A month ago, it was pretty much business as usual in the hospitality industry. Now it’s another thing entirely. After a national public health order forced every restaurant and café in Australia to limit their operations to takeaway and delivery, many restaurants have had to pivot. And pivot fast.
If you are one of the venues determined to trade through the pandemic, firstly we love your work. Secondly, we want to ensure that you have the necessary information to innovate in the current climate and in turn give you and your staff the best chance of avoiding shutdown and unemployment.
For a successful takeaway menu, there are 3 key points you should consider.
Not all foodservice businesses are set up for meals that travel well. So the first thing you’ll need to look at is your menu and what’s on it. What’s doable with limited staff involvement, popular online, whilst still paying homage to your ‘business as usual’ menu?
There are a few different options here. Obviously cutting down your menu to include only the items that travel well is a good starting point. Pizza is an obvious choice and burgers are also people pleasers. In fact, according to Deliveroo, the burger was the most ordered item in 2019.
You should also pivot to more profitable products. One way of achieving that is by selling one menu item per night only, so you can cut down on waste and increase efficiency.
Another option is to create a range of ready-to-heat meals that customers can cook in the comfort of their own home. Lasagna is a natural choice here, and you can up-sell customers with pre-made garlic bread they can heat at the same time.
Also consider adding alcohol to your menu. With the relaxation of liquor licence laws in Victoria, NSW, Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, alcohol can be a higher margin add on that helps keep things afloat.
This is a challenge for so many of our customers. The best thing customers can do is order direct with you of course (so perhaps you can keep some of your front of house staff on as delivery drivers).
Encourage your customers to order direct, or pick up when they can. When every penny counts, delivery may not be a viable option for you and this is something you should look at carefully. A better option may be drive through or straight to car ‘delivery’.
It’s important to keep in mind that the hospitality sector isn’t the only one struggling and many customers will be looking for cost-effective meals. Don’t make any of your menu items too pricey – a boxed meal option, designed for pick up should be priced around $15 each. Take some time to test recipes and make sure they won’t end up too expensive (or the portions too small).
Whatever you do decide, we want to support you in your mission to stay open and help feed the nation. There is currently no known risk of transmitting COVID-19 through food and we know all of your staff are already well-trained in safe food handling measures.
If you’re thinking of serving burgers, pizza or garlic bread (and you’ve never done this before) get in touch with the team at Tip Top Foodservice and we can give you some tips to providing awesome food.