Once again, many restaurants are facing up to the challenge of what to do when your customers can’t come to you – and finding the answer in takeaway.
It created lifesaving revenue streams for many operators during the full lockdown, and many have continued it ever since. Some groups have even opened delivery kitchens to make the most of the opportunity.
NFS customers including Dishoom, BrewDog, Gaucho and MyLahore have had great success in trying out new customer service models ranging from drive-thrus to delivery and food kits.
But like every aspect of the hospitality business, creating a successful takeaway and delivery business depends on getting EVERYTHING right – particularly making sure customers feel completely safe.
Top tips for giving customers confidence in your takeaway service
- Get your business set up properly
- Make the most of your website and social media accounts
- Use location-targeted ads
- Let customers know about your delivery, food prep and sanitation procedures
- Create delivery-safe menu items
- Say thank-you with a note
- Offer them promo codes
Get your business set up properly
Switching to a takeaway model is not always easy. Use technology such as Aloha Takeout to create a delivery-friendly website where customers can place orders easily.
Payment is taken automatically, and because the restaurant epos software can link with kitchen automation, the order is immediately placed.
Customers can choose to pick up their meal, but the technology even advises on the right packaging for each third-party service if they choose delivery.
Make the most of your website and social media accounts
Customers want and demand online service, so use your website and social media channels to make sure they know you offer takeaway and delivery, show them your menu and – importantly – reassure them about your hygienic procedures.
Social media is a great two-way communication system where they can engage with you – post images of your food, smiling staff, new menu items, share happy thoughts and comments, and add simple videos made on a smartphone.
Restaurant epos software can give assistance here, too, by helping you to monitor your social media and alerting you to any adverse reviews so you can put matters right.
Use location-targeted ads
This is super-important in these times of delivery, of course – you can post location-targeted search ads on Facebook and Google.
Identify your delivery radius with the third-party delivery platforms, which means you know exactly where your target audience is.
Put together some ads (check out the Facebook guide) that showcase your food and your safety procedures. These don’t need to be fancy, just simple.
Use the Facebook Ads Create tool to make your ad, then select Local Awareness. You can put in your business address and the delivery radius you want to reach (which you’ve already found out from the third-party delivery platforms).
Let customers know about your delivery, food prep and sanitation procedures
This is an important issue for your customers, so use your website to reassure them – write down what will happen during the delivery, and what you are doing at your restaurant to ensure hygiene and safety, step by step.
Restaurants who pivot to a takeaway model with contactless delivery are well-positioned to provide a great service to customers and benefit their business.
Some third-party delivery providers have introduced extra safety measures such as UberEats’ Leave At Door delivery to help people self-isolating.
Create delivery-safe menu items
It’s not going to be possible to deliver every menu item without damage, so think hard about which items will travel well and will maintain your reputation for food quality.
Think out of the box; hot meals, chilled food for reheating, frozen dishes to keep for later…use your social media, such as Instagram’s Questions Sticker, to ask what consumers would like.
Say thankyou with a note
The delivery is a great opportunity to communicate, so include a thankyou note outlining your safety procedures and inviting them to engage with your social media platforms for news and special offers.
Offer them promo codes
Everyone likes a bargain, particularly when funds might be hard to come by, so offer them promo codes for their next delivery order.
What if you decide to do your own delivery rather than paying commission to services?
You need to remember that there are costs involved, ranging from paying drivers and vehicle costs including fuel and insurance. You need to work these out and factor them into your delivery menu’s pricing – but diners do usually understand that delivery comes at a cost.
And what should YOU takeaway from your new business model?
Providing takeout and delivery creates a valuable revenue stream in these difficult times, of course – but looking ahead, it also opens up opportunity.
Using your restaurant epos software to handle customer ordering via an enhanced website, you capture a wealth of information that will enable you to respond better to their needs, and to provide them with the best of customer service going forward. That’s a very valuable kind of takeaway…
In addition, upping your social media efforts creates a sense of engagement that will also serve both your hospitality business and your customers well as we eventually put the crisis behind us.
So it’s well worth doing – and it’s well worth doing right.
Need further advice? Our hospitality experts are ready to help.