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How to Start an Online Pizza Delivery Business

10 min read

You make one heck of a pizza. Friends and family have been talking up your pie-making skills for years. So, you’ve decided to go pro. You have an awesome product to sell, and now you want to start an online pizza delivery business to sell it, right?

The first thing you should know is that an online pizza delivery business is different from selling pizzas in a local pizzeria. The expectations, execution of service, and relationship with your customer are on a different level.

Additionally, online pizza delivery opens your business to an endless list of customers, longer than you ever imagined.

To help you get started turning your idea into a real-life business, we have for you some practical steps to starting an online pizza delivery business that will help you get set up and compete with top pizza delivery businesses.

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Understanding the Pizza Delivery Market

In the United States alone, there are more than 78,000 pizzerias. Americans spent about $14 billion on pizza delivery in 2020 alone. Understanding what works and what doesn’t in an online pizza delivery business is key to staying afloat when you’re just starting out.

So, how does that work?

Make a Plan

Firstly, plan and have realistic expectations for the food delivery business. Where do you see yourself in the next few years and where do you want to be in that time? Refer back to this plan every once in a while to ensure that you stay on track.

Learn From Your Competition

The next thing is to find out who your competition is. Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, and Little Caesar’s are some of the biggest names in the business. Don’t let these big guys scare you. Instead, draw some inspiration from them.

Figure out what they are doing right and how to improve on it. You may go as far as ordering pizzas online from some of them for a real-time evaluation (we won’t judge you for eating a few whole pizzas). Note the best things about their service and run with them. Note their hangups and run in the other direction.

Know Your Customers

The most important person in an online pizza delivery business is the customer. In a competitive market, making assumptions as to the profile of your customer is a waste of time, effort, and money.

Expect most of your customers to be between the ages of 18 and 35. West Virginia, Delaware, and New Jersey are the US states with the most pizza lovers.

Knowing who your target customer also makes it easier to plan effective marketing campaigns around them.

How Much Does it Cost to Start an Online Pizza Delivery Business?

To start a pizza delivery business from scratch, you should have between $35,000 and $55,000 lined up. If you already have a pizza restaurant, you would only need half the total amount required to take your business online.

Launch or Update Your Pizzeria Website

Next, create a website or app for your pizzeria or at least upgrade the current one with responsive and user-friendly options. The priority should be to make it easy for customers to order pizzas. Thanks to free content management systems, you can create a website from multiple WordPress restaurant themes for your local pizzeria.

Or, instead, use Ecwid to build a storefront. Here’s a shortlist of built-in features for pizza delivery businesses:

  • cash-on-delivery payment option
  • mobile payments (Apple pay
  • accept tips
  • curbside pick up
  • delivery zones (with delivery rates automation)

On top of that, Ecwid provides you with ready-to-use mobile-friendly design themes, social channels integrations, and lots of marketing tools.

What are the Most-Craved Pizza Toppings?

Part of running a successful online pizza delivery business is making what the customer wants. It’s not your job to bother about what pizza toppings sell the most, let the audience decide.

According to research by Brian Roemmele on Quora, here are the pizza toppings people love the most:

Pepperoni

You probably guessed it: pepperoni comes in first. About 36% of pizza orders have been pepperoni toppings. 1 in every 3 boxes of pizza contains pepperoni toppings. If you want to reach the peak of online pizza delivery, you best make pepperoni toppings your number 1 priority.

Sausage

Coming second on the people’s favorite pizza toppings is sausage. 14% of the time, pizza orders are for sausage toppings. By now, you know what your number 2 priority pizza topping is.

Mushrooms, Chicken, and some Cheese

At 11%, mushroom toppings are the 3rd pizza toppings on the list. Next is cheese which customers order 10% of the time. Chicken is not too far behind claiming 8% of the orders for pizzas online.

Beef, onions, and olives are among the most delivered pizza toppings. If you’re taking a hard look at the business side of things, you should consider focusing on these toppings. Unless that is, your business model is built on unusual toppings. In that case, you do you.

The best food delivery services to use

Next to making delicious pizzas is delivering them hot and fresh. Remember how far we’ve come and how tricky it is to have dedicated customers. So, the last thing you want to do is brown them off. For that reason, delivering pizzas on time is vital to winning over customers in a highly competitive online food delivery business.

To get pizza delivery right, you need to connect with some of the best food delivery services in the United States.

Grubhub

If food delivery was a basketball league, Grubhub would be the LeBron James. Iconic. Modern. Classic. One of the most important things you would expect from a food delivery service is to reach your customers far and wide. Say less, because this food delivery service does it arguably better than any other.

Grubhub currently delivers food to more than 4,000 cities in the US alone. That’s not all, your customers have multiple payment options for their deliveries.

Uber Eats

In a popularity contest, UberEats knocks out any competition. UberEats is integrated with Uber (duh!) and already serves over 500 cities in more than 24 countries. The best thing about this service is that your customers can track the delivery of their pizzas in real-time.

DoorDash

This is probably the most customer-friendly delivery service currently. What DoorDash does is help customers save money by reducing their service fees.

Who wouldn’t love that?

DoorDash also has a wide reach as it serves 4,000 cities and counting in the US, Canada, and Australia. As for restrictions on minimum orders, DoorDash has none.

Your own website

Without your own website, consumers won’t believe you even exist. To prove that you’re a serious business, you will need a website. Even a basic one. Ecwid lets you create an online store for free and accept payments with zero commission.

Conclusion

The world might never be the same again thanks to a global pandemic. It has given rise (no pun intended) to an increased demand for online pizza delivery. When starting an online pizza delivery business, it pays to check out the competition. See what they are doing right and learn from their mistakes. It may be equally important to remember that your customer is the most important person in this business.

To give your customer the best online pizza ordering experience, put more effort into optimizing your website and providing a robust ecommerce option that is easy for them to navigate. Lastly, don’t compromise on quality. Hire only the best food delivery services to take your business to the next level. We’ll see you at the top, rising pizza star!

Do you want to learn more about starting a local business?

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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