Ask a takeout customer why they prefer ordering online vs. calling on the phone and you’ll almost assuredly be told it’s all about the convenience.  The same is said about ‘Curbside Takeout’ – aka the ability to order and have it brought to your car upon arrival. With that in mind, here are a few tips to make sure your Curbside Takeout program is as effective as possible.

Dedicated Parking – If possible, identify parking spots specifically for takeout customers to use upon arrival.  This helps provide convenience for customers and staff when delivering orders to cars.  Video surveillance and asking for the type of vehicle a customer is driving can further provide convenience.  In addition, those marked spots inherently promote your convenient takeout operation to other customers.

Dedicated Personnel for Takeout – It’s a fact: Once you institute online ordering, your takeout business will grow.  At some point, consider a dedicated person for processing takeout orders.  Don’t worry; you may not need to hire a new

employee.  Instead, start by identifying a ‘point person’ on your staff to handle all ‘outbound orders’.

Having a specific person manage curbside orders will help guarantee they are handled fast and accurately.  Some restaurants even have a separate production line in the kitchen for takeout orders during peak periods, which helps to further maintain quality.

Make Sure All Items are Takeout-able – Restaurant customers want the taste and look of takeout to match the in-restaurant experience.  If you have menu items that can easily lose their “look” or flavor when offered for takeout or delivery, consider not offering it in that format.

Eco-Friendly Packaging – Customers are more conscious of the environment, even in the restaurants they always patronize. Source packaging that is eco-friendly, biodegradable, and/or made from recycled ingredients.

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