The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the restaurant industry heavily. According to Yelp, 60% of the businesses that originally closed because of the pandemic will remain shuttered permanently.
Some restaurants simply couldn’t handle the sudden drop in business, while others have had to adapt and make consistent changes based on mandated regulations, rules, and general guidelines. Most restaurants have been willing to do whatever it takes to keep their staff and employees safe.
For some, that has meant making a switch to carry-out or takeout orders only. There are some restaurant models this tends to work better for. But, almost any foodservice establishment can take advantage of offering takeout and reaping the rewards.
Feeling frustrated about how to handle takeout orders? Let’s look at a few innovative tips that can make the takeout process fun, easy, and safe for everyone.
Get Creative With Your Specials
Now that a second wave of the virus is hitting many parts of the country, people will likely be looking for takeout options again. Don’t be afraid to let your customers know you have those options by developing creative “COVID-19” specials.
Quarantine meal kits, social distancing soups, and COVID charcuterie boards are all fun ways to bring a little joy and laughter to people when they need it most. Everyone could use some fun right now, so don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside of the box with your offerings.
There are a few key foods and dishes that typically come to people’s minds when they think about takeout.
You can break those stereotypes by offering some unconventional dishes in a takeout style. Your restaurant could offer everything from made-to-order omelets to a la carte sides in the right containers. Doing so will give your customers some new and unique options, drawing them to your business and away from the traditional fare they’ve probably gotten tired of throughout the pandemic.
Offer Heat-and-Eat Options
If the food you typically serve at your restaurant isn’t really meant for takeout, why not offer “heat and eat” options? You can make meals in bulk, all at once, and either freeze or refrigerate them. Then, you can give your customers the options to order online, over the phone, or pick up a heat-and-eat dish in-person.
If you really want to get creative, you could even add a small gift to their order to make it feel more personal, like printed cards or badges. You can even make a difference by offering your options in eco-friendly promotional bags, which you can find here. It’s a great way to give your customers what they want while doing a little something extra during these uncertain times.
The impact of this pandemic will likely be around for a long time. If you haven’t yet jumped on board with takeout options, it’s not too late to start. That’s especially true if your restaurant is struggling with dine-in customers. Let your creativity come through, and you might be surprised at how many people will be happy to enjoy your food at home.