Food delivery and take-out have been welcome options for busy families and individuals that want to enjoy meals from their favorite restaurants, but don’t have the time to dine in. During difficult times, this option has proven to be of even greater importance.
Although your restaurant may not have previously focused of that side of the business, there are several, easy-to-manage steps that can be taken to ensure you and your team are well positioned to meet this shifting demand.
Make it Easy for Your Customers
Be knowledgeable with the various ordering methods available to your customers. Over-the-phone and online are the most common, but recent options also include accepting text-messages and orders placed through a variety of apps from mobile devices. Be ready to take your customer’s orders and process them effectively, regardless of the method used.
Dedicate an area within your restaurant specific to pick-up and delivery and consider posting signage at the main entrance to eliminate any potential confusion. Give your customers the information they need to make this transaction smooth, and direct them to exactly where their orders can be received. The more efficient this process is the more customers you will be able to serve.
Create Staging Areas
Consider making adjustments to the physical layout of your restaurant – from the back of the house to the front door – in order to better accommodate for the various staging efforts associated with food delivery and take-out. Where once there may have been an area behind the counter dedicated to selling a variety of baked goods, update this space to provide for a more expedited and better flowing take-out and delivery service.
Make sure that every step of the process – from receiving the inbound order, preparing the food and readying it at the front of the house – has been accounted for. Look for opportunities to increase efficiency, reduce the number of hand-offs and limit the potential for mistakes. Similar to working a busy dining area, the more planning that is put into place, the more success your restaurant will realize.
Speed and Accuracy
Check, and double check, each and every order before it leaves your restaurant. Include all of the essentials that go with your food: sauces, seasonings or sides that impact the experience your customers will have at home. Post a simple, staging-area checklist to avoid missing the details and make every effort to coordinate your orders so that the food is consistently hot when made ready for delivery or pick-up. A well-timed order maintains freshness and prompts repeat business.
Designate an expediter from your staff to be a point person for every order. Their goal is to stay on top of the timing and overall accuracy of the food as it leaves the kitchen and is prepped for pick-up. They are responsible for eliminating errors and missteps and, as the eyes and ears of the entire operation, will be in the best position to suggest needed updates to further refine the process.
Packaging for Success
Utilize packaging that maintains the quality and integrity of your food. These containers should be durable, prevent leaking and resist breaking, and avoid contamination and food items mixing together. A well-designed food package accommodates for easier stacking and reduces shifting during transportation.
A durable solution plays a vital role when it comes to reheating leftover food for the next day’s meal. Utilizing reliable to-go and delivery products to support your menu throughout the week ensures that your customers experience the quality of food your restaurant is known for. Give them the experience they expect when dining in, but from the comfort of their own home.