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Restaurant Takeout: What’s Important to Know?

Restaurant takeout is the most lucrative aspect of a restaurant’s off-premise sales. For some businesses, takeout is the best (if not only) option to increase restaurant sales with COVID-19 restrictions in place.

While much of the industry’s focus over the past few years has been on the meteoric rise of delivery, restaurants can benefit by paying more attention to their takeout business.

Takeout vs Delivery

Delivery growth has been staggering in recent years. According to The NPD Group, digital orders accounted for 52% of all delivery orders in 2018, which was up from 27% in 2012.

That said, an increasing number of people are looking for ways to order online pick-up.

Restaurants should recognize this as a great opportunity because the unit-economics of delivery are (generally) terrible for restaurants. Takeout provides restaurants the ability to serve customer needs in a much more profitable way.

Growth Opportunity

According to Restaurant Hospitality, “three in four operators say that off-premise is their biggest growth opportunity”. Furthermore, “52% of adults say that purchasing takeout or delivery is essential to their way of life” due to its convenience. 

Marketing your restaurant’s takeout business is the best way to capitalize on this customer demand, while also improving your restaurant’s revenues.

Shifting Off-Premise to Online

The restaurant online ordering experience is much more appealing to customers than previous processes.

Calling a restaurant and then crossing your fingers that the person on the receiving end heard your order correctly is archaic. The days of waiting on hold because a restaurant is really busy are long gone. Instead, customers can order online with ease and speed.

Some restaurant owners think customer relationships don’t change with online ordering, because “a sale is a sale”. But, customer relationships with online ordering are completely different. According to Datassential, research on online ordering preferences reveal:

  • 60% of consumers want the ability to customize their orders
  • 56% want the ability to select delivery time
  • 45% want detailed information on each item

Restaurant customers order online due to the convenience and speed. For restaurants, the benefits go beyond larger average orders and increased customer frequency. Online ordering allows customer data to be collected and leveraged to further enhance a customer’s experience. It’s also easy to integrate a loyalty program and provide customers digital promotions.

Restaurant Takeout from Inside

Finally, takeout at fast-casual restaurants has also started to redefine itself. More restaurants are adopting self-serve kiosks and tablets for customers to order without the help of an employee.

Part of the investment in kiosks comes from the desire to save on employee expenses. Daniel Boutarel, managing associate at the New England Consulting Group, says: “…being able to have the guests basically do all the legwork – look at the menu, place the order, and pay, without interacting with anyone, streamlines the entire experience.”

Another nice aspect to tablets and kiosks is their flexibility. Restaurants can change pricing, highlight items, or push specific messages to customers, based on the time of day or the day of the week.

Activate Your NetWaiter Site

If you want to attract more local customers, keep them informed about your restaurant, and boost takeout sales – check out NetWaiter’s marketing platform and network. You can search for, and activate, your restaurant for free here:

NetWaiter Team

Author NetWaiter Team

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