With the coronavirus pandemic causing restaurants across the country to shut down dine-in services, your restaurant may be leaning on takeout and delivery to make ends meet.

If you don’t focus on takeout or delivery? Now might be the time. Thankfully, services like Grubhub are making it easier to maintain profitability by waiving commission fees (New York Post). Whether you build your own delivery network or use a third party service, it’s absolutely worth looking into.

Here’s five ways to drive takeout and delivery sales while your dining room is closed.

Keep your customers informed. It all starts with letting your customers know what your plan is. Hopefully, you’ve already gotten started on this. Don’t just wait for your customers to call and say “Hi, I was wondering if you’re offering takeout and delivery right now?” Let them know what you’re offering by updating social media, sending out emails, and posting about it on your website.

Update your website. For the foreseeable future, a lot of people are going to be looking at local restaurants to see who’s offering what. When they arrive on your website, the first thing they’ll want to see is whether you’re open for takeout and/or delivery. The easier it is for them to immediately place an order, the better.

Reassure your customers. Many experts have downplayed the risks of contracting the coronavirus through food or food packaging when ordering takeout and delivery. For details on what these experts are saying, best practices, and where the risks stem from, see this article from CNN, which includes relevant quotes from the FDA, CDC and other professional sources.

Despite these reassurances, not everyone is eager to take risks they might see as unnecessary. Reassure your customers that safety, cleanliness, and health are your top priorities, and that you’re actively employing recommended best practices for food handling. You want your customers to feel safe.

Go contactless. To ensure your customers are as comfortable as possible, offer a 100% contact-free solution. With proper food packaging and bagging, deliveries can be left at the door without any worry. When it comes to takeout, if you have a drive-through, make use of it. Otherwise, start offering curbside pickup. Minimizing the human-to-human interaction is the most important element you can maintain here.

Update your menu. Whether you choose to offer your full menu for takeout/delivery or not, I highly recommend emphasizing more home-friendly choices. For some restaurants, this will be easier than others. (Fine dining doesn’t exactly scream takeout.) While I realize this isn’t a viable option for everyone, many restaurants are slashing prices for their takeout menu. That may be worth considering.

Promote With CoGoBuzz

With CoGoBuzz, our state-of-the-art digital marketing service, we’ll digitally promote your takeout and delivery services directly to customer mobile devices.

Leveraging state-of-the-art WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions, our service promotes your restaurant both in-store and out. CoGoBuzz comes packed with a fully digital, text-based loyalty program that can allow you to promote your delivery and takeout services with just a simple text.

Click here to learn more about CoGoBuzz!

Whether you’re one of our current customers, or you’re interested in joining the CoGoBuzz family, we’re committed to helping businesses affected by COVID-19.

For current customers, we’re providing free text message service, allowing you to send a link to order online, purchase gift cards, and/or notify customers of new hours.

For new customers, we’re offering our hardware at cost, donating our services, time, and covering shipping costs. Prepare for the future with CoGoWiFi Free to collect your customers’ phone numbers. There’s no contracts or monthly fees, and we offer unlimited customer data storage.

Click here for more details on how we’re handling the crisis.

Is your restaurant offering delivery or takeout services? Let us know in the comments.