Tips to Follow When Starting a Restaurant Delivery Service

A delivery driver wearing a mask holding boxes of pizza.COVID-19 has forced many businesses to diversify their services in order to maintain income. Restaurants, in particular, are turning to delivery to keep their business afloat until they can reopen their dining room. If you are considering or have already begun a delivery service, some procedures must be adopted to ensure the wellbeing of your employees, customers, and business. Read our recommended tips to follow when starting a restaurant delivery service to mitigate any potential risks.

Check the Motor Vehicle Records of Your Drivers

It’s important to ensure your drivers are safely navigating the roads, but you must recognize these employees are also representing your restaurant and could draw negative attention if they don’t practice safe driving. You should be sure the following requirements are met before filling your delivery positions:

  • Valid Driver’s License: Most important is that you ensure your drivers’ licenses are not expired.
  • Little to No Moving Violations: You want delivery drivers who are conscious of their driving and will not risk their safety or the business’s image.
  • No Severe Moving Violations: If an employee has been convicted of a serious offense such as a DUI, not only is it a sign of unsafe driving, it can also increase your restaurant’s insurance rates.

To discover your employee’s motor vehicle records, for a small fee, your independent insurance agent may be able to assist you in obtaining the records.

Obtain Evidence of the Employee’s Personal Auto Insurance

Unless you intend to provide your employees with non-owned vehicle liability insurance or a company vehicle, your delivery drivers should have additional liability coverage through their own policy. If they were to get into an accident, a traditional auto insurance policy might not cover the damages. Ensure they have contacted their insurance company and updated them on their new role with the restaurant. There are business-use endorsements available to delivery drivers that will provide them with added coverage without the need for commercial vehicle insurance, which can be especially helpful in the gig economy.

Consider Your Delivery Driver’s and Customer’s Welfare

Beyond ensuring your business is protected from liability, you must enact measures to keep your drivers and customers safe, especially during this pandemic. Some ways you can protect your employees and customers include:

  • Don’t Overwhelm Your Driver with Orders: Do not guarantee delivery times, and make sure you have enough drivers. Overworked delivery drivers are more prone to reckless driving.
  • Encourage Customer to Pay Online or Over the Phone: The goal is to limit contact between the driver and customer. By paying online or over the phone, your driver won’t have to handle potentially contaminated money.
  • Gather Customer’s Delivery Preferences: Ask the caller if there is a preferred area that they want their food placed. The delivery driver can leave the food in the designated spot, inform the customer via text or call, and prevent coming into close proximity of the customer.

This will require increased use of their phone, so it’s important that you also stress the importance of hands-free driving, as explained in our blog, The Dangers of Texting While Driving.

Since insurance policies can’t protect businesses from losses due to COVID-19, restaurants are making ends meet by starting a delivery service. However, every creative solution comes with its own unique hurdles, so you should follow our advice before making changes to your operations. At TJ Woods Insurance, we can inform you of the insurance every restaurant needs and assist with your other business insurance requirements. To learn what steps you can take now to ensure you’re protected in the future, contact us today.