KEY POINTS:
* Organising staff and kitchen workflow so that home delivery orders reach customers as fresh and hot as possible requires careful attention to detail
* A key point is to monitor your oven throughput and time your pizzamaking to match your delivery turnaround time
* Familiarising yourself with your local delivery area will make it easier to estimate how long your deliveries will take
* It’s important to keep a sufficient number of drivers on rotation. Your aim should always be to minimise the time between the pizza being made and when it goes out for delivery

RUNNING A PROFESSIONAL KITCHEN OPERATION is all about timing, and this is particularly the case if you’re making pizzas for home delivery.
Ensuring your kitchen and delivery staff workflow is organised so that your home delivery pizzas reach customers as fresh and hot as possible takes a hands-on approach, careful attention to detail and good organisational skills.
But if executed properly, it will pay dividends — you’ll be running a more efficient operation, and your customers will be happy because they’ll know they can rely upon you to deliver their pizzas within a strict timeframe. Remember … no one likes a cold soggy pizza with wilted topping!
So how to make it happen? One of the key points is to monitor your oven throughput and time your pizzamaking to match your home delivery turnaround time.
Suppose you’re aiming for a 20 minute turnaround - that is, the time from when your driver leaves to deliver the pizza to when he or she returns to pick up the next delivery. Using this as a guide, you can time when your next order should go into the oven. This will ensure it will be cooked to coincide with when your delivery driver arrives back. The aim is to ensure the pizza will be delivered as soon as possible after cooking — with no sitting around on top of the oven waiting for the driver to arrive.
To make this work, you’ll need to know your pizza oven’s capacity and time how long each pizza takes to cook.
You should also familiarise yourself with the local area in which you make deliveries. By knowing the local streets and working out the fastest routes for your drivers to take, you’ll be able to estimate how long each delivery will take based on which address it’s going to.
Here are some other tips which will assist in ensuring effective home delivery:
1. DO AS MUCH IN ADVANCE AS POSSIBLE
In the case of making pizzas there is plenty of prep work which can be done in advance — such as making your bases, sauces and signature toppings.
Make sure you have all your ingredients ready, measured and portion controlled for maximum efficiency and consistency. Keep standard recipes for each pizza on the menu and have them readily accessible to staff. This will ensure consistency of product — you want your customers to have the same experience every time, regardless of who’s making the pizza.
2. DECIDE UPON A STRICT RADIUS FOR YOUR DELIVERY AREA
If you’re having trouble keeping up with your delivery orders, then it’s time to hire more staff, move to bigger premises or — if neither of these is an option - make your delivery area smaller.
Remember the aim should always be to minimise the time between the pizza being made and when it goes out the door with your delivery driver. For a typical neighbourhood pizza operation, a three to five kilometre delivery radius is manageable, but anything bigger can become problematic.
3. ENSURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH DELIVERY DRIVERS
If you’re taking advantage of a third party delivery service such as Uber Eats or Deliveroo, this is not such a concern (although using third party platforms can bring its own problems such as drivers failing to show up on time). But if you maintain your own fleet, it’s important to keep a sufficient number of drivers on rotation.
While it might be tempting to send out a driver with three or four deliveries — especially if they’re all for the same local area — this runs the risk that those customers delivered to last will receive an unappetisingly lukewarm or cold pizza. Better to restrict drivers to making only one or two deliveries at a time, and put on extra drivers during busy nights such as Fridays and Saturdays. Your goal should always be to get the best possible product out to customers in the best possible condition.
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