The smartphones have spoken: Consumers crave off-premise dining. But more off-premise means more balls in the air for restaurants—and more opportunities to drop them. “We’re careful not to jeopardize the experience for our in-store guests to serve our out-of-store guests,” says Tim Philpott, VP of marketing for Graeter’s Ice Cream. So his chain and others are finding ways to adapt to higher delivery and takeout volumes.
1. Take the pressure off
When Graeter’s partnered with UberEats, it decided to slowly introduce its menu, focusing on prepackaged ice cream pies and cakes that staff can easily fulfill. “We’re not delivering banana splits,” Philpott says. “That requires a lot more of the employees.”
2. Keep tech as simple as possible
Instead of creating a new platform for off-premise orders, Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe integrated the tech into its front- and back-of-house systems. That way, teams don’t have to learn new protocols, says Dan Simpson, Taziki’s chief innovation officer.
3. Ask for feedback
Most restaurants rely on delivery partners’ rating systems to monitor feedback, said operators at the Restaurant Leadership Conference. Without in-store interaction, Graeter’s turns to its festivals, events and food trucks for social media feedback to gauge gaps in training. Staff can also be a source of intel: Workers helped Taziki’s optimize its ordering platforms.
4. Sell it
“From management down, it’s important that everyone is 100% bought in, understands why we’re offering more options, and has the tools to be successful,” Simpson says. Educating staff also helps them communicate the store’s new ordering options to guests, he says.