Up Your Off-Premise Game
Welcome to level 3 of “we’re taking this day by day”! As warmer weather approaches, and as the stats have shown, off-premise strategies are something restaurants need to add to their business playbook. Not only is it a profitable solution for an unpredictable future, but it’s not a player that would need to benched due to closures, mandates, or capacity restrictions.
Off-Premise in the Present
The National Restaurant Association/Technomic partnership survey results from the study “Harnessing Technology to Drive Off-Premises Sales” found that in “today’s on-demand world, off-premises capabilities are more important than ever to keep restaurants aligned with the wants and needs of its customers.” For a larger-scale illustration, it’s reported that across all forms including drive-thru and delivery, 60 percent of overall restaurant occasions are off-premises.
Since 2020, off-premise has become an increasingly important part of a restaurant’s business strategy. It’s helped generate additional sales, increased overall profitability through larger average check sizes and has added new customers. But what does that look like across the restaurant industry?
- 57% considered delivery more important than it was two years ago
- 67% operators think curbside pick-up is also more important than two years ago
- On the customer side, 86% are using off-premise dining avenues once a month
Due to the ever-changing consumers that have been navigating the pandemic they’ve perpetuated the demand for eating their favorite foods in their own homes. As reported by Melissa Wilson with Technomic, this is due to generational shifts – by 2026 80 percent of millennials are predicted to be parents by then, thus increasing the preference to eat at home. This is a huge opportunity for growth for the operators that can get on board and provide a seamless delivery journey. Wilson states that operators need to know “who they’re going after and how.” They need to identify their users and reach them in the way they prefer to be reached.
What Can Operators Do?
We’ve thrown a lot of information your way! Now, how can you make it actionable? It’s not as overwhelming as it sounds. These easy-to-apply tips can help you get started today:
Invest in technology — Specifically, when it comes to off-premise, technology can help you manage orders accurately. The right technology will create a seamless environment from front-of-house to back-of-house – through integrations and communication. Keep orders fresher longer, reduce wait times, send SMS notifications, and track customer data for top tier service each visit. How else have operators embraced technology?
Consider various options – Off-premise can be loosely considered everything that is not dine-in. There are a lot of options to start:
- Delivery (third-party or in-house)
- Optimizing/improving curbside pickup options
- Meal kits + to-go experiences (cocktail kits and at home recipes)
- Ghost or mobile kitchens – less space = less cost!
If you already have off-premise options, market them – Your customers can’t use services that they don’t know about. Tell them how!
- Promote your off-premise options through various channels (including social media)
- Create an off-premise specific menu. We recommend the foods that will travel well or the most popular dishes in this instance.
- Think about your packaging – what is your restaurant doing to be sustainable? You can start with your off-premise packaging as people are taking them away from your restaurant.
If you’re wondering if it’s worth it to invest in off-premise efforts for your restaurant, in 2021, 53% of respondents surveyed and 64% of millennials identify both delivery and takeout as “essential to the way they live.” Add it to your restaurant’s business plan for the foreseeable future, just in case!
On the flip side, chances are you’ve ordered delivery or takeout in the past month, so now you know you’re not the only one! The demand is there!
Join us for our next webinar, March 22 or March 24. Register below!
About the Author
Devyn is the Social & PR Specialist on the Marketing Team. She has a B.S. in Communication and an M.S. in Global Strategic Communication. She liked QR codes (before they were cool) ever since a two-week trip to China. She’s obsessed with true crime and enjoys quality time with her friends and family. Ask her about books she’s read, Criminal Minds, her dog-child, or her favorite cocktails!