As operators close dine-in operations, successful operators are quickly pivoting their restaurant to include more take-out, delivery, curbside, and other innovative ways to continue to bring customers to their doors. Below are a few common ways we’re seeing operators make a change to their operation to stay afloat.
Update your menu and business model to incorporate take-out and delivery
Shortening your existing menu down to fewer items will increase your operating efficiency and help ensure more success in delivering great food! Here are some options to keep in mind when thinking through your menu.
- Make sure to engage your staff; servers and chefs can have great ideas for a take-out menu.
- Publish your to-go menu on your website and Facebook pages so that diners can view your offering and place orders for carry-out or delivery!
- When moving to Curb Side or Take-Out look at providing a condensed or temporary Menu. This will enable you to not only execute quicker but will look after your in house inventory & product spending.
- Cross utilize and condense ingredients
- House-made soups are a great way to use ingredients up that may have fallen off the menu or you’re overstocked on – create them and sell in quart or larger containers
- Consider prepared or ‘take and bake’ family meals, ie. pasta or lasagna or pot roast. Look for comfort-food entrees and round out the menu with a salad/vegetable and dessert
- If shrinking down your menu, set aside or freeze the items that don’t travel well. Or use them to feed your staff.
- Consider packing some ingredients separately – such as sauces, toppings, croutons and dressing Items that work very well for to-go:
- Lasagna and other bulk pasta dishes
- Anything braised such as stew or pot roast • Roasts – consider prepping roasts raw by cutting, seasoning, packaging then provide instructions for the customer to bake at home
To increase profitability, also consider pairing each entree with a beverage to make it simple for customers to order the combination with one click rather than having to click through to the drinks section and order a la carte. Put bundles first in your online menu lineup.
Consider adding grocery items to your operation
At Consolidated Concepts, we’ve seen several clients begin to offer selling fresh produce, shelf-stable items, and some paper products. If you’re looking to add this to your operation, consider connecting with your distributor and begin advertising on your online menus and any third-party delivery apps you are working with.
Stay in the know of state and federal regulations
As we’ve all been witness to, the changes in the industry both on the federal and state level are happening quickly. While it’s a trying time for all, there are a lot of reputable resources sharing consistently updated information.
- National Restaurant Association is working daily to get restaurant relief programs to the White House.
- Unilever Food Solutions has compiled a list of resources to keep you in the know during this time.
- Nation Restaurant News is compiling a list of industry resources.
- The Buyers Edge Platform is also offering a support hotline to answer questions across a broad range of subjects.