When your customers dine at your restaurant or cafe they are purchasing more than just food; they’re buying an experience driven by service, food presentation, your fit out and so much more. And it’s the quality of this experience which keeps them coming back.
With our current reliance on takeaway, it is still just as important to make sure we’re delivering a great experience to our customers by offering them more than just a sales transaction.
Delivering an outstanding takeaway experience is a huge opportunity for your business and one that will:
- Put you ahead of your competition;
- Drive repeat business;
- Offer greater value; and,
- Maximise profitability.
Let me show you how to do this and at the end you can download my Phone Ordering Cheat Sheet which outlines the very best ways to deliver an outstanding customer experience on the phone that also drives more profit.
From your own experience ordering a meal, how many times have you been on the receiving end of a pretty ordinary takeaway experience?
This kind of experience often starts with a phone call answered by a staff member who sounds rushed and unenthusiastic; completely at odds with what you would expect as a dine-in customer. It’s very transactional and you’re often left a little uncertain they’ve even got the order correct.
When you go to collect the order it’s likely its ready early and has been left sitting around, or it’s late, and maybe even incomplete.
And when you get home to eat, there’s the meal. Chances are it’s delicious, but likely it’s predictably presented in standard packaging and a brown paper bag.
How’s this experience been for you?
You’ve been able to get your hands on some delicious food. You haven’t had to cook it yourself and there aren’t many dishes to wash at the end. But that’s about it in terms of your experience right?
It’s fine, you’re satisfied; but, the experience could have been so much better. And that better experience would have been more likely to encourage you to order again soon.
As restaurants around the world turn their attention to takeaway and home delivery, competition has got fierce. And the reality is, in most cities, there are now more takeaway options than the market can realistically support.
Those that will survive and thrive in this environment are those who can create an awesome takeaway experience. Ones that can deliver great value to their customers from before they place their order, to scooping that last little morsel off their plate.
Let’s Start at the Beginning
Before your customer has even contacted you, they’ve had to do something to find out how to contact you and decide what they want to order.
How did they do this? Perhaps they had dined with you before. Perhaps they searched for you online, or maybe they had received some marketing material from you previously.
Whatever got them to the point of contacting you, this is the start of their experience and it’s important it started well.
If they have purchased from you before, how was that experience? Did you give them a professionally presented takeaway menu with contact details to make it easy for them to order again?
If they haven’t ordered before, there’s a good chance they searched online. Were you easy to find? And once they got to your site was it easy to find the menu and contact details?
It’s important that this part of the process is intuitive and professional; if it’s not, you’re likely to be loosing customers faster than you can say “hold the anchovies”.
Placing the Order
The way your customers are greeted and handled on the phone while they place their order is really important and offers an amazing opportunity to provide them with a great experience. What’s more; it’s super simple.
It’s here where your staff can build a connection with the customer by:
- Reassuring them of their decision to order their meal with you;
- Showing warmth and an appreciation for the custom;
- Demonstrating competence by reading their order back to them and giving them an accurate timeframe for pick-up; and,
- Being professional.
Think about all the ways you can deliver as much of your restaurant’s normal dine-in experience at home as possible, and how you might be able to surprise and delight your customers when they unpack their meal.
Think about how the meal looks when it arrives. Do the items on your takeaway menu stand up to the rigours or transportation, and is your packaging fit for purpose?
Are there ways of injecting some of your restaurant’s brand personality into the home-dining experience? Your packaging and branding will heavily influence this experience, but consider what else you can do such as; a hand written note showing your appreciation for their business, plating instructions or a free portion of something delicious.
Having gone to so much trouble to deliver an outstanding takeaway experience; it’s highly likely that your customers will want to order from you again in the future.
Make this easy for them by including with their delivery a professionally printed menu that also contains instructions on how to order.
Consider also including a voucher that can be redeemed on their next purchase; or encourages them to dine in next time.
IN SUMMARY . . .
Delivering an outstanding takeaway experience is critical to the ongoing profitability of your business. The opportunity is huge, and even though it’s super simple, it’s an opportunity many restaurants and cafes aren’t capitalising on.
All the ways you deliver an outstanding experience at your restaurant; from before your guest arrive, to the service they’re provided by your staff, and presentation of the meal its self, should all be translate into the takeaway experience too.
Doing so will reward you by growing your customer base, giving you an edge over the competition, maximising repeat business and allowing you to maximise your profits.