5 Tips for Restaurants to Engage Diners
Busy seasons of foodservice are upon us again and, depending on your location, it may be some more time until your guests can enjoy the dine-in atmosphere and experience your team works so hard to provide.
In the meantime, you can bring near the same excitement, if not better, to your takeout strategies.
Here are 5 ideas to get you started.
Every establishment has that one thing that holds them above the rest in the minds of diners.
You don’t have to be the restaurant that serves -everything- for takeout to survive. Many chefs across the nation have minimized their menus, or changed their focus completely, in the wake of their takeout and delivery-driven operations.
Increase food turnover, eliminate waste and serve what travels well, all with those personal touches that your diners fall for in the first place. Torn between dishes? Ask on social what their favourites are. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are quick ways of gathering data from new and existing audiences without needing to say why you’re asking.
One aspect of dining out that Canadians miss is the physical atmosphere they found themselves surrounded by, so how can your establishment deliver it literally in a (takeout) box?
If you’re a fine dining establishment, consider tossing in a few tea lights or flower petals, real or plastic. If your business was family orientated, try providing colouring pages and a few crayons while considering packing the food in plastic, reusable containers parents can use again and again. Sports bar? Give customers the gift of sports -anything-; newspaper sections, prediction sheets, player cards.
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We’ve heard of chef’s tables which bring diners into your kitchen. Now, bring the chef(s) of your restaurant into your diners’ kitchens, virtually!
Host a digital cooking event or produce delicious how-to series where audiences can learn about your restaurant, your team and even kitchen tips like chef techniques, ingredient info and recipes, if so desired.
Beverage takeout is a convenient way of delivering the mixes that make your patio or beverage menus extra special to diners at home.
Whether pre-made in portable canisters or to-be-made via boxed cocktail kits, there’s no longer a need to leave your featured or best-selling refreshments off the to-go menu.
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Gratitude goes further than simply seeming routine. Never underestimate the power of a thank you, whether via a gift with purchase, reward system or even something as simple as a hand-written note in their takeout bag.
Who knows, you might get gratitude back in the form of free online promotion or word of mouth – people love sharing when they’ve been surprised or spoiled, especially on social networks.