Thanks to online ordering, delivery apps and other digital advances, takeout and delivery continues to be a growing opportunity for restaurants to acquire new and repeat business. In fact, restaurants report they are receiving 60% more orders for takeout and delivery than they were two years ago, according to Technomic’s 2018 Takeout & Off-Premise report.
The same report found more than half (58%) of consumers’ foodservice purchases are takeout and delivery orders. Why is off-site dining gaining so much ground? More than a third of consumers explain they are ordering more takeout and delivery simply because of how convenient online and app ordering has become. One area of the menu that stands to gain traction from delivery and takeout orders is the appetizer menu—French fries and loaded fries in particular.
Here’s three ways to make takeout and delivery options even more convenient and attract even more customers.
Delivery apps and online ordering: how to use both for maximum gain
While online and app ordering may have begun as a trend in quick service restaurants, it is now welcomed and expected at all types of dining establishments. Technomic’s Takeout & Off-Premise report found 45% of consumers report they would be likely to use online ordering at a full-service restaurant if it was offered.
Beyond fulfilling a consumer need, it’s also good for your bottom line. According to GrubHub, partnering with a delivery service app means a restaurant is likely to see six times more monthly takeout revenue versus one that isn’t represented on a delivery app.
On the other hand, restaurants could launch a personalized app or website specific for online orders. Currently, more than three quarters of customers’ orders are ordered directly from the restaurant, while third-party apps are responsible for about 22% of orders. When both options exist, customers say they would rather order directly from the restaurant, according to Technomic’s Takeout & Off-Premise report.
Therefore, it’s essential a dedicated online ordering system be in place to entice customers—it’s also important to highlight limited time offers, like loaded fries on game day or wings-and-fries combo meals on weeknights when families might be looking for a quick and convenient meal to pick up on the way home from work.
Don’t underestimate the power of a pick-up window
If customers will be stopping by a restaurant to pick-up their online order, it’s beneficial for the restaurant to do everything it can to make that process as easy as possible. That applies to full-service restaurants as well. According to Technomic, 60% of consumers say that if a drive-through or pick-up window was offered at a full-service restaurant, they’d be likely to use it. If there’s no room or appropriate spot for such a feature, consider whether it’s possible for restaurant staff to run takeout orders out to diners’ cars for curbside delivery, as an added convenience.
According to Technomic’s 2018 Next Lebel Off Premise report, 82% of consumers say it’s important that carryout or delivery food tastes just as good as when dining in, while 57% say that food quality upon arrival is the first thing they consider when deciding where to order. So, it’s essential to use a superior product along with the proper packaging.
For instance, French fries have a bigger share off-premise than on-premise, so it’s a must that they arrive in good condition, not cold or soggy. it’s important to use a coated fry, like McCain’s SureCrisp™, because they have a longer hold time than uncoated fries and stay crispy for up to 30 minutes. This can help restaurants ensure the best quality for their takeout and delivery orders.
As for packaging, appetizers like French fries, loaded fries and other fried apps should be packaged in boxes or containers that allow the food to breathe a bit, so that the condensation doesn’t make the food soggy on the way to the diner’s destination. Whether the consumer is picking the food up from a pick-up window or getting it delivered, it’s crucial to package food properly so it arrives tasting great. Diners say they expect to wait between 20 and 30 minutes for carryout and delivery food, so restaurants should plan accordingly.
Send online and app orders straight to the register
Behind the scenes at restaurants, online and app ordering can be made more convenient (and accurate) by having orders sent straight to the point-of-sale (POS) system rather than having them routed through a different system or tablet. This reduces the chance for human errors and it also saves time by automating payments.
The popularity of takeout and delivery shows no signs of slowing down, so it’s in every restaurant’s best interest to capitalize on the sales growth. Look for ways to make off-site dining as convenient as possible, whether that means streamlining how takeout and delivery orders are received, launching an app specific to the restaurant or offering curbside delivery. For more takeout and delivery tips, download this helpful guide.