In restaurants just a couple of weeks ago, having a solid plan for off-premise business was highly recommended but perhaps not essential. Well here we are – and for restaurants across the nation, takeout has suddenly become the only option to allow business operations to continue for the time being. Whether you offer off-premise menu items such as takeout meals that customers can pick up outside your door, or you have food delivered, restaurants can play an important role in providing a sense of normalcy and community in these unsettling times. Try to think of your menu and marketing in a new way. What items available through your regular suppliers can be included in care packages to be sent home with people who are house-bound right now? Can you create meal bundles complete with appetizers and comfort food that may appeal to families looking for relief after a day of managing remote learning? Do you have a popular house-made beer that people may crave to relieve some stress at the end of the day? (Note that state regulators have begun to allow delivery of cocktails.) Can you create partnerships with other restaurant operators to pool resources on a temporary basis? How can you think outside of the box and provide food and some much-needed positivity to your customers through the weeks ahead? When spreading the word about your takeout options, think beyond the usual channels – on your social media and email list, encourage people to help promote you to friends at their schools, houses of worship and other local organizations that are eager to help people in your community the weeks ahead.
With reduced dining room capacities take out and curbside pick ups will be with us for some time. Some things to consider when building these menus are:
How well does a menu item travel?
Tamper evident packaging
Third party delivery service
Who controls the customer data
You control data
You control timing
You control how product is handled
Below we have offered some resources for your pick up and delivery program.
With operating cost increasing and possible incoming decreasing, it is more important than ever to look at your reveune streams and areas were you are spending more money. Chances are your delivery business, is you offered it, will be increasing at the same time your delivery costs may be increasing as well. Now is the time to determine if you are going to use/continue to use a third party delivery service or if you will self deliver. Here are a few things you should consider: