1. Focus on quality and service
A key way for takeaway owners to not only stand out from the crowd, but also retain and grow their customers, is to focus on quality and service. Getting the basics right in terms of treating customers right, and delivering tasty, good quality food that arrives hot, on time, and well packaged, is absolutely vital to encourage customers to return to you again. The takeaway restaurants on our site rated highest for customer service, quality and speed of delivery receive around three times more orders than average.
2. Get online
The internet is now enabling people to organise more and more of their daily lives, including the meals they eat. Whether it is ordering the weekly shop from a supermarket or choosing a takeaway for that evening’s dinner, it all can be done online, and increasingly on mobile too. Because of these changes, restaurant owners will need to think about how they can capitalise on this trend, as well as the customer experience and proposition they provide online and on mobile.
The potential rewards of doing this are significant, including the ability to get more and higher value orders (online orders are typically 30% higher in value than phone orders), and process them faster (typically it takes a restaurant order 30 seconds to take an online order vs 2-3 minutes on the phone).
3. Make high hygiene standards a priority
In 2013, takeaway businesses in Wales were required by law to display their hygiene ratings. While this has yet to become mandatory in the rest of the UK, savvy takeaways with good hygiene ratings are starting to do this anyway.
There is lots of advice available online, for example from the Food Standards Agency and local councils, showing restaurants how to achieve and maintain high standards of food hygiene. Not only is this good practice, but increasingly it will be seen as a key differentiator for takeaway businesses as consumers become more discerning about how their food is prepared.
4. Think about new services and offerings
It’s important for restaurant owners to think about providing food in new ways to maximise sales and profits. For example, restaurants that offer a dine-in service can benefit greatly from offering delivery.
Not only does it make the best use of the chef’s time and produce in the kitchen, but it also drives valuable incremental revenue, especially on days when business is slow. The same applies to restaurants that offer customers the option to collect food, as this is becoming an increasingly popular way to increase orders.
5. Get the most out of your investments
Restaurant owners invest significant resources in their kitchens, chefs, and food, so it’s important to ensure all these elements are working as effectively as possible. One easy way of doing this is by using electronic point of sale (ePOS) systems, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated and provide restaurant owners with a wealth of useful information to make their businesses more efficient and successful.
They provide the ability to centrally manage orders, whether online, ‘walk-in’, or over the phone, as well as kitchen operations and staffing levels. They can also provide a better view of customers’ ordering habits – information which can be used to improve marketing and targeting of special offers to increase orders.
Graham Corfield is MD of Just Eat
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