Ideas for Successful Restaurant Delivery and Takeout Service
We all know restaurants operate on razor-thin margins. New menu items, specials, seasonal recipes — restaurateurs are always looking for ways to increase profits. In today’s climate, this is especially true. As a result of current situations, we’re seeing a huge uptick in delivery and takeout.
Yes, in-house dining isn’t an option right now, and limited hours are probably the norm across the country. That doesn’t mean it’s not an opportunity to up delivery and takeout services, and here are a few ways to help make it more successful:
Dedicate a Space for Carryout
You want your carryout customers to feel special and valued. After all, as we all push through this coronavirus pandemic, many of your customers want their favorite restaurants to feel the exact same way. One way is to dedicate a safe space to make ordering and pickup easier.
Many restaurants looking at this type of revenue stream have never utilized it in the past. Carryout and delivery, in a sense, is its own business. It’s helpful to have signage that’s clear and concise, especially as customers maintain safe distances from one another, and consider how payment and pickup will work in terms of logistics.
Find Packaging That Will Make It Home
There’s nothing more frustrating than to get home with a bag full of food only to find that half the sauce spilled out into the bag. When launching your carryout and delivery service, do a little research to find the best packaging for the types of foods you’ll be sending in them. This can be especially tricky if you’ve never considered these materials before.
Different types of foods have different requirements. Some are heavier or hotter than others. That’s why it’s also a good idea to have a packing sequence before sending food home with customers. You don’t want something heavy on top of the bread or something hot on top of a dessert with ice cream.
Schedule the Right Employees
You can’t assign just anyone to work in your carryout and delivery side of the business. It needs to be a person who can answer questions about menu items, ingredients, and food prep, someone who is ultimately comfortable on the phone, too. You want someone who makes a great first impression in a short period of time and places the customer’s needs first. Carry out and delivery is a great way to help support your employees in today’s climate, so make sure your employees are supporting your customers.
There isn’t anything worse than spending money on your favorite meal and arriving home to find out the restaurant got the order wrong. In fact, many people won’t order from the eatery in the future after this type of mistake. You need to make one employee in charge of ensuring the accuracy of each order. From extra sauces to no pickles on a burger, these are the details easily missed by the kitchen. It’s a good idea to assign an employee who is detail-oriented to check each order after it leaves the kitchen but before it leaves the restaurant.
Food Safety First
In some cases, the customer may be delayed and their food sits and waits. You need to have a system in place to keep the food properly heated and the cold items cooled. Once the customer arrives, it’s a good idea to have the items in packaging that helps to maintain a constant temperature.
When packing the bags to go, you need to segregate the bag by temperature. You need to provide the customer with instructions to store leftovers and the best way to reheat each item. It’s also a good idea to include an expectation date on the packaging.
Of course, today, safety means something different entirely. As we mentioned before, be mindful of customers, where they wait, and how long they wait. Cleaning surfaces like door handles and railings frequently is a necessity, as is allowing customers to distance themselves from one another.
With a little planning, you can make your new restaurant carryout and delivery service a success. From a dedicated pick-up area to someone to ensuring order accuracy, you want to make sure the customer has a positive experience so they return over and over again, especially when this thing is all over.
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