Many restaurants see a winter sales slump right after the hectic holiday rush. The cold, harsh weather makes it hard to get people keen on getting out of the house to eat out. it’s also that time of the year when people want to take a break after all the stress and excitement of celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Eve. But just because people aren’t dining out doesn’t mean your restaurant has to suffer a revenue dip.
The foodservice industry has seen a rise in delivery orders these past few years thanks to the emergence of delivery services such as GrubHub and UberEats. And there’s no better time to start offering steaming hot, fresh food delivered straight to customers’ doorsteps than during the dark, gloomy days of winter.
There are quite a few preparations you need to make, though. Aside from the obvious, such as preparing your restaurants equipments and investing in a new walk in freezer or walk in cooler to accommodate extra items, the following are things to keep in mind before offering food delivery.
Serve the right food items for delivery.
A survey conducted by GrubHub shows that people’s appetites change according to the season. In winter, people order more warm, filling foods such as tom yum soup, chimichanga, and turkey sandwich. Also, there are less orders of comfort foods, such as pizza and mac ‘n cheese, because people are more concerned about eating immunity-boosting foods, such as chicken soup and vegetable soup.
Don’t forget the drinks.
If people can’t come to your Happy Hour, then why don’t you bring Happy Hour straight to their homes? Hot drinks such as mulled wine, hot toddy, or hot chocolate are more popular for obvious reasons in wintertime. It goes without saying that you should invest in the right logistics to ensure the temperature and flavor of your hot drinks remain the same.
Use insulated food bags.
Insulation ensures your food and drink items are kept at the ideal serving temperatures. There are plenty of insulated food bags on the market, which can be used for a variety of items. Nylon and vinyl bags are the best for winter because these are made from water-resistant material that are perfect for cold, snowy, or rainy days. Nylon bags are breathable and have an advantage over vinyl bags by letting out steam to ensure items such as pizza crusts remain crisp inside the bag.
Ramp up your marketing.
There is no use preparing for an influx of food delivery orders if you don’t let people know that you are offering food delivery. Use all channels to inform customers about your new service. Train staff to let customers know that you’re accepting delivery orders. Post about it on all your social media pages and send out mass emails to your subscribers. It helps to entice customers with special deals and discounts for their first orders as well.
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It’s wintertime. Many people are very likely lounging on the couch scrolling down their Facebook news feeds on their phones. Take advantage of this by upping your social media game. Share photos of hot, steamy foods on your social media pages and tell customers you’re accepting food delivery right now. Offer discounts exclusive to mobile users to encourage them to hit the order button and buy from you right away.