Sponsored by Lamb Weston®
Although the restaurant industry is seeing some recovery from the height of COVID-19, it’s clear takeout and delivery aren’t going anywhere, especially as digital ordering technology continues to evolve. As long as your operation stays on top of these trends and provides a seamless experience for your guests, you can use this environment as an opportunity to grow your business.
Consider the current landscape
- Takeout and delivery behavior has changed permanently. While the balance may shift back a bit, 56% of consumers say they will continue to order takeout and delivery1.
- Takeout and delivery are capturing some of the volume of food purchased at supermarkets, with one in four in-home dinners (24%) now relying on restaurant foods, up from 18% in February 20202.
Whether returning to the office, school or spending more time at home, consumers are always looking for easy meal solutions that can cut down on prep time. For those consumers who are eating at home, 67% of these meal occasions are happening with others, especially with family2. By offering shareable meal bundles and kits, you can capture a share of these larger meals.
Meal kits became popular during the pandemic, and they still have a place on menus today. They offer at-home guests an interactive element to prepare their meals without too much prep, and by making mealtime simple, your guests will keep coming back for more. Consider deconstructing your popular menu items to create a meal kit that guests can build themselves at home.
Stay on top of technology/digital ordering
Digital takeout and delivery ordering continues to rise in popularity, whether guests are ordering directly from a restaurant or through third-party applications.
Once you find the platform that works best for your business, make sure your operation is easily discoverable online so your guests know exactly how to order from you.
- Ensure your restaurant is searchable by setting up an account on a platform like Google My Business.
- Keep your website updated with the latest information and clear instructions on how to order.
- You can also use your social media channels to share your up-to-date takeout and delivery information, while building meaningful connections with your customers.
Offer delivery-optimized menu items
In this current takeout and delivery environment, delivery-optimized menu items should be an important part of your menu strategy. Especially those items that guests are craving the most, like fries.
46% of consumers order fries for delivery once a month or more, and 61% are looking for better delivery fries1.
Fries are one of the most profitable items on your menu3, so make sure to offer products that hold up well to takeout and delivery in order to help increase your profits and keep your customers satisfied.
If you’re looking for high-performing delivery fries, coated frozen fries can be your solution. For example, Crispy on Delivery™ fries can hold their crispiness for up to 30 minutes in vented containers, so your customers can still get the quality fries they expect from you. They are also 50% more likely to be ordered for delivery than traditional fries, so let guests know they’re on the menu4.
With their extended hold time, frozen chips are an excellent item for takeout and delivery. Chips can also be prepared ahead of time and served throughout the day, saving time, avoiding deep-fryer bottlenecks and minimizing waste.
Not only do frozen mashed potatoes help your operation save on labor, resources and waste, they also hold up well to takeout and delivery, and can easily be reheated at home. Plus, they aren’t just for the holidays. Frozen mashed potatoes make a great dish year-round, especially since 1 in 3 consumers are craving comfort foods now more than ever before5.
As always, it’s important to package up your takeout and delivery items properly to ensure they hold up during the journey.
- Pack products in vented packaging to minimize moisture buildup so your fries/products don’t get soggy.
- Paper materials have better venting properties compared to plastic or Styrofoam.
- Separate hot and cold foods.
- For topped and loaded fries, pack the wet and dry ingredients in separate containers and away from the fries so they stay crispy longer.
- Pack fries last.
Overall, as your guests rely on you more than ever for takeout and delivery, it’s important to keep up with the continuously evolving restaurant landscape to maintain your quality standards and provide a positive eat-at-home experience for your guests.
For more takeout and delivery tips, check out the Lamb Weston® Restaurant Takeout and Delivery Guide and visit lambweston.com.