Meal Delivery Service Industry: 8 Common Challenges to Overcome

keyKey Takeaways:

  • Food delivery businesses face many challenges, including food safety concerns, stiff competition, and difficulty ensuring timely deliveries.
  • Another important thing meal delivery service providers should take care of is making a strong brand reputation.
  • Business owners need to be transparent and proactive while solving customer complaints and concerns.

Whether you are delivering ready-to-eat meals or the necessary dinner ingredients in a meal kit, you must have faced situations where you are unable to plan for the hundreds of deliveries you are supposed to do, right?

The meal delivery service industry has seen stupendous growth in the last two years. The industry is expected to be valued at $11.6 billion by the end of 2022.

The growth translates into an increasing number of daily meal kit deliveries for these businesses. It will lead to having hundreds of deliveries and no time to plan them. This problem must be sorted out with some automation. 

Let’s take a look at how Upper Route Planner can help you deliver meal deliveries on time to hundreds of customers.

8 Best Ways to Optimize Your Meal Delivery Service With Route Planner Software

  1. Cut Down Planning Time

    The Problem: Manual route planning techniques drain your time and resources in two major ways:

    (i) Wasting precious back-office time

    (ii) Wasting delivery time on the road due to inefficient route plans

    The Solution: These inefficiencies can be best tackled using a route planning system. 

    A software like Upper Route Planner helps you save time and resources by automating delivery route planning activities using our quick and efficient route planning algorithm.

    Upper Route Planner allows you to add up to 500 stops on a single route. It optimizes these stops and also divides them among multiple drivers in an instant. All you have to do is import an Excel sheet with the right addresses and details and let the software do its work. 

    You don’t have to spend hours arranging all the delivery stops in order because Upper Route Planner will do it for you.

    How our client, Chef Nicole, saved up to 10 hours every week by adopting Upper Route Planner 

    One of our clients – Chef Nicole, a Miami-based meal-kit delivery business, ditched its manual route planning system and decided to adopt Upper Route Planner.

    While manually planning routes for its meal kit deliveries, Chef Nicole spent over 10 hours per week simply planning delivery routes for multiple drivers. In addition to that, they were unable to factor in the service time for each stop and failed to manage demand due to inefficient routes. 

    After integrating Upper Route Planner in their delivery process, Chef Nicole gained complete control over their deliveries. Chef Nicole managed to:

    • Automated route planning & optimization for multiple drivers simultaneously; 
    • Saved 33% time in routing and planning activities;
    • Accommodated 60% more orders;
    • Opened up for deliveries in 2 major suburbs; and
    • Increased productivity by 40%. 
  2. Accommodate Multiple Deliveries in a 4-hour Delivery Window

    The Problem: For any business, especially meal delivery companies & grocery stores, making fresh deliveries on a daily basis is of utmost importance.

    Making sure fresh meals reach your clients in the stipulated 4- hour delivery window is of great significance. 

    Often due to inefficient routes, you are unable to cover all delivery stops in the stipulated 4-hour delivery window. That’s no good for a business delivering fresh food and perishables.

    The Solution: The best way to solve this problem is to use a route optimization solution to arrange your delivery stops in the correct order. 

    You can try to optimize your delivery routes manually all you want for your food delivery service, but let’s face it, you can never be as efficient as an algorithm designed specifically to do the job. 

    Here’s where Upper Route Planner comes in to help you. Upper Route Planner’s efficient route optimization algorithm optimizes all your delivery stops in real-time by taking into consideration factors like delivery time windows, service time, urgent orders, driver availability, and real-time traffic. 

    Chef Nicole accommodated hundreds of stops in a 4-hour delivery window

    Chef Nicole’s meal-kit delivery business faced similar difficulties while delivering to their customers. They worked on time-sensitive deliveries and needed to deliver hundreds of meal-kits in a day, in just 4 hours.

    With inefficient, manual route optimisation, they not only failed to serve customers on time, but they also failed to save time in the back office chores.

    But with the help of Upper Route Planner’s route optimization algorithm, they managed to fit in hundreds of deliveries by dividing stops into multiple delivery routes for their drivers.

    They achieved timely deliveries, improved productivity, accommodated more orders, & opened up deliveries in 2 busy suburbs of Miami.

    Create the Most Efficient & Optimized Delivery Routes with Multiple Stops.

    Accommodate & optimize up to 500 stops for each delivery route with Upper Route Planner!

  3. Putting Up With Last-minute Changes

    The Problem: Having to tackle last-minute changes or adjustments in the meal delivery schedule is quite normal for any food business, especially during the busy holiday season.

    Factoring in last-minute adjustments like driver cancellation, road closures, event reschedule, can seem like a huge task when scheduling meal deliveries manually.

    The Solution: To easily adapt to changes without having to re-do the whole delivery plan, you need the support of a route planning software like Upper Route Planner.

    Whether your driver cancels or there are sudden road closures on your route, Upper Route Planner can help you tackle these adjustments instantly.  Upper Route Planner factors in these changes and re-runs the routes in less than 2 minutes. 

    Chef Nicole handled last-minute changes with ease

    Whenever a driver canceled or they had to look for alternate routes or the customer asked to deliver early, Chef Nicole instantly made that change to their delivery schedule using Upper Route Planner. They would then dispatch the route to the respective drivers and they were on their way.

    Tackling uncertainties during delivery times became easier with the support of Upper Route Planner. 

    View Success Story

  4. Optimize Delivery Routes According to Priority

    The Problem: Food delivery businesses are always dealing with multiple priority orders to be delivered at a particular time in different parts of the city.

    But how do you make sure to prioritize these deliveries according to the given time windows while still managing other orders simultaneously?

    The Solution: Priority orders and time windows can be easily managed using Upper Route Planner. It is easier to prioritize orders when using route planning software to plan and optimize delivery routes.

    When optimizing routes using Upper Route Planner, you can simply add your stops and mark priority orders as “urgent.” Upper Route Planner will make sure to focus on urgent orders and optimize your delivery routes accordingly. 

    Our client Wishlist.Delivery Maker takes care of priority orders using Upper Route Planner

    Instead of relying on guesswork, Wishlist. Delivery Maker prepares efficient and accurate delivery routes by prioritizing several urgent orders and managing strict time windows for those orders. 

    Upper Route Planner has helped several clients in managing urgent orders in strict time frames while still successfully managing other orders on the same route. 

  5. Notify your Clients with Recipient Notifications

    The Problem: Often the biggest complaint food delivery businesses receive is that the customers do not get notified about the location of their food package.

    Not having a transparent delivery process and not allowing customers to receive the location of their package can truly hamper the customer experience.

    The Solution: The best way to solve this problem is by using Upper Route Planner’s recipient notifications feature. Recipient notifications allow businesses to keep their customers informed about the whereabouts of their package.

    Keeping customers in the loop can drastically improve the overall customer experience for any delivery business. It improves customer retention and brand loyalty as well when you let your customers know you value them by keeping them informed at each stage of the delivery process. 

  6. Customer Notes for Drivers

    The Problem: Another problem faced by food delivery businesses is when there is no open communication with the customers and the drivers. Your customers always appreciate having clear, open lines of communication & being heard. 

    The Solution: The best way to do this is by allowing direct communication between your customers and your drivers. Allow your customers to leave notes and instructions for your drivers. These notes and instructions help your drivers be more accurate and carry out their deliveries efficiently. 

    Your customers can direct your drivers as to how to carry out the delivery, where to leave the package. This is the best way to make sure your customers are heard, your drivers receive accurate instructions and the deliveries are carried out successfully.

    Upper Route Planner allows direct communication to flow between your customers and drivers. Your customers can drop clear instructions to the drivers. Drivers can carry out the deliveries accordingly. This helps boost the overall customer communication and customer experience. 

  7. Record Proof of Delivery

    The Problem: It is quite inconvenient for your drivers to carry out manual manifests in order to record customer signatures as proof of successfully accepting the package.

    Not being able to record a clear proof of delivery affects the ability of a business to know whether or not a package was delivered safely.

    Businesses often receive complaints regarding damaged goods or false claims regarding the loss of a package. Businesses require clear documentation to prove that the package was delivered as agreed.

    The Solution: Upper Route Planner’s proof of delivery feature is the best tool to help you record the successful delivery of meal kits. 

    After successfully delivering a meal kit, your driver can click pictures of the package with the customers and collect customer signatures signifying the acceptance of delivery.

    Electronic proof of delivery helps boost customer satisfaction, improves driver accountability, and keeps records for every delivery made.

    How Parkwood Pvt. Ltd. Benefits from Recording Digital Proof of Delivery

    The drivers at Parkwood Pvt. Ltd., a family-owned manufacturing business in New Zealand, used to carry out a printed, manual manifest to record proof of delivery. 

    With Upper Route Planner, they shifted to recording digital proof of delivery.

    The drivers could easily collect customer signatures on their phones and also click pictures of the goods delivered at the intended address.

    Being able to collect digital proof of delivery helped Parkwood Pvt. Ltd. and many of our other clients get rid of false complaints and misunderstandings regarding the delivery of a package.

  8. Generate Reports for Daily Deliveries

    The Problem: Food delivery businesses have no definite way of finding out loopholes or problem areas when there is no collection of data. This collection of data is immensely important for delivery businesses.

    Delivery businesses must have a way to find out how to improve their services, how to be more time & cost-effective, identify problem areas, and improve decision-making and productivity for the business.

    The Solution: The best way to do this is by recording data and generating reports on a daily basis. But recording data manually is not only time-consuming but also inefficient. This is where Upper Route Planner’s Reports & Analytics come in to help you.

    Upper Route Planner helps you generate effective reports for all your meal deliveries. It allows you to generate reports for each of your delivery drivers, route, or delivery tasks.

    Moreover, our route planner provides all the necessary data required to identify loopholes, boost productivity, and improve overall delivery operations.   

Wishlist.Delivery Maker Got All The Necessary Data in One Place

Our client Wishlist.Delivery Maker, brought together all their important information and delivery data in one place using Upper Route Planner. They not only planned and optimized routes using our software, but they could also generate digital proof of delivery and daily, weekly, and monthly reports for all their deliveries. 

Manage Your Route Planning & Optimization at One Place

Access All The Necessary Tools for Efficient Route Planning & Optimization with Upper Route Planner for Timely Deliveries.


Here’s why a food delivery company or meal delivery service needs route planning:

  • Helps them be more accurate with planning and optimizing their routes;
  • Helps them save a lot of time & money;
  • Reach customers and clients on time;
  • Improve productivity and customer satisfaction.

Yes, of course. Upper Route Planner is a great solution to optimize meal deliveries because it allows you to optimize hundreds of stops in an instant. It can generate multiple delivery routes for multiple drivers instantly without wasting too much time on manual planning and optimization.

Boost Your Meal Kit Delivery Business with Upper Route Planner

Whether you are delivering meal kits or just fresh ingredients to your customers, make sure they reach them on time. The best way to do this is to integrate Upper Route Planner with your delivery process.

Let Upper Route Planner take care of your delivery planning while you focus on more pressing matters. There’s no need to deal with long, stressful hours in the back office as well as on the road. With Upper Route Planner, you can save time planning and also save time on the road while delivering meal kits and fresh produce. 

Adopt an easy and efficient way of planning and delivering meal kit or providing grocery delivery service on time. and see for yourself how it can benefit your meal delivery business. 

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.