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Due to recent events, delivery and pick-up orders are increasing rapidly. In challenging time such as this, how can you make sure your restaurant is top of mind for customers? Here are some ways you can stand out amongst your competition and encourage customers to continue to order from your restaurant.

 

Old Fashioned Drive-In Restaurants

Who can forget the experience of an old fashioned drive-in restaurant? When customers would drive up to a restaurant and eat in their cars. Since customers visiting your restaurant can not come in and sit, why not deliver food to them instead? However, make sure your servers are taking proper precautions to wash their hands, sanitize after each meal delivery and keep social-distancing.

 

Create A Loyalty Program

Everyone loves to earn points and win free stuff! Most of us have changed our shopping, eating, and travelling patterns to earn points for our purchases. Therefore, having a loyalty program is a no brainer! The eventual winning of a prize has a lot of influence on people's spending and drives repeat sales! We recommend a digital loyalty program, especially these days, since customers won't be able to present a card physically.

 

Get Personal With Personalized Messages

Something playful that restaurants can add to take-out orders is the option to include a personalized message; offer this option during the time of ordering. The customer can decide what message they wish to send out if they are ordering for family or friends, or they can request funny jokes or pictures. It is an easy and low-cost way of adding some fun into food delivery. Also, you can encourage customers to share their personalized messages on social media with a specific hashtag. This is a great way to promote the restaurant as well as showcase food orders.

 

Take Advantage of Social Media 

Social media is an excellent tool to build your business profile and attract new customers. With social media, you can create videos, promote new specials, highlight limited time offers, feature your employees, offer cooking lessons, interviews with the chef, and give a "behind the scenes" look to your customers. People are craving social interaction more than ever before and making your restaurant approachable is the golden ticket. 

 

Bring The Restaurant To Their Home.

Is your restaurant known for a particular theme or ambiance? Unfortunately, because restaurants patrons can not sit down inside, why not bring the restaurant to them? For example, why not try including a wine list pairing with the food they ordered, a tea light candle, labelled napkins or with each order include paper placemats and crayons for children. If your business includes toys for children at the end of the meal add the toys in as well or the breath mints they could have picked up upon exiting the facility. It is simple things like this that provide an extraordinary experience beyond just receiving a take out meal. Also, don’t forget to add in promotional materials to spark their interest in ordering again. Furthermore, you can create a contest and encourage customers to share their experience on social media and offer a reward such as a discount on their next order.

 

Special Limited Time Offers.

Offering a special limited-time offer is a great way to not only attract new customers but to retain them. This is a wonderful way to tempt people to try out your restaurant. Some examples of limited-time offers can be free meals for kids, 50% off desserts and special fixe prix menus on certain days. Also, you can leverage certain social media days such as, "National Peanut Butter And Jelly Day," this will create traffic to your social media. Here is a complete list of Annual Food Holidays for Restaurants.

 

Ordering take-out is one of the simple pleasures that is still available. Make your restaurant stand out amongst the competition by offering a loyalty program, personalized messages, unique experience, and limited-time offers. Become present on social media and increase traffic to your restaurant during this challenging time. Customers will remember you for it.

 

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Yes, you can deliver food during the Coronavirus pandemic. Here's how!

 

 

In an effort to prevent further spread of COVID-19 people will be social-distancing, and the demand for at home delivery orders will be drastically increasing. How can your business make sure that they are prepared to deliver food to customers safely? 

 

According to the CDC and FDA, COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through food. The possibly more significant issue is spreading the virus from food delivery driver to customer or vice-versa. However, your restaurant can deliver food during the pandemic as long as you take the proper precautions, here's how:

 

The health of food delivery drivers is a priority.

Any food delivery drivers who have been diagnosed with COVID‑19 should be individually asked to self‑isolate by management to avoid any further spread of the virus. As a business, it is in your best interest to remain transparent to customers on your policies regarding sick employees.

 

Follow foodservice best practices.

It is essential to keep up to date with restaurant best practices for food handling at this time. This includes ensuring proper sanitation of surfaces, food handlers and food preparation environments, and that all food is properly sealed in tamper‑evident packaging.

 

Invest in good packaging.

A few extra cents to buy the right to-go packaging will end up saving you in the long run by preventing damaged food and keep items fresh for longer. To stand out amongst competition, you can try trendy ECO-friendly packaging as well. Take a look at our Take Out Essentials Guide. Also, clear packaging allows food delivery drivers to check orders at-a-glance before leaving the restaurant and completing the delivery. This will avoid and confusion or mistakes.

 

Need thermal carriers? We’ve gathered a few for you to review.

 

Encourage customers to leave delivery instructions.

For the safety of your delivery drivers and customers it may be best for them to avoid 1-1 contact with each other. While the customer is ordering food, make a note to ask what their preferred delivery instructions are, and ask if it is possible to leave the food in an alternative location, for example placing food at the door.

 
Wash hands and keep delivery cars clean.

Hand washing is the most important thing people can do to protect themselves and others. Provide food delivery drivers with disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, as well as gloves to help them protect themselves and keep their vehicles clean of any germs. Germs can live on surface, instruments and packaging that people touch, including take-out containers and utensils for nine days. Other recommended hygiene practices include not touching your face with unwashed hands, as well as making sure to cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue. 

 

The health and safety of your food delivery drivers and customers is the top priority in times such as these. Make sure to take proper precautions to keep everyone safe. 

 

If you would like further advice on your safe food delivering options please contact your territory manager.

 

 

 

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Technology has made a huge impact on the behaviour of your customers and how they choose to enjoy their meals. 50% of Canadians now use their smartphone to order food and drinks. Having a presence on third-party delivery apps like Skip the Dishes or UberEats it’s not only convenient to your existing customers, it’s advertisement to potential customers who are debating where they should eat.

 

The apps themselves make it easy for you, too. Long gone are the days of complicated software platforms that are more hassle to use than they are worth. These apps have easy-to-use interfaces and make the process smooth and simple to receive your orders, coordinate delivery times, and accept payment.

 

Menu

Is your menu on ordering apps and your website up to date?

 

The biggest let down for a consumer is to discover that the food they want to order isn’t actually available. SkipTheDishes and UberEats make it as easy as possible to update menu items within seconds and as often as necessary.

 

It’s important to note that though your menu should be up to date on third party sites, your entire menu doesn’t have to be included. Choose a few easy and portable menu items—like sandwiches, soups or salads— and feature those as delivery options. You’ll still benefit from the brand exposure on the platform and the additional revenue stream while protecting the integrity of menu items that don’t travel well.

 

Delivery Charges

These are determined by you. Yes, you do want to make sure that you are covering your costs, but you also need to think strategically. If someone can order something similar from multiple restaurants, their decision will likely come down to cost and delivery time.

 

Remember, today’s consumers don’t have the same level of loyalty as previous generations and will easily switch to somewhere new if it means a more convenient experience.

 

Delivery Time

Skip the Dishes and UberEats allow you to set your own prep time and easily control the pace of your kitchen. You can adjust prep times whenever you need, such as at peak times or on days when you are down staff. UberEats will also adjust it automatically based on order volumes, time of day, and order size.

 

Ensure you stick to the determined delivery times as closely as possible. You don’t want a customer to be waiting longer than expected for their food to arrive, nor do you want their food to arrive cold because it was prepared too early.

 

Packaging

Don’t underestimate the art of good packaging! No one wants to have their order delivered only to find that something has leaked out of its container or that food has gone cold and soggy. Proper packaging is key to ensuring that your establishment’s eating experience transfers to the home. This is a reflection of your brand and your commitment to your diner’s entire experience.

 

Maintain A Strong Digital Presence

Don’t forget—your online presence goes far beyond the ordering apps themselves. Consumers are looking to a whole host of digital mediums when deciding where to order their food, whether they’re eating on or off-site. Making food decisions is usually an “in-the-moment” choice with over half of all dinner decisions being made day-of. Having a strong online presence is imperative to being selected when consumers are doing their last minute (and hungry) searching.

 

Here are some things to consider to ensure a seamless digital experience for your customers:

 

A Responsive Website

A responsive website will adjust in size to display nicely on a mobile phone without users needing to zoom in and out. Include your menu, contact information, and hours of operation. We love Squarespace and have a great post that breaks down (link to https://www.flanagan.ca/blog/8-Steps-to-Creating-Your-Restaurant-Website-on-a-Budget.htm) step-by-step how to get started!

 

Social Media

Social media continues to have a huge influence on food choices. Having an engaging social presence is vital to staying competitive and promoting your brand.

 

Highlight Your Hard-To-Replicate Dishes To Increase Delivery Orders

Consumers may feel that these items are more difficult to re-create at home.

 

A Google Business Page

When someone Googles your restaurant name, this is what appears on the right side of the desktop search results. This is free advertising in a high traffic place! 88% of all desktop internet searches are conducted through Google.

 

Use these tips to increase your digital brand awareness, create another revenue stream, and improve your customers’ online ordering experience.

 

To get started with Skip The Dishes click here and fill out their form and someone will get back to you.

 

To get started with Uber Eats click here 

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