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Evolving your Delivery and Takeout Menu Offerings during COVID-19

According to Restaurants Canada, the restaurant industry has reported a decrease in profit by an estimated $20 billion for the second quarter of 2020 and that up to 18% of Canadian restaurants will shut down within the next month if conditions do not improve. As COVID-19 evolves, so must the restaurant industry.

With over four years of experience as marketing and content partners for brands such as Domino’s Pizza Canada, Mary Brown’s, Grace Foods, and more, creative agency Label 428, offers some insights on how some restaurants have reevaluated their services.

Here are three creative ways that restaurants have evolved in this new takeout-only environment:

1. Pivot to Branded Grocery Items and/or Meal Kits

If your restaurant boasts some of the best salsa, pasta sauce, chicken wing seasonings, or more, you can begin packaging these items for sale. This can help you offload some of your inventory and sell your items at a higher profit margin. Your customers will surely appreciate this and could continue once the pandemic has ended.

Some restaurants (including Shake Shack, Buca, General Assembly, etc.) have been deconstructing their staple menu items and selling them as tasty DIY meal kits.

2. Streamlined Delivery Menus

  • Focus on high-profit margin dishes

Limit your menu to only your most popular and highest profit margin dishes. You’ll save money on ingredients and streamline kitchen operations.

  • Introduce alcohol if possible

If you have a liquor license, your province may have lifted liquor licensing laws to allow restaurants to temporarily sell/deliver alcohol to make ends meet. Include bottles of wine and beer to your offerings.

  • Value bundles and family meals

At least for now, gone are the days of ordering single-serving meals for lunch and dinner. Price-conscious people will find that if they’re already going to order takeout they might as well order two or more meals to cut down on delivery fees. You may want to incorporate a value bundle to attract larger orders. It’s also important to offer meal sets specifically made to help families at dinner time.

3. In-House Designated Delivery Days

If you or your staff have access to vehicles, consider doing your own delivery by taking pre-orders from customers and designating a few delivery days throughout the week.

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