Reasons to Offer Takeout
Takeout has become a staple of the restaurant industry. In 2020, to the country’s total restaurant revenue, meaning takeout orders comprised 63% of all orders. Any restaurant owner who wants to stay relevant and boost their sales must include takeout in their restaurant’s services.
However, merely offering takeout isn’t enough to generate more revenue — the service needs to be well-executed. The following sections will go over the pros of takeout for restaurants and takeout ordering tips for restaurants to consider.
Why Should Restaurants Offer Takeout?
While takeout has been steadily on the rise for years, the public’s interest in ordering takeout has recently spiked. In 2020, Google saw a 285% increase in searches for “takeout.” Although the pandemic may have been a catalyst for this increased demand for takeout options, ordering to-go was already on the path to becoming a restaurant essential.
One of takeout’s main draws has always been its convenience. In today’s fast-paced, digital world, few people have the time to sit down and dine in at a restaurant on a regular basis, making the ability to order food at the click of a button a must. In fact, 53% of adults say ordering takeout or delivery is vital to the way they live. If restaurants want to keep up with the consumer’s evolving needs, they have to offer takeout.
Ordering takeout also offers an extra layer of health and safety that may make some customers feel more comfortable. As opposed to dining in, ordering out allows customers to avoid potentially crowded situations and minimize contact with communal-use items. For example, customers feel especially safe and protected when they receive their food in tamper-proof packaging with single-use utensils.
Along with being more health-conscious and convenient for the customer, offering takeout is beneficial for a restaurant’s bottom line. Taking to-go orders lets restaurants serve more customers without worrying about available seating, allowing them to generate more revenue overall. Having customers place their takeout orders directly online also streamlines the ordering system to eliminate potential miscommunications.
Top 7 Tips to Make Ordering Takeout Easy for Customers
If you want to experience the benefits that often come with offering takeout, you need to make ordering takeout easy for customers. Set your restaurant apart from the competition by making your takeout process smooth, easy and convenient. The seven tips below will help you organize your takeout system in a way that best meets your customers’ needs.
1. Create Designated Pick-Up Areas
The convenience of ordering takeout diminishes whenever picking up the order is a hassle for the customer. Set up a designated area for picking up takeout orders so that customers know exactly where to retrieve their order as soon as they enter the restaurant. Avoid any unnecessary confusion by including clear signage. Encourage your customers to pay ahead of time online, so all they have to do is walk in, grab their order and walk out.
2. Streamline the Ordering Process
A simple and straightforward ordering process is the key to increasing the number of takeout orders your restaurant receives. If placing an order is too complicated or confusing for customers, they will take their business to one of the many other restaurants offering takeout services. Making it easy to place a to-go order online will make ordering takeout even more convenient and appealing to customers.
Specifically, offering mobile app ordering is a great way for restaurants to make placing a to-go order as easy as possible for their customers. If all a customer has to do is open an app on their phone, select a couple of menu items and tap a button to pay, they will be far more likely to order out. Including an app feature that saves common orders and payment information makes the ordering process even easier for customers. Even before 2020, mobile ordering had grown to include 39% of a restaurant’s customers, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.
3. Offer Customization Options
Nowadays, customizing orders has become common. Customers love having the ability to personalize their meals according to their dietary restrictions and personal preferences. Whether it be substituting one ingredient for another or individually selecting each component of a dish, customization is a major draw for foodies.
Help customers create dishes that appeal to their specific taste buds by giving them personalized menu recommendations. Research shows that nearly 80% of consumers are interested in receiving menu suggestions based on their past orders. Technological solutions like mobile app and online ordering help you save valuable customer information, such as allergies and flavor preferences, and make reliable recommendations.
4. Simplify Your Takeout Menu
While your takeout menu should include opportunities for customers to personalize their orders, it should also be easy to read and understand overall. Stick with a basic menu layout with clear headings, sub-headings and a simple list of ingredients for each dish. If there are any regular menu items that your restaurant cannot offer to-go, do not include them on the takeout menu. Cutting down the number of items on your restaurant’s takeout menu will also allow you to focus more on quality and customization.
5. Promote Upselling Opportunities
Design your takeout ordering process to allow for upsells. These upsells could include larger drink sizes, additional side items and any other promotions your restaurant may run. For example, if your restaurant offers a discounted dessert with the purchase of any beverage, make sure your takeout customers are aware of this opportunity.
6. Provide High-Quality Customer Service
As always, high-quality customer service is essential for making ordering takeout easy. Make sure all of your staff members receive thorough training on how to assist customers through the takeout ordering process. Every employee needs to be able to clearly explain the takeout steps to a customer, from placing the order to paying for it and picking it up.
7. Rent Commercial Kitchen Space
Help your staff fulfill takeout orders as quickly as possible by expanding your restaurant with a virtual kitchen model. Working with a virtual kitchen service allows you to rent commercial kitchen space, so you have extra prep areas and appliances for preparing takeout orders without overcrowding the kitchen you already have. In this way, renting commercial kitchen space ensures both your takeout customers and dine-in customers receive their food promptly.
Let Revolving Kitchen Enhance Your Takeout Services
If you’re looking for an efficient and cost-effective way to offer takeout to your customers, consider implementing the virtual kitchen model. By partnering with a cloud kitchen like Revolving Kitchen, you can rent a modern and turn-key commercial kitchen space for preparing your takeout orders. Renting kitchen space will give you all the amenities you need at a lower cost than traditional brick-and-mortar restaurants.
For those located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Revolving Kitchen offers state-of-the-art commercial kitchen space for rent. The Revolving Kitchen facility includes all the equipment and infrastructure your restaurant needs to expand its takeout operations. With Revolving Kitchen, you can get top-quality commercial kitchen space for private use on either a short- or long-term basis.
To learn more about the many reasons to offer takeout, contact Revolving Kitchen today.