rose-flavoured drinks. Incorporating these items into your menu will give your restaurant an edge in the sea of choices out there.

But if adding brand new dishes seems like a daunting task to take on, you can also opt to offer family menus instead. Breaking fast is a communal event, and the availability of group-friendly options will help tip the scales when customers are deciding where to order from. Another quick tip to tailor your menu for Ramadan is to add dates as a side, since the fruit is typically eaten before breaking fast to alleviate low blood sugar.

2. Sign up for multiple delivery platforms

Signing up for multiple delivery apps can boost your sales and give you a competitive advantage. Think of a listing on a delivery app like Zomato or Talabat as a “digital billboard” for your restaurant. Each listing serves as an ad and a way of getting your name out there to potential customers on the internet. The more platforms you're listed on, the more digital storefronts you have “open” to attract new customers.

Not only do you want to ensure that your restaurant is anywhere a customer might be this Ramadan, but you also want to make sure your restaurant is everywhere a competitor might be. You have to assume that your restaurant’s biggest competitors are on every delivery app in your region. That means that if you’re not listed on each platform, a competitor is taking a piece of your pie whenever a customer goes to order from you and is instead forced to order from another restaurant.

9 ways to get your restaurant ready for delivery during Ramadan

3. Make it easy for customers to find your restaurant

Many places where Ramadan is celebrated will observe shorter working hours and for some, even closures. This presents a huge opportunity for your restaurant to shine as you stay open to serve hungry customers! In this first week of Ramadan, Google searches for “restaurants open near me” shot up as high as 300% in the UAE. This is where you want to show up.

Make sure you claim your restaurant on Google Business and update your listing to add your online ordering systems for easy ordering. Outside of making it easy to find your restaurant online, this also gives you the opportunity to garner reviews. Knowing that today most customers research restaurants before ordering from them, having and responding to reviews is critical. If you're interested in learning more about how to respond to reviews, click here.

4. Adjust your restaurant opening hours

Two main meals take place during Ramadan — Suhoor, the last meal of the day before sunrise, and Iftar, the first meal after sunset. Simply put, the ideal hours for food delivery would be between 7 pm to 6 am. If your restaurant typically closes early, explore opening for a temporary midnight shift to help customers satisfy their Suhoor cravings. To make this change easier on often limited resources, opt to take a lunch break when delivery orders may be scarce.

5. Run special promotions

Offering promotions on third-party apps like Zomato, Talabat or Careem is an excellent incentive for more customers to order from your restaurant. Running promotions on food delivery apps can help boost your chances of showing up on the front page of each app. And in 2021, when 80% of delivery orders happen from the home page of an app, finding ways to boost your ranking in the algorithm could have a significant impact on your sales.

9 ways to get your restaurant ready for delivery during Ramadan

Here are some great delivery promotion examples for Ramadan:

  • Early bird and pre-order promotions. Muslims are accustomed to ordering Iftar meals early so delays don’t come in the way of breaking fast. This is a great chance to reward them for it while also giving your kitchen more time to prepare.
  • Family meal savings. Bundle up your items for a bigger basket size and offer those savings back to your customers. 57% of consumers in UAE, Saudi Arabia & Egypt said they were more price-oriented leading up to Ramadan, so they’ll appreciate it!
  • Complimentary drinks or sides. Padding your meal offerings with a free Ramadan-friendly sweet such as dates or rose-flavoured drinks can make your menu more attractive.
  • Good food deeds. In a time when giving back is on the minds of many, offer to do this on your customers’ behalf. You can do so by giving out meals to the underprivileged with every order or encouraging additional orders that go directly to those in need.

6. Increase your reach by creating virtual brands

The concept of virtual brands is so new that it can feel mysterious and overwhelming. But the truth is, if you have a restaurant, you can create a virtual brand in minutes. Virtual brands are digital storefronts on delivery platforms like Zomato, Talabat, and Deliveroo. That’s where the name comes from: they are called “virtual” because the customer can only see and order from these restaurants online.

A single restaurant can have multiple brands in the same space, making many restaurants more profitable. For example, if your restaurant is well known for its kebabs but also makes gyro bowls, you can start a separate gyro bowl virtual brand. The idea is to use the resources you already have (space, staff, ingredients) to significantly increase your investment return.

7. Make decisions based on data

As a restaurant owner, making decisions is a big part of your job, but how many of them are based on data? Analysing the hundreds of pieces of data your restaurant collects through delivery orders can be the difference between adding a hit item to your menu and betting on one that’s known to be the least ordered. This rings especially true during a busy festive stretch, when the tiny details can determine your bottom line.

9 ways to get your restaurant ready for delivery during Ramadan

But where do you even start with the puzzle pieces of meaningful data hidden in your delivery orders? This is where Otter Analytics can help with simplified performance reports. With easy-to-understand insights on your most ordered menu items and peak hours, you can optimise quickly and continuously to make the best out of your delivery business.

8. Reduce order issues and pickup counter chaos

You know that stressful feeling when the front-of-house is overcrowded and couriers are swarming the counter? Now imagine that with all your orders happening in the few hours leading up to Iftar. The risks of order issues and negative reviews are inevitable.

That’s why we can’t stress enough the importance of establishing a reliable system to handle orders and designating an area for couriers to collect them. Handoffs by Otter is a solution that helps restaurant owners notify customers and couriers when their order is ready, sends a confirmation when orders are on the way, and prevents overcrowding at the pickup counter.

9. Streamline your delivery operations

“Otter is a great partner to have on our side during Ramadan. Their solutions help us streamline our operations and increase our revenue.”
- Salad Boutique KSA

On top of all that’s going on in-house, managing delivery can be a challenge even on regular days, let alone during the Ramadan surge. We’ve made it our mission to make delivery operations easier for restaurant owners — here’s how Otter can help this Ramadan:

  • Connect orders from platforms like Zomato, Talabat, and Deliveroo on one tablet.
  • Analyse all your delivery data from a single dashboard.
  • Set & adjust opening hours, change prices and update menu items across multiple platforms.
  • Increase productivity with advanced features like auto-accept orders.
  • Increase your revenue with virtual brands.

Check out the infographic below to learn how a delivery management software like Otter can help your restaurant during Ramadan.

Infographic: 7 ways a delivery management software can help your restaurant during Ramadan

We’re so glad restaurant owners like you work tirelessly to deliver comfort in the form of food — honouring the Ramadan spirit of people coming together and giving back to the community. We hope this guide has helped inspire you to get a little creative in the ways you can make your restaurant work for those celebrating this season.

If you’re interested in getting Otter in your delivery corner, fill out the form below to learn more & get started!

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