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7 Tips for Starting Delivery


While many of the dine-in independents have shifted to a carry-out format, delivery is still an option worth investigating. For restaurant operators who don’t want to or can’t afford to give up a large chunk of the sale to a third-party delivery service—roughly 20 to 35 percent of the sale—Society Insurance’s Shelby Blundell has put together a list of safeguards for restaurant operators who may be looking to hire delivery drivers.

Check Motor Vehicle Records upon hire/assignment and at least annually. It is important to know the driving history of those on the road representing your operation. There are a number of ways to quickly access official driving records online for review, however, if you’re a client with Society, your agent may be able to run MVRs for you. Most states have an online portal where employees can access their own MVR for a small fee.

Obtain evidence of automobile insurance from all drivers using their personal vehicles for company business. Drivers should have sufficient automobile liability coverage limits and appropriate business use endorsements. 

Set up rules, such as drivers must wear seatbelts and cell phone use is prohibited, as is allowing others to ride in the vehicle. And even thought it should be obvious, stress they must obey traffic laws during all delivery operations. Put together a driver safety program and manual going forward.  

Do not overwhelm delivery staff with too many orders. Pushing drivers to complete an unrealistic number of orders may result in unsafe driving practices, which could lead to an accident. Do not make delivery time guarantees or commitments. 

Require customers to prepay using credit or debit cards. Prepayment allows you to limit the number of cash transactions that must be made off-site, so drivers don’t have to carry cash. Also have a line on bills suggesting if they’d like to leave a tip to please add it to the transaction, so drivers can deliver with as little contact as possible. 

Deliveries to hotels should only be made to the front desk. For their own safety, drivers should never deliver to specific hotel rooms. 

Late-night deliveries and deliveries to locations that do not have a valid address are not safe and should be avoided. A person requesting a delivery to a park or parking lot is also unsafe. 

Shelby Blundell, Society Insurance risk control representative, has a master’s degree in biosecurity and disaster preparedness from St. Louis University’s School of Public Health and has worked as a risk control representative for Society Insurance since 2010. He is a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers. Phone: He can be reached at 888-5-SOCIETY. Website: societyinsurance.com.

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