Business Insight


REALTIME GPS TRACKING is revolutionising the traditional pizza and pasta home delivery model. Not only does it give customers the ability to track their order to the time reaches their doors, it also enables foodservice businesses to know where their delivery drivers are at any given time — and to estimate when they’ll be back to pick up their next orders.

From the customer’s point of view, GPS technology offers the potential to access information about the status of their order. This ability to provide greater transparency is becoming increasingly important, now that third party order platforms are involved in both order taking and delivery. You don’t, for example, want your customers blaming your business for a mistake that isn’t your fault — such as third party delivery drivers getting an address wrong, or keying in an incorrect order status.

These kinds of teething problems have already come into play in some of the popular pizza tracking apps available for customers to download. In response, some of the market’s big players have taken steps to rectify these issues and improve the technology.

Last month Uber Eats launched a new five point delivery tracker across 16 US cities including San Francisco and Washington DC, which features animated illustrations to update customers on their order status at each stage of its delivery journey — encompassing order confirmation, preparation, notification that the delivery partner is on route to pick up, pick up of the order, and delivery. The app also includes a ‘latest arrival time’ and the driver’s name and contact details in an effort to provide that much-desired transparency.

From the foodservice business’ point of view, GPS tracking is a great solution to the issue of timing your pizza and pasta meals to ensure they’re ready just as your delivery drivers arrive to pick them up.

GPS tracking software can help you determine the maximum turnaround time for deliveries, based on your delivery area radius. For example, if you offer deliveries within a 3km radius, you might determine that time taken to deliver an order and return to base is 20 minutes tops. Traffic and accidents will impact on these timeframes, of course, but realtime GPS tracking takes those variables into account and adjusts timeframes accordingly.

With this knowledge, it’s possible to get an extremely accurate estimate of when delivery drivers are due to pick up their next order. You can then time your cooking so that the meal is ready just as the driver arrives — so they can pick it up while it’s still piping hot and in ready to serve condition.

This kind of tracking software can be integrated within your regular order management system used at point of sale, providing such helpful capabilities as linking the phone numbers of regular customers to their stored delivery addresses and then bringing up maps which can be used to work out the optimal delivery route.

You can even use GPS tracking to measure the efficiency of your delivery drivers — not only by monitoring their whereabouts at any given time, but by checking how long it’s taking them to complete a delivery compared with the estimated timeframe generated by the GPS software.

This is particularly helpful during those busy periods like Friday and Saturday nights, when you may have a big influx of orders. Efficient GPS tracking can make those long delays and phone calls from customers asking where their order is a thing of the past!