Today, the Curbside Pick Up is a rapidly growing business model in the restaurant industry. Observing the industry trend, pick-up orders may continue their growth beyond the on-going pandemic crisis because the salient benefits of this model - speed, efficiency, and safety - are going to present a win-win situation for both restaurants and customers.
With extending timeframes of social distancing norms, with the public’s persisting reluctance toward on-premise dining, on-premise restaurants are given little choice but to pivot to alternate sources of revenue. One such best source is the Curbside Pick-up order service.
Let’s understand some essential benefits of the Pick Up order service model:
An Opportunity To Retain Customers!
Just because the dine-in option gets phased out doesn’t mean you need to lose your patrons and loyal customers. A switch to offering Pick-up orders will bring back your favorite customers, giving them an opportunity to enjoy their favorite food and, at the same time, to support your business as well in these tough times.
Restaurants can also target the growing demographic of young families who desire to dine-out but may always find it a cumbersome experience to handle their toddlers and young children. Such customers lookout to have restaurant food in the comfort of their homes, opening up Pick Up order services is one of the best ways to serve them.
An Opportunity To Thrive!
In these challenging times, while many restaurants are facing an existential crisis, instead of shutting down the business, risking an additional investment and adapting one’s restaurant operations to serve to Pick Up orders will help businesses to survive and thrive with an additional inflow of revenues.
Additional painful expenses do incur to purchase packing inventory and hiring additional staff to facilitate a smooth Curbside Pick Up service, but, it is a necessary expenditure to set up a new system which shall enable a new stream of revenues. As the old saying goes, spend money to make money.
An Opportunity To Save!
Some restaurants could be hesitant to bear significant costs for signing up with a third-party food delivery app. Since the fees charged by these companies from restaurants could eat away a restaurant’s profits. Instead of opting for Third-Party food delivery apps like Swiggy and Zomato, offering pick-up order service on your own restaurant's website will enable both your business and customers to save on delivery fees charged by the third-party apps.
Restructuring the Menu
It is highly recommended not to offer your complete menu for the pick-up orders. Since the return on investment in the current scenario is very sensitive, it is better to stick to your best-selling items. This will keep the loyal customer base happy and will make them come back for their favorite food.
Consider those items with overlapping ingredients. Offering popular dishes with overlapping ingredients will be very useful for a restaurant, both, in terms of cost-saved during raw material procurement and also increasing cooks’ efficiency while preparing a limited number of dishes.
Innovating Exclusive Offers
Bringing innovation into the re-doing of your menu would be a great way to start things over. Since, customers are always ready to buy in bulk at a discount, offering family packs is one great way to feed an entire family, while creatively grouping together a few of your items, at a discounted price.
Providing Meal Kits, for selected dishes, which include raw materials and cooking instructions will attract a segment of customers to purchase, prepare and enjoy their favorite restaurant food in the safety and comfort of their homes.
Packaging Is Very Crucial
It is very important to consider how an item in the menu will perform after packaging and travel. Henceforth, only those dishes which would remain fresh must be made available for the customer to order.
Foods should be sealed in strong and tight containers which are leak-resistant and which keep food warm. Using strong and separate clamshell containers to pack foods will avoid any cross-contamination. Handing out parcels in two covers will let customers discard the outer cover while safely taking home the package resting in the untouched cover.
Make sure the lids of the container are transparent so that food runners can easily recognize the order, without having to touch the container again to open it. Packing covers printed with the restaurant’s name, logo, and contact information will add a professional touch to the takeaway experience.
Restaurants should prepare a proper layout for a Curbside pick up and delivery. Restaurants should clearly communicate pick up instructions to the customers and delivery instructions to the staff members.
Encourage customers to order and pay online so that points of contact are minimized as much as possible. In the absence of a payment system on the restaurant’s website, it is advised to encourage customers to make digital payments via UPI enabled apps (Paytm, PhonePe or GooglePay, etc).
Establishments should make sure that pick up points are not crowded. Customers should be asked to wait at their parking points or in the designated queue with clear social distancing markers. Pick up orders are a convenience to the customer. Therefore, it is advised not to make them wait for a long time for getting their takeaways.
Fundamentals of Safety and Sanitization
Every staff member must be checked with temperature before entering the premises, daily. Anyone with any sign of sickness must be sent back home until that person gets back his or her health.
Stringent work-place procedures must be established including physical distancing, frequent and timely sanitization of the premises, hand sanitizing by staff members, and mandatory wearing of gloves and masks.
All the safety measures must be publicized to customers through viable media channels—digital and print. This is extremely important in order to earn customer’s confidence in the safety of your establishment.
Announce the Change!
Using everything at the restaurant’s disposal; real estate, digital media presence, print media, etc to announce the availability of your Pick Up order services. Hang a big banner in exteriors for Curbside Pick Up services. Also, announce your new initiative digitally on all social media platforms.
Encourage your loyal customers and patrons to order their favorite food from your restaurant and request them to spread the word of mouth about your Pick Up ordering services.
IN CONCLUSION, this mandatory necessity to pivot to pick up and take out model is the beginning of a new tradition in the restaurant business. And this is the best time for every small, medium, and large restaurants to adopt this tradition as soon as possible to thrive and flourish in these tough conditions and in the long run.
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