Tips and Ideas for Takeout During Coronavirus Slowdown

Tips to grow your restaurant during the Corona virus Slowdown

More than ever restaurants need to be able to think outside the box when it comes to expanding delivery. Just the other day my family experienced contact-less curbside pick up. Everyone was using a mask, no customers were allowed beyond the front door, every single employee had masks on with gloves. What was most important and appreciated to my family was receiving a notification saying that our meal was ready. This allowed me to walk up, pick up my bag from the front table and leave. There was even a wonderful note saying, “thank you Michael, hope your family is well”. Every business and restaurant should be doing the same thing by offering contactless curbside pick up. It is an absolute must to the survival of your restaurant.

Food subscriptions

Recurring revenue is one of the most profitable models for any business especially when it comes to setting up subscriptions for food. It’s a great way for consistent income.

With food subscriptions, families can order meals consistently, if not weekly. A great example for this would be a subscription to “Taco Night“. A family can get delivery four times a month every Taco Tuesday. You can expand on this with several family packages for anything else on your menu allowing families to choose from your menu delivered to them on a specific date weekly. Recurring revenue, nice!

Meal for a friend

What’s the best way to tell someone that you care? Send them food! This gives your customers a way to gift your menu to their family and friends. You can also set this up with the above suggestion of subscriptions making sure that mom and dad enjoy Taco Tuesday as well.

Donate a meal

Meal donations to those in need especially during the corona virus slow down will help the homeless, the unemployed, nurses on the front lines, first responders etc. Today is nurses day, what a wonderful gift your menu could be.

Mark Plumlee wrote for QSR Magazine with some additional suggestions that were spot on…

Unconventional Takeout Foods

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when appraising your potential takeout options. Most items in your restaurant’s pantry that would otherwise spoil—eggs, bulk meats, cheeses, condiments, etc.—can be repurposed into unconventional takeout options, such as charcuterie boards, BYO omelettes, dough, sides a la carte, signature sauces, and more.

Creative Corona virus Specials

Speak to your customers’ current experience with specials and promotions tailored to the lock-down. Everyone needs a bit of levity right now, and specials like Quarantine Kits, Lock-down Lunches, Social Distancing Desserts, and Stay Home Hors D’oeuvres will help distinguish your takeout. Some restaurants have taken it a step further by including toilet paper and other essential supplies with their orders.

Heat-and-eat dishes

Not all dishes work well for takeout. Some meals can’t be easily packaged, and certain foods will lose their heat or texture in transit. Restaurants have adapted to the problem by creating heat-and-eat dishes. These dishes can be frozen or refrigerated, prepared en-masse ahead of time, and sold via delivery or carryout. They’re a great workaround for restaurants who never considered takeout when planning their menu.

Meal Kits

Other restaurants have taken the heat-and-eat option a step further. They’re deconstructing their favorite dishes, packaging the ingredients with instructions, and delivering them as meal kits to their hungry customers. Not only are meal kits a fun divergence from typical takeout fare, they’re generally more cost-effective for the average family looking to feed four to five people.

“To boost our takeout we’ve added something called ‘Family to go for 4,’” says Gwen Holtsclaw from ScrubOaks Restaurant, Fayetteville, North Carolina. “We’ve taken our top entrees and now you can get Chicken Alfredo, enough for four people, for what it would cost for three people in the restaurant.”

Your restaurant is needed more than ever, thank goodness we all need to eat, and you have an opportunity to grow your business.

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