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Tips For Adapting Your Menu for Takeaway & Delivery

Tips For Adapting Your Menu for Takeaway & Delivery

In the wake of the COVID pandemic, the popularity of Netflix home viewing, and many more societal trends, people have turned to takeaway and delivery services to enjoy their favourite food in the comfort of their own homes.

If you are a business owner running a restaurant, café, or catering service, you may benefit from adapting your menu for takeaway and delivery services as this can potentially result in an increase in profit and aid in achieving your overall business goals, such as increasing customer reach and convenience. However, if you are unsure how to start making changes, we recommend checking out the tips and recommendations that we have compiled below to get you started in the right direction.

1. Assess your existing menu.

Your restaurant may have an extensive menu. However, you should also note that not everything on there is suitable for delivery. In assessing your menu, pick out meals that best exemplify your offerings, are delivery-friendly and your customers can enjoy at home.

This could mean excluding items that are supposed to be crunchy but get soggy or wet when packed, and food that requires a special presentation that packaging can ruin.

2. Create a delivery menu.

After going over your original menu, make a list of dishes that travel well. These items can hold their form and keep their flavour after travelling some distance. You can also consider tweaking the recipe so it’s better suited for delivery.

To engage customers and provide them with an interactive dining experience, certain restaurants have developed innovative approaches, such as offering packaged meals that customers can prepare at home. For instance, if your menu features dishes such as beef pho or tom yum soup, you can consider presenting the ingredients in separate packaging, including the broth, as an alternative to the traditional serving method.

If you take this route, ensure you provide clear, detailed instructions (and a photo) so customers enjoy the process as well as the food they prepared. 

3. Consider the timing.

Time is of the essence — whether it’s cooking, preparing or delivering food.

To make things a bit easier for you, inform customers ahead about the minimum wait time and give people who are ordering the option to schedule their delivery if they’ll be eating at a later time. This way, you can accommodate orders sequentially or based on customers’ requested delivery schedules.

You could also limit the delivery radius to avoid complaints about cold food and messy or ruined packaging. If food delivery is a new endeavour you would like to introduce to your business, check out our article about Maximising Uber Eats for your restaurant or café.


4. Use the right packaging.

Packaging is an important aspect of any delivery business. To optimise packaging for takeaway and food delivery, it’s essential to use the right containers. To do this, consider these food packing pointers:

  • Use the right size food containers or takeaway boxes so the food looks presentable — nothing too big so the food shifts or moves around, or too small causing the food to spill over.
  • Secure the food containers so the food stays warm and intact.
  • Ensure the packaging does not give off a smell or have an aftertaste, as this can interfere with the flavour of the food.
  • Pack condiments, sauces and dressings separately to avoid spills and messes.
  • Choose packaging that’s properly insulated to keep hot foods warm and cold items cool.

Using sustainable packaging and avoiding single-use plastics is important to reduce waste and pollution and to comply with regulations. Consider using eco-friendly alternatives when packaging for takeaway and delivery. For more information and tips, read our article Sustainable packaging for takeaway and delivery.


5. Ensure the food looks appetising and is professionally presented.

While people are aware there would be plating limitations in food that's delivered, make an effort to present it professionally so it looks appetising. 

For salads, instead of pouring over the dressing, keep it separate from the vegetables, so the veggies and other salad ingredients arrive at the customer's address crispy and fresh. 

Also, you can make the experience of ordering food and eating convenient and fulfilling for your customers by providing the appropriate condiments, napkins, and tableware with their orders. These little touches not only show how much thought you put into the delivery process but also show your level of professionalism.

Let’s not forget the popularity of takeaway drinks, particularly coffee, which are a high commodity at any time of day. These products are in demand and including a quality takeaway coffee menu will reap rewards when served correctly. If you’d like to find out more, we have an article discussing the Essentials for Offering Takeaway Coffee.

6. Prepare your staff for the delivery service.

Involve your staff in the planning and preparation of your food delivery business. Educate them on the process, recipes, ingredients, presentation and food packaging. Go over each menu item so they become familiar with the differences in how each meal or dish is prepared and should be packed.

Designate a pickup zone for delivery persons to maintain orderly operations.

Orient them on the different food delivery apps you’ll be using like Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Menulog, DoorDash and others.

Ready to deliver?

Launching a successful takeaway and food delivery service requires careful planning and preparation, so it's essential to be well-prepared before taking the plunge.

With the tips shared here, you can do it the right way and if you’d like more advice or inspiration, visit another article we’ve written to “Get on trend with Takeaway Experiences your customers will notice.

Soon, you and your team can start fulfilling the takeaway and food delivery needs of your customers. Reward Hospitality New Zealand has all the catering equipment, takeaway packaging and associated products to help you ensure you’re ready for delivery. Browse our vast range online and reach out to our customer service team if you need help deciding on the most suitable solutions for your business.

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