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With Covid-19 limiting restaurants to delivery, takeout and limited capacity indoor dining, more takeaway orders is the best way to improve your bottom line.

To-go or carry out food is a sure way to increase profit margins because this way every penny is spent on food and labor, not on delivery fees. Whether it’s curbside pickup or drive thrus, takeout is also an opportunity to increase the average order size of each diner and to build a loyal customer base.

The problem is that lazy diners will usually choose delivery over takeout. Here are 8 proven techniques to get them off the couch and into your restaurant.

Table of Contents

1. Let Customers Know It’s Safe to Pick Up Their Food

restaurant owner welcoming diners indoors, holding an OPEN sign and wearing a black face mask safe takeout food

With the pandemic still raging, customers want to know it’s safe to eat at your restaurant. Share pictures and videos of people coming to your restaurant to pick up their takeout orders while still maintaining social distancing.

Be transparent about your safety protocols by sharing them on the restaurant’s website and social media channels and by using signage diners can easily see when entering the restaurant.

2. Make It Easy to Order Takeout Food

Provide your customers with different ways of ordering: text ordering, phone, website and third-party apps. Make sure your online menu is updated both on your restaurant’s website and app.

Include modification options so customers can get exactly what they want. After they place an order, offer an estimated time for pickup.

3. Start a Drive Thru

restaurant promotion takeout

Ever since Covid-19, drive thrus have become the latest trend. This allows people to get their takeout food without ever leaving their car. It’s a great solution for customers who don’t feel safe entering the restaurant and for those who are looking to speed things up.

4. Designate a Takeout Host

Whether you’re taking orders on the spot or handing out orders, you’ll need to designate a staff member to handle the whole takeout process. This worker will be responsible for greeting guests upon arrival, taking their names so they know their order is on it’s way and introducing them to more of your special offers and gifts.

Just like the host’s job is to make indoor diners feel welcome, the takeout host’s job is to make the entire experience more personal and fun.

5. Promotions and Gift Cards for Takeout Only

drive thru takeout food

Many customers would be willing to get off the couch and march into a restaurant if they knew they’d be getting a yummy reward for their effort. A free can of coke or some breadsticks to go along with a normal pizza order may mean little to you, but it’s a great way to make a customer’s ordering experience fun, rewarding and memorable.

Create menu bundles that are only available at the restaurant – not for delivery. This way, customers would be getting a better deal for their money but only if they pick up their food themselves.

Make sure special takeout deals are easy to find on your website, app or online reservation system. Slip a scratchcard with a hidden gift card in customers’ takeout bag to be used in their next takeout order.

6. Loyalty Programs

Implement a loyalty program on your website and app to reward loyal customers. Let diners know they will be rewarded or that they can accumulate free-meal-points by physically visiting the restaurant.

While a physical punch card is the classic way to do this, customers today will more likely appreciate a contactless app that keeps track of their order history and credit.

7. Set Up a Takeout Area with an Appetizing Display

Takeout is a chance for you to meet diners in person when indoor dining at restaurants is limited. Use this opportunity to upsell more menu items or products.

Your best produce needs to be on display for when customers come to the restaurant to pick up their food. Once they catch a glimpse of that beautiful cheese and bread platter, specialty items or that fine collection of premium wines, convincing customers to make their dinner a little better will be easy.

8. Need Help Getting Quality Supplies?

Cheetah is here to supply you with all the fresh and quality ingreidents you need.

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