Carry-out has been around for decades, but today it’s more popular than ever. For a lot of businesses, it’s shifted from a nice-to-have to an essential income stream. With all the competition out there, it’s more important than ever to enhance the carry-out experience to stand out from the crowd. And we’ve got a bunch of tips here to help you do just that.
- Scrap single-use plastics.
In today’s eco-conscious world, embracing sustainability isn’t just important for the planet, it’s imperative for business. Especially when it comes to carry-out. Typical carry-out packaging is made entirely of plastic — bags, containers, utensils, all of it. And by December 2025, Canada will be banning the manufacture, import, and sale of single-use plastics, including checkout/carry-out bags and all cutlery.
To get ahead, you could start swapping in some recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable solutions now, like recyclable corrugate and wooden cutlery. By doing so, you’ll score some extra points with your customers, who are increasingly aligning themselves with businesses who want to make the planet better. Another solution to consider (if you’re looking for an even more sustainable solution) is Skip Partner, Friendlier. This proudly Canadian packaging company has created sustainable, reusable take-out containers that are even nicer to the environment. Want to read more about how Friendlier works? Check out our blog How we can be a little friendlier to the planet.
(Source: Government of Canada. Fact sheet: Single-use Plastics Prohibition Regulations. June 22, 2022)
- Make an entrance.
We mean that literally. If you can do it, creating a separate entrance for your carry-out customers is a big win all around. Not only does it prevent bottlenecking at the main entrance, but a no fuss takeout operation can go a long way with customers who want to get in, get out, and get on with their food. It also helps on the delivery side, as you can direct couriers to pick up orders there as well, further clearing the space for dine-in guests only.
- Ghost them.
If you like the separate entrance idea, you’re gonna love this one. Two words: ghost kitchen. These are strictly food prep operations with no waiters, no dining room, and often no parking lot, where the rent is low and efficiency is high. Yes, it is a bit of an investment as it’s a separate space, but imagine the possibilities. If you’re a restaurant that carries a lot of carry-out, this may be the efficient solution you’re looking for.
- See where loyalties lie.
With menu prices on the rise, more and more Canadians are becoming extra selective when it comes to choosing a restaurant, a whopping 84.2% in fact. The good news is, there’s another trick you can pull out of your sleeve to attract more of customers: loyalty programs. Offering discounts, rebates, and special deals to your customers can make all the difference when it comes to choosing your restaurant over the competition. With 77.1% of Canadians now preferring more affordable dining establishments, it’s definitely something to consider if you can make it work.
- Promo it up.
This is a good one for all the convenience store operators out there. Promotions are one of the best tools you can do to drive more customers in-store and pump up those sales. The BOGO promo is always a favourite on the Skip app, as are dollar off deals and free item giveaways (find more info on those in our blog How to add Skip promos to your menu to rev up sales. No matter which promo you choose to go with, don’t forget to post it loud and proud on your socials to get the word out.
And that’s that! We hope you can use some of these ideas to improve the carry-out experience for your customers and bring in more bucks.