The holidays are approaching, and it’s typically a busy time of year for restaurant dining rooms. This year, however, the increased demand holiday for takeout may change the way restaurants see success.
As inflation continues to lessen the gap between grocery and restaurant costs, more people will be choosing takeout to feed their families. This trend is already happening in the US, with a recent survey showing that 45 per cent of respondents plan to order their Thanksgiving meals from a restaurant this year.
You need to develop a solid strategy to meet consumer demand and use your takeout menu to get ahead for the holidays. Here’s a list of suggestions to get you started:
- Make sure your dishes are takeout friendly. There’s nothing worse than promoting your off-premise dining, only to have customers experience a cold or soggy meal.
- Offer family meals with lots of side dishes to encourage people to mix and match from your menu. Also, dessert ordering is up 3.4 per cent over last year, so consider expanding your dessert selection to help increase cheque totals and make you a one-stop destination.
- Consider offering ready-to-heat options that people can buy ahead as they plan for the following weeks’ meals. This will save them visits to your restaurant without compromising your profits.
- Takeout with a fine dining feel caught on during the pandemic and has continued, with many restaurants successfully launching three and four-course meals, all to go. Don’t forget to include reheating or cooking instructions for guests, too.
- Do you sell local or house-made products? This could be a great opportunity to move some of your inventory as gift-giving add-ons throughout the season.
- As celebrations ramp up, create your version of a holiday meal for guests to take home. To make it easier for you, promote a cut-off date for ordering so you can effectively manage your inventory and scheduling on pickup days.
Plan a takeout strategy that works for your business to get ahead and see success this holiday season.