Best Practices for Off Premise Dining

Since March 2020, restaurateurs have revamped their menus, hours, floor plans, just about everything to stay alive. For most restaurants, the key to survival has been bolstering off premise dining. From curbside pickup to delivery, getting customers to consume food in places other than the dining room has been essential. Keeping them ordering again and again proves vital.

A challenge we hear often from owners and operators is that the control they had when food was delivered in the dining room is no longer achievable when food goes directly from the kitchen to the customer. So, how does a quality-minded operator keep tabs on his/her operation? Here are a few best practices we have heard from our clients:

  1. Designate a space for delivery. Keep things organized; staff should have a designated process to expedite and package orders.
  2. Ensure the menu is delivery or off premise friendly: nobody likes a soggy burger, cold fries or a drink that has been watered-down by melted ice.
  3. Train food delivery service staff. Careful food handling can mitigate spills and damage to orders during transit.
  4. If you are using a third party delivery service, build a relationship with food couriers; the more respect they have for you and your business, the better the customer experience will be.
  5. Embrace technology. Proprietary apps and mobile websites can drive loyalty and up the check average. A top consultant told us that it is essential that restaurant sites have a “reorder” button to make one-button reordering simple.
  6. Food is your greatest marketing tool. Hire a professional to photograph your top dishes and include them in your marketing materials.
  7. Hire a third party QA company to anonymously measure quality. Mystery shoppers can cost-effectively measure the quality of your to-go and delivery operations. Make sure to ask your provider to include high quality photographs of the food so you know how it looks when your customers receive it.

Coyle offers off premise mystery shopping. To learn more and to view a sample report, contact us today.

 

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