In any small business, getting more customers in the door is only half the battle. Once you have a crowd, you need to keep them happy and coming back for more. One of the easiest ways to do that is by offering a delivery and takeout option. It’s a great way to expand your clientele and provide a convenient option for people who don’t want to go out to eat.
Over the last couple of years, restaurants have significantly increased their takeaway offering to react to the covid pandemic. Although restaurant spending has fallen slightly amid the current cost of living crisis, the average monthly spend on takeaways in the UK is still seeing a month-on-month uplift of 2.3%. So how can you take advantage of this and get more takeaway orders? Here are a few tips to help:
1. Create promotions
Promotions are one of the best ways to boost sales, attract new customers and get existing customers coming back. Depending on your offering, there are a number of different promotions you can run.
You might want to think about a buy one get one free on specific menu items if there’s something in particular you want to promote or create a bundle deal for a discounted cost. You could also offer a percentage discount if the customer spends a certain amount, e.g spend £20 and get 20% off.
These offers can be run permanently, for a set period of time, or even on specific days to encourage people to order when they wouldn’t normally. Most people tend to order on the weekend, so why not run a midweek offer?
2. Get on social media
Social media is a great way to communicate with your customers and get them thinking about your food. It should be a crucial part of your business plan as it’s the easiest way to engage your target audience. Fill your feed with attractive images of your food as well as behind the scenes shots, menu updates and offers. Encourage customers to post their own photos and tag you so you can reshare them.
Remember to use hashtags to increase your reach – you could use hashtags for your target area e.g #london as well as the type of food you serve. The timing of your posts can also be important, try and post when people will be hungry at breakfast, lunch and dinner time.
If you have the budget, you could also think about spending some money on social media ads. Instagram and Facebook are ideal for this, and can let you promote your posts at set times of day or days of the week. You’ll also be able to choose your ideal target audience, filtering by location, age, interests and more.
3. Focus on photography
Getting good photos of your food is key for social media, your website and your online ordering menus. Choose the most attractive menu items you have, cook them up and remember to focus on the presentation. Experiment with different lighting, angles and placements to make your food look the best it can.
Combine your photos with descriptive language to get your customers hungry, and remember to include details about the dish such as sauces, sides and other add ons.
4. Offer delivery and click and collect
Customers want their takeaway to be as convenient as possible, so offering delivery and click and collect allows them to access your food however they want. Our online ordering software allows you to manage all your orders in one place, with the app or website allowing customers to choose their preferred method of delivery.
Our software also integrates with Deliverect, which goes a step further and allows you to manage your third party sales channels (Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Just Eat) on one platform. Signing up to these platforms is also a great way to grow your audience to reach people who may not even know your business exists yet.
5. Keep staff members stress free
In the current hospitality staff shortage, it can be difficult be hire new people. Once you’ve got a good team in place, you need to make sure your operations run as smoothly as possible. Workforce management tools, as well as EPOS integrated kitchen management, can be key to optimising your staff members.
You might want to integrate with labour management software such as Workforce, Rota Ready, S4 Labour or Harri which can help to plan staff levels, manage staff wellbeing and organise shift swaps.
To keep your kitchen running smoothly, consider a kitchen display system. This integrates with your EPOS system, so all orders placed either at the till or on your online ordering app get sent straight to the display screen in the kitchen. This can have a huge impact on the efficiency of your team, with the automation ensuring your staff are able to use their time to get orders ready. The sped up service will keep your customers happy, helping to boost repeat takeaway orders.
6. Make the most of seasonal events
Customers normally search for deals around seasonal events such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day as well as days like bank holidays. It’s a great opportunity to increase your sales while giving your customers what they want.
You could change your menu with the seasons and offer limited items such as lighter summer food in July and Christmas-themed dishes in December. By putting a time limit on the items’ availability, customers will be encouraged to place more orders so they get to try the new food.
7. Create a loyalty programme
Returning customers are crucial to your success, so encourage this with your own loyalty programme. This helps your customers feel valued, as well as encouraging them to purchase more from you. Repeat customers normally will spend more than first timers, so it can be really beneficial to you to retain them.
With our EPOS software, you can set this up your loyalty programme however you like, so customers can earn and redeem points, earn free items or get exclusive discounts.
Summary of how to get more takeaway orders
Overall, there are a few different things you could look to improve or implement to boost takeaway orders for your restaurant:
- Create promotions
- Get on social media
- Focus on photography
- Offer delivery and click and collect
- Keep staff members stress free
- Make the most of seasonal events
- Create a loyalty programme
If you need support or a new EPOS system for your takeaway or restaurant, we’re here to help. Our all-in-one EPOS system will help you manage and grow your business, giving you the tools you need to increase efficiency and boost orders. Get in touch for more information.