The three you need

The three you need to deliver standout takeout + six bonus to-go tips

Offering takeout services at your eatery is a great business move - but how can you turn it into a memorable marketing opportunity?

A lot has happened in the last year...and times have been especially tough for restaurants. It's been inspiring to see eateries start offering (or re-prioritizing) takeout services in the midst of limited-capacity dining, social distancing and shut-downs.

It can be exciting to add a new service to your small business - in this case, takeout. You might have learned already that offering takeout is more than putting food into to-go containers. You'll need to create a system that customers and employees can follow for efficiently placing and picking up orders...maybe even an online ordering feature. Youl need to test the process to make sure it's streamlined and safe, so every customer has a positive experience.

And once you've mastered your new offerings, it's time to take your takeout experience to the next level. Whether you run a bistro or a bakery, make sure customers carry out a branded experience...not just their order.

Whether your eatery is new to takeout or ready to kick things up a notch, here are 9 things you need to offer standout takeout.

The three you need to deliver standout takeout + six bonus to-go tips

  1. Paper bags
  2. Sheet stickers
  3. Postcards
  1. Social posts
  2. A takeout-friendly menu
  3. An easy ordering system
  1. QR codes for touchfree transactions
  2. A pick-up zone
  3. Incentive to order
  1. Paper bags

    Let your customers do the heavy lifting - they'll carry their food home in a branded paper bag, giving you some free marketing exposure.

  2. Sheet stickers

    Stickers provide a secure seal to takeout containers and bags, and let you turn the most basic supplies into branded marketing vehicles.

  3. Postcards

    A postcard provides a blank canvas for you to leave your customers a 'thank you' note. Or, staple the customer's receipt to a branded postcard for a little something extra.

  4. Social posts

    Make sure your customers know that you offer takeout - one of the easiest ways to spread the word is through your social channels. Announce your new offering across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and continue to share high-resolution photos of your dishes, standout customer reviews and other takeout news.

VISTAPRINT TIP

Create a signature hashtag for your eatery's takeout program, and encourage customers to tag their posts with it. Think: #BeaumontToGo.

  1. A takeout-friendly menu

    You may need to adjust your offerings so that they're compatible with a takeout model - nobody likes soggy fried chicken or melted ice cream. Instead, think about what you can do to ensure your to-go meals are as delicious as your dine-in ones, and create some takeout-only specials to drum up excitement. (Family meals, anyone?) Showcase your updated menu on a brochure, along with your contact information, takeout protocols and photos of your most crave-worthy offerings.

  2. An easy ordering system

    When it comes to placing takeout orders, make it as easy as possible for customers. Add a dedicated phone line or extension dedicated to takeout customers, add an online ordering feature on your website or partner with a third-party app like Seamless.

  1. QR codes for touchfree transactions

    If customers don't feel comfortable paying ahead of time over the phone or online, collect their payment with a QR code when they arrive. We've partnered with PayPal to make it easy to print a unique-to-you QR code on decals, banners and more - so you can accept transactions swiftly and safely.

  2. A pick-up zone

    Create a dedicated pick-up area for takeout orders inside (or outside!) your eatery. Whether it's a simple folding table or a section of your checkout counter, guide customers to the proper pick-up area at your eatery with easy-to-follow signage.

    Floor decals are a great option for showing the way - and reminding everyone to keep a safe social distance.
    Create a specific uniform (T-shirts and masks) for employees handling takeout orders so customers know who to ask for help.
    From logo pens to thank-you postcards, use low-cost marketing materials to reinforce this branded takeout experience.
  3. Incentive to order

    Keep customers coming back with special offers or a rewards program. Stamp the back of a business card every time they come in and reward them with a discount or freebie to say 'thanks' for their loyalty.

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