Finding opportunity amidst uncertainty: Part II

Enhancing the Dining Experience

With pubs and restaurants in the UK closed, people across the country have had to change the way they eat. Sitting down in a restaurant or pub to be served a meal has been replaced by serving yourself at your home table.

This new way of life presents an opportunity for foodservice operations that can, or have, pivoted to takeaway and delivery to build relationships with new customers. We’ve been working with our clients to help them adjust their menu options to match the “new normal”.

Offering takeaway or delivery

Some of this has been about thinking outside the box, especially as we move from in-house dining to take away or delivery. We’ve been supporting businesses when they have been thinking about new takeaway menus, and finding ways try to incorporate items that meet the new needs of their customers.

Making it easy

For example, offering a family-size meal to make ordering for the household easy. Package together 4-6 servings with sides and beverages. This is not just about the right foods, but also the right packaging. For parents who are now working from home while home-schooling, this easy dinner will be a welcome respite. This is also true for dishes that are difficult or time consuming to make at home, like wholesome broths with home baked bread.

Meals made for durability

Another factor to remember while developing your takeaway menu is how well items will hold up during transport. While a high-quality lasagne or stew will endure the takeout or delivery trip, seafood and dressed greens will not be so lucky. Choose items that will look and taste fresh, even after a 15-minute car ride.

Upsell, upsell, upsell

Including bundled items is also a great way to strengthen relationships with your existing customers and attract new ones. One bundle might be a buy-one-get-one offer for dinner: for every starter, give the customer a second starter for lunch the following day. Present the second to the customer cold with reheating instructions. Other bundles may include retail items such as t-shirts or hats, or even household staples that are locally hard to find, like tissues and paper towels.

Don’t forget the extras

Lastly, make sure all your items are served with everything needed for dinner. Nothing spoils a meal quicker than finding out something is missing, so going the extra mile to make the dining experience frictionless will make you stand out right now, especially if your customers have had a long day. People want, and are willing to pay for ,“easy”. Make sure you fulfil those special requests, no matter how small, including packing extra condiments.

We’re here to help

If you’re looking to adapt and diversify your business, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to talk through how our experience could support you in rising to new challenges.