Adopting a take-out or home delivery model for your food business will require significant changes. Here are some things you should consider when deciding whether to go with a take-out or home delivery model — or both.
With the threat of COVID-19 spreading globally, many governments are restricting dine-in options at food businesses and enforcing take-out or home deliveries only. For many food businesses that already provide these services, this is an option that allows business continuity and profit, despite having to close their doors to the public.
But what about food businesses that do not currently offer these services? Adopting a take-out or home delivery model for your food business does involve some work, but you might find it a better solution than shutting down completely.
Here is what you should consider when deciding whether to go with a take-out or home delivery model — or both.
Choosing take-out service
Providing your loyal customers with the option for takeout means that they will be able to keep enjoying your food, even if they cannot physically be in your premises. Here are some of the pros and cons to going with a take-out model:
There is less risk of spreading COVID-19 between customers and staff or vice versa.
Customers come to the business to get their food, which means reduced costs.
You do not need to worry about food safety during transit. (That responsibility now lies with the customer.)
You can make adaptations to your operations to ensure that customers orders are spaced out (e.g. give your customers time slots to pick up the food and don’t allow them to come and claim their food until it is their time).
You need to make sure that you have the proper supplies to provide take-out (food containers, bags, etc.).
You need to plan and adopt strict protocols when handing off food directly to customers when they pick up their order.
Some people are afraid to leave their homes due to COVID-19 so you could be limiting the number of potential customers if you only choose to provide takeout.
Choosing home delivery service
Home delivery service is a great way to keep your business going and show your customers that you are going the extra mile, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some pros and cons for going with a home delivery model:
Customers do not have to leave their home to purchase your food, so they are more likely to order from your food business.
If you choose to use a delivery app, you open up a wider base of customers who aren’t familiar with your food business.
You can choose to use your own delivery drivers which means you have greater control over the sanitation of the driver, delivery vehicle and the equipment used to transport the food.
Existing staff can be transitioned to conduct the deliveries.
You need to spend time ensuring that you have the proper supplies to provide deliveries (food containers, sealable bags, etc.).
Using a delivery app often comes at a cost with many apps charging around 30% of the total bill. (Some apps are waving fees due to COVID-19 so be sure to investigate your options and make an informed choice.)
Choosing to hire a new employee to conduct the deliveries can be challenging during the pandemic.
Organizing the setup of how the deliveries will be conducted can be challenging.
You need to adopt strict protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when delivering the food to a customer.
Extra points to consider
These pros and cons are just scratching the service of all that you need to consider when choosing to go with a take-out or home delivery model, or both. Once the choice has been made, you need to consider how you will implement these models and what your supply and demand will look like. Ensuring food safety is still the number one priority in these models, so you must determine how you will make sure your food continues to be safe for consumption. Training your staff on these new models as well as how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic is also critical to your success.