At this point, I don’t need to spell it out for you. Takeout is bigger than it’s ever been.

According to a survey from AlixPartners (via FoodService Director), four out of every five customers are now ordering meals for takeout and delivery. More than half of all customers (57%) are doing so at least once a week.

I can certainly relate to these numbers. I’m pretty sure I’ve ordered more takeout this year than during any other point in my entire life. I know I’m not alone there.

And here’s the thing about takeout. If you’ve been paying attention, you know it’s going to be a big deal even after the new normal is long gone. The pandemic has only accelerated the growth of off-premise dining. Improving your takeout business now will help yield revenue for years to come.

Here’s four ways to improve your restaurant’s takeout services.

Overhaul your takeout menu. Before anything else, a great idea to consider is overhauling your takeout menu. Perhaps this is something you’ve taken care of back when the pandemic first started. Maybe you’ve made a few adjustments, or maybe you haven’t changed anything at all. Either way, consider taking a good look at your takeout menu.

Is there enough variety? Do the choices represent the best your restaurant has to offer? Are these home-friendly meals? These are all questions you should be asking yourself.

Even if you don’t have a takeout menu at all, emphasizing a variety of home-friendly choices will go a long way with customers looking to order out.

Takeout specials. I love restaurant specials. Who doesn’t? If you run a restaurant, you understand the value that a carefully crafted specials menu can bring. Specials keep things interesting, incentivizing customers to keep coming back to your restaurant over and over again. Whether they’re weekly, seasonal, or just for a single holiday.

With fall nearly upon us, you may be ready to launch your new seasonal menu. It’s the opportune time to plan out a selection of takeout-friendly specials to feature.

Family bundles. A trend that’s picked up since the pandemic started is the family bundle. Putting together a value-packed assortment of food, these bundles allow families to conveniently order takeout without having to go through the trouble of picking out individual meals. If your restaurant gets a lot of business from families, introducing these bundles is a must. They make it easy to order food for large groups of people without any of the hassle.

Happy Hour at home. For many restaurants, booze is where a lot of the profits come from. And with takeout, you simply don’t extract the same amount of value per customer. If they’re not dining in, they’re not ordering your speciality cocktails or checking out the wine list.

A lot of those rules have been thrown out the window thanks to changing alcohol laws. As reported by Food & Wine, more than 30 states are allowing restaurants to offer cocktails to-go. On top of that, there are several groups currently lobbying to keep these rules in place once the pandemic is over.

So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to come up with a takeout menu for alcohol. I’ve seen different restaurants handle to-go alcohol in a variety of creative ways. From jumbo margarita pitchers to six-packs of beer, the sky’s the limit. (Just make sure you double check what alcohol laws are in place within your state first.)

Succeed With CoGoBuzz

With CoGoBuzz, we’re here to help your restaurant succeed as it moves forward from the pandemic. Our state-of-the-art digital marketing service can help your restaurant build and maintain a strong base of loyal customers, which will ultimately help your restaurant survive.

Our service directly promotes your services to customer mobile devices. Leveraging advanced WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions, CoGoBuzz promotes your restaurant both in-store and out. It comes packed with a fully digital, text-based loyalty program, allowing you to let your customers know what services you’re offering – all 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 are no contracts or monthly fees, and we offer unlimited customer data storage.

Message from our CEO

“From pricing to packaging, our mission has always been to provide customers with unbeatable value. That’s why, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we are seeking to provide the most aggressive offers to help suffering restaurants survive. We believe that half of small restaurants will fail in the year after operations return to normal. The restaurants that survive and thrive will be the ones that win loyalty and focus on bringing customers back over the following year.”

– Steve Gould, CEO

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

What has your restaurant done to improve its takeout business? Let us know in the comments.