Restaurant Pick-Up and Delivery During COVID-19
By Carla Landi
Restaurant Partners and Fans Are All In
Foodservice equipment and supply dealers and manufacturers are feverishly working together to come up with ways to help restaurants strengthen revenue opportunities, while their dining areas are closed. There is a loyal partnership between restaurant owners and equipment and supply dealers and manufacturers. The focus is on helping restaurants stay strong during this difficult time.
We’re seeing fast turn-around of product shipments to restaurants working on starting up or enhancing their foodservice pick-up and delivery business. We are also seeing the admiration and appreciation for restaurants, as loyal customers order food for pick-up and delivery, until they can walk into the dining room again and enjoy their favorite restaurant experiences.
Communication with Your Current and Potential Customers
It’s a good idea to have a “special” area on your website home page communicating your response to COVID-19. This could include special hours, intiatives, and pick-up and delivery service information. Let your customers know what you are offering and how much you appreciate their support. Identify the story you want to tell about the experience your customers will receive when they order from you.
Present your story with video testimonials. Engage through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and more.
Connect with emails, blogs, online ads, local food bloggers and influencers. Make content fun, personal to your customers, and about your employees and events. Partner with food apps and make sure your restaurant is listed. Keep your Yelp and google listing updated.
Have a good online management program in place. Make sure you respond to customer reviews in a timely manner and post regularly to your social media channels. Pictures and videos are the most viewed posts.
Tips for Starting Up Food Delivery and Take-Out
Take a look at your menu and identify the high profit menu items that travel well. You don’t have to include your entire menu for food delivery. One idea is to put together unique comfort food meals for families during this time. Make it fun and let them know who you are and why you enjoy serving them.
Invest in good packaging and transport supplies to make sure the food arrives in good form and at the right temperature.
Always include tamper-proof stickers when utilizing a third party delivery service. This just lets your customers know you care about the food you are delivering.
Make sure the food presentation looks good. Include brand identification or creative ambiance generators. Could be a signature glass or cup, be creative. Include a thank you note.
Your Dealer consultant is working with manufacturers to have foodservice delivery products available to you quickly. Here is just a handful of equipment and supplies to consider:
- Thermal carriers for transporting hot and cold foods
- Thermal bags for safe food delivery
- Heated drawers and heat lamps for keeping hot food hot for pick up and delivery drivers
- Food storage boxes so individual orders can be transported to the delivery sites, and to keep food fresh in the restaurant
- Sheet pan racks and food storage carts for holding orders for pick up and delivery drivers
- Heated holding cabinets to keep food at safe temperatures
- Thermometers for maintaining food safe temperatures
- Mobile hand washing stations at the pick-up site and for drivers coming in and out in between deliveries
- Countertop cooking equipment
Contact your dealer consultant. They are ready to work with you.
An additional Resource Worth Checking Out:
Cuboh is the first product built to help take online ordering off your plate. They bring all orders from platforms like DoorDash, Caviar, Uber Eats and more to one easy-to-use tablet. Cuboh ensures that all reporting is synched – regardless of your POS. Finally, orders are sent directly to your expo printers or kitchen displays, so no mistakes are made. Cuboh is currently offering special pricing in support of restaurants during these difficult times. Click here for more information.
FAQs on Foodservice Pick-Up and Delivery Guidelines
Are there any additional requirements I need to follow to prepare for delivery?
No. Follow general food safety practices when preparing food. Exercise frequent hand washing procedures. Limit interactions with customers and remind them to wash their hands before eating. The goal should be “contactless delivery” to protect employees and customers.
What are acceptable takeout and grab-and-go methods?
You can take customer orders by phone or in-person. All beverages must be filled by employees. No self-service beverages or customer refills. Give single-use items like napkins and condiments directly to the customer instead of putting them in a self-service area.
Can customers walk through the dining room to get a to-go order?
Yes. Customers can come into the facility but may not consume food or beverages on site. Make sure the social distancing protocols, including maintaining a consistent six-foot distance between persons are followed, and provided measures are taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on containers of food and other items transferred between food servers and customers.
Does the prohibition of eating food inside the facility apply to outdoor seating areas as well?
Yes. Customers cannot order takeout food and sit in outdoor seating areas and eat the food. It must be consumed off the premises.
Be sure to check with local and state guidelines for updates. Monitor news and developments coming out of the state and federal governments.