It’s inevitable, takeout and delivery are the way of the future for the restaurant and cafe industries. According to a new survey from the Washington Post, even after restaurants open, 78% of respondents said that they wouldn’t feel comfortable having a sit-down meal. For food businesses, this presents an opportunity to focus more heavily on takeout, which ultimately means less overhead, but more emphasis on the customer experience at home.
We’re all familiar with the “restaurant experience” aka the ambiance you create for customers from the moment they enter your doors until well after they’ve paid their bill and left. This same type of experience should carry over into takeout. Since the sit-down element has been removed, and you can’t exactly deliver “great customer service,” you’ll have to think of creative ways to convey the same ambiance at home.
If your brand is upscale, for example, consider upgrading your takeout packaging. If your restaurant is all about farm to table, make sure your customer takes that story home too.
Branded Takeaway Containers, Cups, Cutlery etc.
Generic white styrofoam is not only bad for the environment, it’s bad for business too! To make sure your customers remember you and reorder the next time, try adding little branded touches wherever possible. This way, as they sip on their takeout latte or enjoy one of your famous sandwiches, their muscle memory will be working on remembering your brand 😉
As a commonly shared item, restaurant menus get passed from customer to customer dozens of times a day. As a high-touch surface, making sure they’re properly sanitized is a big priority. On a busy night, however, many waiters and hosts won’t have the time to keep menus clean in the middle of service. Printed disposable menus for both takeout and dine-in make a good temporary solution until things return to normal. By letting customers hang on to them and take them home, you’ll also be tempting them to try your establishment again the next time.
Printed Restaurant Advertising and Coupons
Aside from food and drinks, there are other added bonuses you can slip into the takeout bag. Whether you choose to include a branded loyalty card, a flyer advertising a promotion, and/or a coupon for their next visit, there’s definitely room for value-added print pieces that encourage return customers.
It’s the small details that count in the industry. As we mentioned, although you can’t bring good service home, what you can do is add to the experience by offering something extra that exceeds expectations. Consider a promotional product that doesn’t cost much money to produce, but has a positive effect. You’d be surprised how something as small as branded candy or custom-packaged fortune cookies can leave your patrons feeling.