Everything to know about ice cream delivery apps. If you run an ice cream business today you are missing out on a huge chunk of sales if you are not signed up to delivery apps like UbetEats, Doordash, etc. This is especially the case for ice cream shops and trucks. In this post, I want to discuss everything you need to know about ordering ice cream delivery via Apps. I go through the main delivery apps and some of the most frequently asked questions about online delivery apps for customers, delivery drivers, and ice cream shops. But first can ice cream even be delivered through online delivery apps?
Can Ice Cream Be Delivered Via Delivery Apps
As a general rule, ice cream can be delivered directly to your door via delivery apps such as Doordash, UberEATS, and Postmates. These delivery apps tend to limit the delivery radius for ice cream shops to prevent ice cream orders melting on the route. Selling through online delivery apps can be a great way for ice cream shops to boost their sales.
What Apps Deliver Ice Cream?
All the big delivery apps deliver ice cream. The biggest delivery apps include:
I personally use Doordash, Ubereats, Postmates, and Grubhub in my ice cream store and have been using them for the past 6 years.
The first delivery platform I signed up to all the way back in 2016 was Postmates and I quickly signed up to GrubHub, Doordash, and UberEATS soon after. I have really seen how much food delivery via these platforms has grown in recent years. Nowadays online orders can form up to 25% of our ice cream shop’s sales. On rainy and colder days we have been known to sell more ice cream via delivery apps than in store.
What’s in this Post?
I have broken this post into three sections – dealing with the most asked questions in relation to ice cream delivery via delivery apps for:
- A. customers
- B. delivery drivers
- C. ice cream shops
A. Ice Cream Delivery Apps for Customers
Ice Cream Ordered with Postmates
Can Customers Postmates Ice Cream?
You can indeed Postmates ice cream. So long as you are within Postmate’s delivery radius for your favorite ice cream shop, you can get a scoop or two delivered straight to your door.
Does Ice Cream Melt with Postmates?
Like with all online delivery, there is always a chance that ice cream can arrive melted. This usually happens if there is bad traffic, long delivery distances, and during hot weather. Ice packs or dry ice are not usually used for ice cream deliveries.
To be honest, in my experience of selling ice cream via Postmates over the past six years we have received very few complaints of melted deliveries.
If your ice cream does arrive melted, make sure to reach out to Postmates to see if they can resolve the issue. When you do make sure to state that the ice cream arrived melted, and the issue isn’t the ice cream itself. You wouldn’t want the ice cream shop to incur the cost of the issue being resolved. Also, make sure not to call the ice cream shop directly – there won’t be anything they can do. As an ice cream shop, there is very little, they can do except reach out to Postmates. Ice cream shops cannot even send out a new order – Postmates will require the customer to place the order again.
Melted ice cream deliveries are something for the delivery app to deal with – not the ice cream shop. In any event, Postmates should be able to refund the order or provide you with a credit.
Ice Cream Ordered with Doordash
Can You Get Ice Cream on Doordash?
You can order ice cream via Doordash. Doordash is the delivery platform that we have experienced the biggest increase in orders over the years from our ice cream shop.
Is it Okay with Doordash Ice Cream?
It is absolutely fine with Doordash ice cream. Doordash is great at delivering ice cream.
How Does Doordash Keep Ice Cream Cold?
The main thing Doordash does to keep ice cream cold is set a set delivery radius for an ice cream shop. As the delivery radius for an ice cream shop is limited, the ice cream generally doesn’t have to travel very far and so the risk of melting is low.
Further, some Doordash drivers will use cool bags, and ice packs, and put the aircon in their car on high to deliver ice cream, to ensure it arrives frozen. Out of all the delivery platforms I see Doordash drivers tend to use branded cool bags the most.
My Doordash Ice Cream Arrived Melted
What to do if the ice cream you ordered off Doordash arrives melted? If your Doordash ice cream arrives melted, make sure to reach directly out to Doordash to resolve the issue. Do not contact the ice cream shop – there will not be anything they will be able to do. In fact, when customers call us about a delivery issue, we end up having to call Doordash to try and resolve the issue who then tells us the customer has to contact them directly.
Melted ice cream deliveries are something you need to reach directly out to Doordash about.
Ice Cream Ordered with UberEATS
How Does Uber Deliver Ice Cream?
UberEATS deliver ice cream the same way all the other delivery apps do.
- You place your ice cream order and pay on UberEATS.
- The ice cream shop’s UberEATS tablet will “ping” with the order.
- The ice cream shop will prepare the order
- UberEATS delivery driver will collect the order and deliver it to you.
How Does UberEATS Keep Ice Cream Cold?
Some UberEATS drivers will use a cool box or cool packs to keep ice cream cold – but a lot will not.
Remember the delivery apps set the delivery radius for ice cream deliveries so that only customers reasonably close to ice cream shops can receive orders. A lot of the time the ice cream is in the car for such a short period of time that there is no issue with melting.
In my ice cream shop, most delivery drivers do not have cool bags. It is also extremely rare we receive a complaint about melted ice cream deliveries.
B. Delivering Ice Cream for Delivery Drivers
Is It Possible to Deliver Ice Cream?
It is indeed possible to deliver ice cream. If you sign up as a driver for any of the major delivery apps, expect to be collecting and delivering ice cream.
How Do I Deliver Ice Cream Without It Melting?
Here are the top five tips for ensuring delivery drivers deliver ice cream without it melting. Remember the quicker and better condition the ice cream is delivered the better your tips can be.
- Cool Bags: Always have a cool bag or cool box in your car for ice cream deliveries.
- Cool Packs: include cool packs in your cool bag/box or ask the ice cream shop for a bag with ice if delivery is a little further away or there is traffic.
- Delivering: drop ice cream deliveries off straight away (i.e., don’t drop another food delivery off first).
- Air Conditioning: keep the air con in your car on high when delivering ice cream and keep the ice cream out of direct sunlight during the day.
- Don’t Waste Time: don’t sit in your car for long periods of time in between collecting ice cream and delivering it. I have witnessed drivers collecting an ice cream order, then seeing them sit in their car on their phone for 10 minutes before carrying out the delivery – don’t do this.
C. Ice Cream Delivery Apps for Ice Cream Shops
Can Ice Cream Shops Make Money Via Delivery Apps?
Ice cream shops can and do make money via delivery apps. Ice cream shops won’t make as much money via delivery apps as they will from walk-in customers, but it is still worth doing. For example, in my experience, online order apps provide around 25% extra daily sales. This increases on colder and rainier days.
Here are my tips for selling ice cream via delivery apps:
1. Sign up to Doordash and UberEATS.
These two delivery platforms, by far, resulted in the most orders for my ice cream shop in Southern California. We have tried other delivery apps over the years but these two are the best. Remember that by signing up to Doordash you will also be opening yourself up to sales via Caviar (Doordash owns Caviar) and by signing up to UberEATS you get sales via Postmates as UberEATS owns Postmates.
2. Marketing Campaigns
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend signing up for any of the marketing campaigns on the delivery platforms. I have found it is normally when we sign up for the marketing campaigns that profit margins become far too slim.
When you are selling ice cream at $5 a scoop, offering a discount plus the usual delivery commissions, results in it being difficult to make a decent net profit. These really work for full-scale restaurants where average order values can be $50+.
We find we get enough orders via Doordash and UberEATS without doing any marketing campaigns.
When it comes to making money with delivery apps, if you don’t sign up for the marketing campaigns, and your staff doesn’t make many mistakes with the orders (you will get charged for mistakes) you can expect to receive 70-80% of the sales. Most delivery fees are 20-30% before marketing.
This means if you keep your COGS below 30% you will still be making 40-50% gross profit after COGS and delivery fees.
A lot of business owners tend to complain about these fees. However, I don’t think these complaints are justified. The cost for an ice cream business to have a dedicated delivery driver on payroll will easily cost you 20-30%. Also, the apps give you access to a wider customer audience that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to attract on your own. It is a win-win.
That said, I have found you are able to negotiate commissions with platforms. And, if commissions are an issue for you there are platforms such as ChowNow or Doordash Storefront that offer commission-free platforms.
4. Adding Order Links To Your Website
You will want to sign up to Doordash Storefront and put links for online orders on your website. I have set up an “Order Now” and a separate menu header for “Order Now” on my site. Both links go to a commission-free Doordash Storefront. When customers order via storefront you do not get charged any commission – just the merchant processing fee.
5. Making Orders
Train staff to make delivery orders as soon as they receive them (unless they are dealing with any walk-in customers), bag them, and then put the order in the freezer at the front of the store. That way the order should be nice and frozen by the time the delivery driver arrives, and it is also less likely to melt during the journey.
You want to make sure that you have quick and easy access to frozen storage for online orders so they can be handed over quickly and easily. You don’t want to be going to the back kitchen to grab stored orders constantly.
6. Ice Cubes
If a delivery driver asks for something to keep an order cold (they normally only do it if it is a little further away) put some ice cubes in a plastic bag and tie it tight. We keep a couple of ice cube trays in our freezer just for this purpose.
7. How to Label Orders
If you are on several online delivery Apps you will want to make sure you have a clear system in place for labeling orders. You don’t want orders getting mixed up when you get several orders at once from different platforms.
My personal system is to write an abbreviation for the platform followed by the customer’s name and then how many bags the order is. For example, if Sarah orders 2 bags worth of ice cream, I will label it as: “DD, Sarah, 1 / 2”, and “DD, Sarah, 2 / 2” for the second bag. Use a sharpie for labeling the bags and you can also write a nice message on the order – think something like “you are amazing”, “you deserve this”, “lots of love”, etc.
Make sure you have a clear system in place for utensils and napkins. For environmental reasons most platforms will require customers to specify if utensils are to be added. If they select utensils, have a clear system for what you provide. For example, we provide one spoon per serving of ice cream and 3 napkins.
The nature of online orders means more customization. Often in the notes section, people will ask for certain toppings to be put on the side. This isn’t an issue, just make sure you have smaller size cups and lids available for this. We use 3.5 oz side cups and lids.
10. The Notes Section
The notes section is also where people will sometimes make requests for things you don’t currently have on offer. For example, we have had people ordering a certain flavor and then in the notes section ask for a past flavor or certain toppings not available. I have also had people order a single scoop and then in the notes ask for a double scoop or then 4 different flavors. You will have to make judgment calls on these types of orders.
Often the best way to deal with them is to raise an order issue which you can easily do on the platform or charge a surge charge for the additional requests.
11. Delivery Drivers
Delivery drivers come in a whole host of personalities. Some are talkative, some are impatient, some are grumpy, some are quiet, some are angry, some are helpful…you get the idea. Whilst most are great, the biggest issue we have is with impatient drivers. Often, they will just walk to the front while you are serving a line of people and expect an order to be handed over.
Always have a system in place for double-checking the order with the driver (check the order name and platform). At the same time, you want to always manage drivers’ expectations. If it is busy and you are running behind tell the driver straight away how long they should expect to wait. If there is any wait some drivers will not accept the order and walk off. In these situations, the platform usually assigns another driver.
Driver’s Not Turning Up
The most common issue we have is assigned delivery drivers not turning up, or taking a long time (40 minutes plus) to arrive. You want to keep a close eye on pickup times. If more than 15 minutes have gone by been since you confirmed the order as ready you may want to call the delivery driver to see where they are or call the delivery platform.
12. Managing Orders
Each delivery platform has a way for you to set the amount of time orders should take. During busier periods, do not be afraid to set longer prep times. You can usually do this when the order comes in or during the prep on the tablet.
13. Charging the Tablets
If like us you are on four delivery platforms, then it means you will have four different tablets to deal with. That means you need to make sure four different tablets are turned on each day and constantly charged.
You also must make sure you have a dedicated space with easy access to plug sockets for all the tablets to be charged. Tablets take up a lot of space. They also tend to be dropped a lot and are prone to being stolen. Yes, stolen – I have had to chase someone down before for trying to steal our UberEats tablet.
Everything You Need to Know About Ice Cream Delivery Apps – The Final Lick
Everything you need to know about ice cream delivery apps. In today’s current market, any ice cream shop or even truck that is not on at least one online delivery platform is losing sales. Customers expect everything to be available to order online and be delivered direct to their front doors. Ice cream is not an exception. Online sales have been an amazing way for us to grow our business. In effect, they help turn a 7-day week into an 8-day week. Offering a full additional day of sales and more each week.
Yes, the commissions can be a little bit annoying. However, the reality is it is hard for a small business to provide a dedicated delivery driver or access to so many additional customers for 30% of the cost of an ice cream sale.
Don’t fight it, embrace it.
Time To Learn Some More
Want to learn more on your path to ice cream entrepreneur success. Then check out some of my other articles.
- What Are the Challenges In An Ice Cream Business
- How Do I Start My Own Ice Cream Business
- Ice Cream Shop Profits – How To Run A Profitable Ice Cream Shop
- How Much Does It Cost To Start An Ice Cream Truck
- How Much Does It Cost To Start An Ice Cream Shop
- Ice Cream Shop Accounting – Everything You Need To Know
- Can I Make Ice Cream At Home And Sell It
- What Are the Different Types of Frozen Desserts?
- Is Vegan Ice Cream Profitable
- What Equipment Do I Need For My Ice Cream Truck
- How To Pick A Generator For Your Ice Cream Truck
- How Profitable Is An Ice Cream Truck?
- Everything You Need To Know About Working In An Ice Cream Shop
- Everything You Need to Know About Writing an Ice Cream Business Plan
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- How To Open An Ice Cream Shop
- How To Start An Ice Cream Truck
- Do Ice Cream Shops Make Money in the Winter
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- How Do You Become An Ice Cream Distributor
- Everything You Need To Know About Gluten-Free Ice Cream and Toppings
- What is the Mark-Up on Ice Cream?
- What Scoopers Do Ice Cream Shops Use?
- What Are the Best Toppings and Sauces for Ice Cream?