Operations – Takeout Success

Take out foods can help attract time-pressed customers to your restaurant.  Here are some tips for operating a successful takeout business.

Designate a takeout area.  Your restaurant should have a separate takeout area and it should be treated like a separate business.  Place clear signs, such as “Pickup Orders Here”, so customers know where to go.

Train staff in takeout guidelines.  Your staff should be trained to handle customers’ questions, for example, hot to reheat items, etc.

Make ordering convenient.  In addition to phone orders, you might allow your customers to order online or via fax.  The fax is particularly useful with large orders that normally take up a lot of time on the phone.

Double-check orders.  Go over the order with customers to make sure details are not missed.  “Here’s the pizza, here’s the calzone…”  It’s so much better than the customer getting home only to discover that the pepperoni he ordered for his three-meat pizza is missing.

Provide convenient parking.  Customers want to pull up, park, go in, get their order and leave.  To speed things up, designate a few parking spaces near the entrance for takeout customers.

Put food safety first.  Encourage people to get their food home and get the leftovers into the refrigerator quickly, especially in the summertime.

Advertise.  Encourage dine-in customers to try takeout items by presenting a mini takeout menu with a coupon inside the guest check.  The internet is also a great resource for advertising.

Remember, a well-organized takeout service will provide your busy customers with the on-the-spot convenience they want.  Your reward will be greater repeat business as well as more word-of-mouth referrals, two sure-fire ways to help your business grow.

Taken from: Bread & Butter: The Bottom Line on Running Restaurants.

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