Nowadays, customers expect their favorite eateries to deliver. Food delivery has become so popular that it can amount to a significant part of a restaurant’s sales.

If you deliver food, you need to be familiar with delivery route optimization.

The benefits go beyond time and money savings. Optimizing your routes can help you keep your customers satisfied, something which in a highly-competitive restaurant industry is critical. You'll also see a reduction in CO2 emissions, making your business more eco-friendly.

Below, we’ll go through the basics of delivery route optimization, its benefits, ways to improve it, as well as what to look for in a route optimization software.


What Is Route Optimization?

Route optimization is the process of finding the best route that is both time- and cost-effective. 

For deliveries, this process involves utilizing delivery route optimization software to identify the shortest and most cost-effective routes. Taking into account factors such as traffic to the driver’s schedule, estimated delivery times, distance between deliveries, and driver’s proximity to the hub.

Evaluating these factors will give you a holistic view of the issues you have to overcome and the solutions that can help you make the most of your drivers’ time.

5 Benefits of Optimizing Your Food Delivery Route

Let's take a look at some of the top benefits of optimizing your food delivery route!


Increased productivity

Wasting time in traffic or driving from one end of the city to the other, and then immediately back again can severely impact your drivers' productivity and delivery times. This can lead to unhappy customers who may not order from you again. 

You can avoid this snowball effect by optimizing your food delivery routes to take into account traffic and locations.

By leveraging delivery route optimization algorithms and apps, businesses can streamline their operations, maximize their drivers' time, and enhance overall efficiency in last-mile delivery route optimization

Badger Maps is one delivery route planner app tailored specifically for delivery people, offering advanced features to optimize routes and improve performance. 

With capabilities such as route optimization, map visualization, and automated data gathering from the field, Badger Maps helps field delivery teams save time on their daily planning, maintain better relationships with customers, and get organized.

If you're looking for the best delivery route optimization app, look no further than Badger Maps. 

Badger Maps reduces sales drivers average drive time by 20% and frees up an average of 8 hours a week. 

Sign up for a free trial today or schedule a demo to see how you can start using this route-planning app for your deliveries!

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Shorter delivery times

When customers browse your restaurant menu and place an order, they also get an estimated delivery time. Wouldn’t you want that time to be shorter?

The faster you can deliver an order, the more satisfied your customers will be, and the more orders you can deliver daily. More than half of respondents to a recent survey expected the delivery time of their orders to be under 30 minutes.  

Delivery route optimization software can help you plan efficient routes that minimize travel time and maximize deliveries, ultimately boosting customer satisfaction levels.

Check out this Outside Sales Talk podcast episode with Alice Heiman to learn actionable customer retention tactics that will drive repeat sales!

Reduced costs

From fuel to vehicle maintenance, food delivery includes costs that traditional dine-in restaurants don’t have to deal with. Optimize your delivery routes with delivery route optimization algorithms to minimize fuel usage and reduce wear and tear on your vehicles, saving you money in the long run.

Using a route optimization software like Badger Maps will help you save money on gas by 25%! 

With optimized routes, you will no longer need to zig-zag around to get to the delivery address. Plus, you will deliver to more customers.

Calculate how much you'll save per year with Badger Maps here

Reduced chance of human errors

Forgoing route optimization altogether or trying to optimize your delivery route manually can leave you open to human errors and inefficient deliveries.

Delivery route optimization apps can automate the process: planning efficient routes that consider traffic, locations, and delivery priorities, minimizing errors and ensuring on-time deliveries.

Improved customer experience

Faster, error-free deliveries are crucial for customer satisfaction. Optimized delivery routes lead to happier customers who are more likely to leave you positive reviews and recommend your restaurant to others. With optimized routes, you can also avoid complaints related to late deliveries or route mix-ups.

This improves your brand reputation and helps attract new customers.

Check out this helpful guide with 5 tips for improving your customer service skills

5 Ways to Optimize Your Restaurant Delivery Route

Let's check out exactly how you can optimize your food delvery routes with route optimization software.


Organize deliveries by location

The simplest way to optimize your delivery routes is by grouping them by location.

For example, one of your drivers can take all the orders on the north side of town while another can cover the south area. That way, they eliminate back-and-forth travel, saving time for both drivers and customers.

Leverage multi-stop deliveries

When segmenting deliveries by location, map a route that will allow you to deliver multiple orders on your way to the “final destination.” These stops will make your life easier and help you deliver more food orders with fewer drivers. They´ll also help with daily planning and time management.

Check out this detailed guide with the 10 best multi-stop route planners on the market today!

Consider vehicle capacity

In the case of food orders, as opposed to delivering large, heavy packages, it’s possible to get by with small vehicles like scooters.

However, if you want to deliver multiple orders at once and streamline the delivery process, you might need a car. Not to mention some orders for events or parties might not fit on a scooter.

When optimizing your delivery route, keep your vehicles’ capacity in mind. If you’re delivering a pizza close by, a scooter will be enough. If you’re planning a multi-stop delivery, you need a larger vehicle.

Factor in the type of delivery

The way you segment deliveries should also consider the type of fulfillment requested by the customer or any special preferences they might have.

Some customers might prefer curbside delivery, where you wait for them to come pick up the food at the curb, while others might go for contactless delivery where you leave the food at the door and notify them.

Group the same types of delivery together to minimize friction and have a clearer view of how long it takes each driver to deliver the orders.

Adjust routes as needed

Keeping a close eye on your drivers’ routes ensures you’re always in the loop of when an order is delivered. But it’s more than that.

It can also help you spot inadvertent delays so you can take action ahead of time and choose an alternative route that won’t completely ruin your delivery schedule.

For example, maybe you planned a specific route but there is a traffic jam due to an accident. Spotting it in time will give you the option to choose a different route so that your driver isn’t stuck in traffic for hours. Implementing these strategies, like multi-stop deliveries and real-time route adjustments, empowers you to streamline your restaurant's delivery game. Couple this with delivery route optimization software, and you'll unlock a recipe for success: faster service, happier customers, and ultimately, increased profits.

5 Must-Have Features to Look for in a Route Optimization Software

Now it's time for the features you need from a route optimization software.

delivery route optimization system

Fast route optimization

Naturally, one of the most important features of a route optimization software is the ability to quickly create and assign routes without wasting precious time.

The advantage of an automated tool such as this one is that it enables you to enter and update locations while doing the hard work of finding the best route and order of deliveries.

This saves you a lot of time and allows you to focus on more urgent aspects of your job.

Team access

If you work in the fast-paced restaurant industry, you probably won’t be the only one on your team who needs access to the route optimization software.

You need to be able to add multiple team members, as well as access each of their activity so you can track their productivity and make changes if necessary. Being on a team in a delivery route optimization software like Badger Maps also brings a lot of benefits. You can check your team’s activity in real time, the status of their current accounts, and be able to allocate tasks to team members on the road. 

my team

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Real-time tracking

As we mentioned above, real-time tracking allows you to spot potential issues early and make changes to the routes.

But it also helps you track your drivers to ensure everything is running smoothly and your deliveries are on track to the customers.

Integration with popular map services

Your drivers need a reliable map service when navigating. Whether that’s Google Maps, Waze, Magellan, or Garmin, the software you choose must support it, so you can seamlessly integrate it into your delivery process.

Check out this blog that shows you how to use Google Maps to route multiple stops!

Relevant statistics

Imagine trying to improve your delivery process without knowing crucial metrics like travel time or driver workload. That's the challenge without delivery route optimization software. Badger Maps provide access to team activity reports, revealing vital statistics on individual and team performance. This data empowers you to identify inefficiencies, like overloaded routes or underutilized drivers.

With this knowledge, you can strategically reassign deliveries for faster deliveries and a happier, more efficient workforce

It's like finally having a clear picture of your delivery landscape, allowing for informed decisions that benefit both your customers and your employees.


If you own a restaurant and you’re thinking of introducing delivery, or if you already deliver but you’re not satisfied with the productivity of your team, a route optimization tool is the answer.

It can help you boost productivity and customer satisfaction, all while lowering costs and keeping employees happy. 


What is delivery route optimization for food delivery?
It's planning the most efficient route for drivers to complete multiple deliveries, saving them time and delivering food faster.
How does delivery route optimization software help?
It plans efficient routes, considers traffic, schedules deliveries, and helps track drivers, improving efficiency and speed.
Are there free delivery route optimization options?
Yes, some basic tools offer route planning, but paid options offer advanced features like real-time traffic and multi-stop optimization.
What are some benefits of delivery route optimization?
It reduces travel time and distance, saving fuel costs and improving customer satisfaction through faster deliveries.
How do delivery route optimization algorithms work?
They consider various factors like distance, traffic, and delivery windows to calculate the most efficient route for all deliveries.

Author Bio: Laura Voicu is an online marketing specialist at Oracle’s GloriaFood, where she is in charge of writing content that will help restaurateurs grow and promote their business online without breaking the bank.

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