As the fastest growing segment of the foodservice industry, takeout is no longer optional for restaurants. This category provides signiﬁcant incremental value while oﬀering customers the convenience they demand. According to the National Restaurant Association, about one-third of consumers state that purchasing restaurant takeout is an essential part of their lifestyle, and 46 percent of adults – and 61 percent of millennials – say an important factor in choosing a restaurant is the availability of takeout or delivery options. Extend your dining room into customers’ homes and capitalize on this growing trend by starting a takeout business or enhancing your existing program to make it as eﬃcient, convenient, and proﬁtable as possible.
START WITH THE MENU
Your takeout menu is an extension of your business that should represent your brand. Carefully consider how your current ingredients and menu items can be repurposed and adapted to takeout. To keep costs at a minimum, the options you serve for takeout should already be part of your inventory. Maines can help you strategize how to keep your menu convenient and customizable yet speciﬁc to best capture your return on investment. Before finalizing your takeout menu, test all items in selected packaging and eliminate or adjust oﬀerings that cannot hold up to their original restaurant quality. Above all, make sure your takeout tastes just as fresh and delicious as it does when served in your restaurant.
SUIT YOUR STAFF
Speed and accuracy are two key factors that make a successful takeout service. To meet these demands, have a dedicated front of the house staﬀ to take orders, monitor quality control, and provide excellent customer service. Prepare the back of the house for additional workload. Technology like tablet ordering systems are a worthy investment as they can lower labor costs and increase eﬃciency in the kitchen. If you deliver, integrate the delivery technology with your in-house electric point-of sale system to help the cooking ﬂow in the kitchen. Overall, your staff should be ready to deliver a convenient, effortless takeout experience to your customers.
THE POWER OF PACKAGING
Equip your restaurant with a variety of packaging products that have unique qualities for diﬀering applications. Whether it’s multiple compartments, visible lids, or durable silverware, your packaging should support, protect, and enhance the quality and convenience of your to-go meals. Test all takeout items to ensure the integrity of food is preserved, proper temperatures are maintained, and portions are accurate. Utilize eco-friendly packaging to showcase a commitment to sustainability and incorporate your logo on containers for brand recognition. Contact your Maines Territory Manager for more Equipment and Supply ideas.
PROMOTE YOUR PROGRAM
Takeout is an increasingly essential category for restaurants, making the competition ﬁerce. Research your local competitors to see how you can make your takeout more enticing and more convenient. Promote your takeout services on your website and utilize all of your operation’s social media platforms to generate awareness. Branding your packaging with your logo or marketing messages is another excellent way to make your brand recognizable. Keep your operation top of mind for customers by including takeout menus, business cards, branded recipe cards, or quick customer surveys in every takeout bag.
HOW TO SIGN UP FOR THIRD- PARTY DELIVERY SERVICES
Third-party delivery services can ease the takeout process, broaden your customer base, and appeal to millennials who prioritize instant accessibility over cost. However, there are several factors to consider in determining the best third-party service for your operation. Thoroughly research potential companies by exploring training techniques, average delivery times, and customer satisfaction. Look for a company that matches your brand, maintains your reputation, and mirrors your restaurant experience. Here are a few popular third-party delivery companies.
GrubHub: Since their debut in 2004, GrubHub has expanded into 900 cities, works with 35,000 restaurants, and takes 220,000 orders daily. GrubHub features restaurant menus on their website and app where customers can also track the status of their orders. Customer orders are sent to a tablet that GrubHub provides at no cost. To sign your restaurant up for GrubHub, visit https://get.grubhub.com
Uber Eats: Uber Eats is currently available in major cities such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Uber Eats oﬀers a larger delivery radius than typical services, generating volume and increasing proﬁ ﬁts. It provides live geo-tracking so operators and customers can track deliveries. Operators can also change pickup time based on how busy they are, maximizing excellent workﬂow. To work with Uber Eats, sign up at https://www.ubereats.com
TAKEOUT IS TAKING OFF!
Takeout has the potential to drive additional traﬃc and sales to restaurants, according to Technomic Inc. Below are some of Technomic’s recent ﬁndings on consumer takeout trends. Use these insights to improve your takeout program.
- Consumers aged 18-34 are the biggest users of takeout and delivery, with half saying they order food to go more often than they did three years ago.
- Consumers are more likely to order carryout or delivery via a restaurant’s mobile app or website than by using an online ordering platform
- 19% of consumers purchase takeout from restaurants 10 or more times per month, up from 16% in 2013.
- 26% of 18-34 year olds say they are using third-party delivery more often now than one year ago
- Roughly one-third of consumers aged 18 to 34 say they are highly likely to order takeout using chatbots or emojis via text or social media sites, if oﬀered.
- 88% of 18-34 year olds depend on carryout for dinner, 84% carry out lunch, and 57% carry out late-night snacks.