With mandates limiting restaurants across the nation to takeout and delivery during the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants have been left with the challenge of adapting their entire business to takeout. Use the following strategies to implement a takeout business or enhance your existing program to make it as eﬃcient, convenient, and proﬁtable as possible.
START WITH THE MENU
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. Your Maines Territory Manager 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.
EMBRACE TRANSPARENCY & COMMUNITY
With much uncertainty surrounding the restaurant industry in the coronavirus crisis, there has never been a better and more crucial time to be transparent with your customers. Communicate with your customers about your extra efforts to maintain food safety standards and be open about the harsh realities your business may be facing post-virus. Ask for their support and generate awareness by posting your takeout hours and offerings on your social channels and website. Add your restaurant to the Rally for Restaurants movement that allows diners to purchase gift cards to help give small business owners a fighting chance. Let every takeout customer know how much their support means to you and your business. Include takeout menus, business cards, or branded recipe cards in every takeout bag to offer customers added value and to keep your restaurant top-of-mind.
THE POWER OF PACKAGING
It’s essential to equip your restaurant with a variety of packaging products that have unique qualities for various applications. Whether it’s multiple compartments, visible lids, or durable cutlery, 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. Eco-friendly packaging, the number one trend on the NRA’s “What’s Hot Culinary Forecast,” aligns with the values of modern consumers, and more than half of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging. Showcasing your commitment to sustainability, especially during these challenging times, can go a long way in building your brand and strengthening the support of your customers. Contact your Maines Territory Manager for more Equipment and Supply ideas.
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 the many consumers trying to limit public exposure and potential health risks. There are several factors to consider in determining the best third-party service for your operation. 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 that have taken proactive measures to keep their delivery drivers and customers safe during this health crisis.
GrubHub: Since its 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 get.grubhub.com
Uber Eats: Uber Eats oﬀers a larger delivery radius than typical services, generating volume and increasing proﬁts. 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 ubereats.com
Maines is your dedicated partner and will do everything we can to support our customers with their takeout business in this time of need. Contact your Maines Territory Manager today for takeout packaging, essentials, and support.