Not every customer has the time to sit down at your restaurant for a meal. Perhaps they need to get back to the office or simply want to enjoy your food in the comfort of their own home.
Offering a takeout service at your restaurant is an excellent way to attract more customers, as takeout is an essential part of our everyday lives. Here’s how you can effectively offer takeout at your restaurant and how a POS system can help:
Make It Easy For Customers To Order
Use a POS System like Toast that allows for online ordering and makes the process fast, safe, and easy. Toast creates a unique webpage for your restaurant that customers can access via their preferred device to view your menu and order online.
Also be sure to have an additional method of ordering available, like over the phone, available for customer convenience. Be sure staff are trained and equipped to handle takeout orders. When staff is properly trained on how to accommodate takeout orders, you can reduce misunderstandings, inaccurate orders, and make the process easier for everyone involved. It is an excellent strategy to have at least one person per shift available who is responsible for overseeing takeout orders.
Have A Clear Check In/Check Out Area
Instead of having customers come up to your hostess station, designate a check in/check out area for customers who are picking up or even placing their takeout orders. This can be at the end of the bar or its own separate space. Just remember to have the area clearly marked to avoid confusion. You don’t want customers with takeout orders piling up at the hostess station and blocking your sit-down guests. Like with your other registers, you should have a dedicated POS system installed for easy transactions.
Make Sure Takeout Orders Are Accurate
When a takeout order has been completed, check it for accuracy before taking it to the customer as you would a sit-down customer. That means making sure the right dish was made according to the customer’s specifications, and that it is going to the right customer.
Having a reliable POS system can help you with order accuracy by sorting orders by the customer’s name as well as allowing you to segment takeout, delivery, and store orders for easy preparation. Teaming up with a delivery service? Then you’re in luck! Toast and Oracle Hospitality can now be integrated with GrubHub’s platform, allowing you to manage all of your orders from one device.
Make Takeout Menus Easy To Read & Find
There’s nothing more frustrating to a customer than an unclear menu that is confusing to read. Control the size and layout of your menu to make items easy to find, as well as reducing food costs and waste on your end.
Be aware that you don’t have to offer every menu item for takeout, either due to the nature of the dish (it doesn’t travel well) or how long it takes to prepare, making it unsuitable for the quick takeout that customers have come to expect. If this is the case, create a takeout menu both in print and online that is easy for customers to find and refer to.
Use The Right Packaging & Always Maintain Food Safety
No one like cold food or packaging that gets greasy or leaks. These factors will put customers off of ordering take out from you again in the future. In addition, it is also unsafe as you risk cross-contamination.
When takeout orders are placed and fulfilled, be sure to keep them appropriately heated or cooled to maintain a safe food temperature until the customer picks it up. Ideally, you should have a time frame available for customers so they can pick up their order as soon as it is ready.