Starting a Pickup and Delivery Service – Small Business Transformation

Matt, March 30, 2020

“Location, Location, Location” has become “Pickup, Delivery, Pickup!”

During this time of empty streets and uncertainty, what can product based businesses that require foot traffic like restaurants, liquor stores, bakeries, pharmacies, and grocery stores do to stay in business? You can deliver and provide pickup services! It may seem daunting but we’re here to help!

I’m Interested in Starting a Pickup and Delivery Service – How do I Tell People?

During our current health climate, you want to be able to prove a safe delivery service, and a safe pickup service. So how do you go about getting your message out, and what are some steps you can take to get your message out, along with online ordering options? 

  • Make your menu or item list available online – This can be done on your website or posted on social media. If your web and social person has trouble, Capacity can help.  
  • Tell people – You need to notify everyone that you will deliver or allow pick up. You can utilize email lists and newsletters, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. If you have access to local groups and even co-ops, those can be great places to hang physical print fliers.
  • Engage your ambassadors – Friends, family, and ESPECIALLY your clients and customers that you love and you know love you are the very best way to get the word out about your new endeavors. They’ll share your posts, spread the word, and help get your new service out to the public.  
  • Budget – Time is of the essence. People will permanently switch to businesses that can meet their needs. Being frugal may not be ideal, but switching to options that can help optimize your profits while meeting demand is crucial. Shifting budget due to the unfortunate loss of staff, subsidies for leases and utilities and with the help of other government subsidies can help you transform your business into a thriving up and coming delivery and pickup service. By shifting your budget to reach consumers who can’t reach you, you’ll hopefully be able to bring back those employees and your business will climb to the top again in no time. 

How Do I Actually Allow Safe Pick Up?

By allowing customers to order and pay both by phone or online you’ll open your consumer market exponentially. Taking orders and credit cards over the phone is easiest if your point of sale (POS) allows you to type in the information with your customer on the phone with you. Most websites have a “plug in” that can be set up to take online payments. Or you can sign up to a multitude of merchant service websites that allow you to list your items and process credit cards. If your web-person has trouble Capacity can help with this.   

safe food pickup

How do you safely offer pickup solutions for customers during these trying times?

Pickup Ordering Steps – 

Give the customer the following information online or on the phone:

  • Estimated time of pickup or delivery – The more accurate the better! If you can allow them to choose a time, this may be more helpful. 
  • Explicit directions on WHERE to pick up their order – do they need to pull up to the curb and you’ll bring it out? Do you have reserved parking? Is there a drive through?
  • If you’re bringing orders to them, do you want to just place it in the trunk? Tell them you’d like the back door or trunk open and waiting for your delivery.
  • To ensure safe social distancing, ask them to show you ID through a closed window to confirm they are the ones who ordered their purchase. If they are picking up for someone, clarify how you would like them to identify themselves.
  • When walking the order outside be sure to follow proper food preparation precautions or wear  gloves for non-food items. Do not sneeze, cough, or breath on the delivery bag.
  • Once the items are placed in the vehicle, smile, wave goodbye, and head back inside. 

How do I Actually Provide Safe Delivery?

As mentioned above, online and phone orders will provide you the widest range of customers. Whether using online ordering systems or speaking to customers on the phone, ensure you answer the following pertinent information:

pickup and delivery business

Getting your delivery business set up and ready to roll can be easy as 1-2-3!

Delivery Ordering Steps – 

Give the customer the following information online or on the phone:

  • Estimated time of pickup or delivery – The more accurate the better! If you can allow them to choose a time, this may be more helpful. 
  • Explicit directions on WHERE you are delivering their order. Exact street address AND phone number. If there are important delivery needs like placement on a porch, or how to reach your particular apartment, please include these. 
  • When transporting the order be sure to follow proper food preparation precautions or wear vinyl gloves for non-food items. Place the order in the trunk or hatchback of the delivery vehicle. Do not sneeze, cough, or breathe on the delivery bag. If you sneeze or cough in the vehicle your business and customer should be notified immediately and next steps should follow. 
  • Place the delivery exactly where they requested (with proper food preparation precautions still in place and while not sneezing, coughing, or breathing on it)
  • Return to your vehicle and notify the customer, whether by calling, texting or notifying your business so an alert can be sent through your POS or web browser. 
  • Ensure your customer has retrieved their delivery, smile and wave goodbye.


We know these are trying times, but we’re here to assist you build a new avenue of business to help deliver your much needed products to the public. Please reach out with any questions! We want to help you succeed through these tumultuous times.