Is the Takeout Trend Doomed to Fail?
Restaurants have prioritized off-premise ordering channels this year. Customers now prefer safe, convenient sales channels that don’t put them at risk of catching COVID-19. Many restaurants who used to only offer sit-down service have now entirely adapted for takeout and delivery.
Takeout and Delivery
In 2020, takeout grew significantly compared to previous years. It makes sense since they can conveniently buy food right on their phones. Although many customers want meals to come to their door (contact-free, of course), others who can’t afford or don’t want to pay delivery fees have relied on takeout services instead. Choosing pickup benefits restaurants too; opening up delivery channels can get expensive. Hiring couriers and building an online platform, not to mention a base, for the first time gets more difficult with the financial strain of the pandemic, and third party services tend to charge high commissions which are not entirely offset by the marketing benefits.
Takeout is the perfect solution for customers and restaurants alike. Customize your pickup procedure to suit your business. For example, clear tables to turn your dining floor into a socially distanced queue or cordon off places to sit if you have partial capacity allowances in your state. Restaurants are also leaning on curbside pickup, where customers just pull up and someone runs the food out from the kitchen to their car. It’s takeout with social distance built in.
As we build back to normal, takeout will remain a huge revenue driver. Surveys have reported people’s outright intentions to continue leaning on takeout streams moving forward. Even with vaccine rollouts, people enjoy a fast, convenient and comfortable way to eat dinner at home.
Online ordering is still their preferred way to do it. Customers would rather buy directly from you than through a third party service, which can help convince them to choose takeout over delivery. You don’t have to forgo the amplified brand awareness you get through these apps, either. Just put a promo code in the bag that applies to their next takeout order. If you ever decide to end your contract with third party services, you have a better chance of retaining loyalty from the customer base you’ve gained from off-premise orders.
The Future of Takeout
This is all good news for businesses moving forward. Customers who self-order tend to spend more on average. Whether they do it from their smartphones, your website or a Self-Service Kiosk, customers pile on more sides and bigger portions when they have time to carefully comb through the menu and look over their tickets before submission. All this leads to happier customers, and satisfaction begets loyalty and gives them incentive to come back.
Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash
As takeout grows exponentially and other services reopen too, like sit-down services without capacity restrictions, restaurants are likely to keep relying on it to please their loyal customers. For that, you need a Point of Sale that works with your business and has the flexibility to scale alongside the restaurant itself.