Notes For Restaurants Making Adjustments For Increased Take-Out Orders

Whether your restaurant is accustomed to serving food in a take-out fashion or you have recently had to adjust to accommodate this type of service, everyone should be preparing for the unfortunate new normal. We are seeing a lot of creative ways that businesses are dealing with the recent shutdowns. We are also seeing a lot of fantastic community support for these businesses. The grim reality of the situation, however, is that things will not go back to normal overnight, and if you have a restaurant or food service business you should be preparing for a relatively long-term adjustment.


For many small food service businesses the mandatory take-out style is not a major adjustment. Pizza places, Chinese restaurants and plenty of others already count on take-out service for a large portion of their business.  Outside of personnel adjustments, these businesses probably have the fewest modifications to make. Maybe they just need to buy addition containers and utensils for takeout, or revisit their online ordering program to welcome a larger amount of orders.   


While some restaurants can just ramp up their already active take-out systems, others have to totally rethink their operations.  For many high-end and fine dining establishments these major adjustments may be the difference between staying in business and having to shut down. Regardless of how they choose to move forward, theses businesses will want to keep the high standards their customers have come to expect.  (Some are already doing a great job of this by delivering raw ingredients and instructions for meals to be prepared at home, ensuring freshness.) One option is providing higher end disposable cutlery and dining sets with already prepared meals; saving the customer from excess cleaning and making the whole experience more convenient. Another option might be to promote wine/liquor sales by throwing in a free sample of a wine/liquor that pairs well with their order and some tasting glasses.



Although this strange time will come to an end, both casual and high-end restaurants should be aware that things will not just snap back to normal. Restaurants will have to scale down their capacity to ensure dine-in customers are comfortable during their time there. As a result they will have to continue to promote take-out orders to sustain the income were accustomed to in the past. It is difficult to commit to anything in these uncertain times, but one thing that seems a shoe-in going forward is that restaurants will have to support increased take-out orders for some time and should be prepared to do so.