The newsLINK Group - Maximizing Takeout

Editorial Library Category: Restaurants Topics: Takeout Title: Maximizing Takeout Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Business is all about building revenue streams. That’s as true for restaurant owners as it is for any other business. That being the case, you should be aware that people are using takeout and catering services more than they were even as recently as five years ago. Editorial: Maximizing Takeout 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Business is all about building revenue streams. That’s as true for restaurant owners as it is for any other business. That being the case, you should be aware that people are using takeout and catering services more than they were even as recently as five years ago. According to a June 1, 2015 article by Sam Smith on the Restaurant Business website, some restaurants are seeing flat or declining traffic coupled with an increase in the numbers for takeout sales. If people decide to go to a full-service restaurant, they are more likely to stay and eat than they are to take the food and go, but even though pizza delivery is still the weeknight standard, weekends have seen an increase in takeout orders for casual and ethnic restaurants. Much of this change is due to the Internet, changing lifestyles, and demographic shifts. That means you shouldn’t expect to see this trend go away anytime soon. The Internet has changed the restaurant business by making it easier than ever for people to order food online and to access third-party sites that offer deals and coupons. Add smart phones into the mix, and what you have is the ideal way for people to order takeout food, especially when they are at work or running errands. Lifestyles have changed because people are more likely to eat alone instead of making at least one meal each day into an event with family and friends. People are also more likely to have smaller main meals and to add in a couple of snacks to make up the difference. Demographics have shifted because the baby boom generation is retiring in ever-greater numbers. They are being replaced by millennials, all of whom grew up taking computer technology for granted. The fact that millennials are an increasingly important economic force within the U.S. is not something to ignore or forget about. There’s a synergy involved in the millennial love for technology. Millennials like the control of being able to order good food online and then eat it somewhere other than the restaurant. According to a November 2013 survey on trends by a company called Lapine, which is a merchandise agency, only five percent of millennials eat the traditional three-meal diet in a day. It’s not likely the trend has reversed since the survey was taken. Are millennials interested in cooking? Yes — if it’s fast. Meals that take fifteen minutes or less, or meals that don’t require a lot of focus, like slow cooking, are their go-to choices. But they are very likely to pick up a quick meal when time is short. Approximately 63 percent of millennials will buy something like a salad one or more times a month. What are the main trends for takeout and catering? According to US Foods, you should be aware of the following: Restaurants are putting more emphasis on large-scale catering. People like being able to purchase an entire meal for the family that can be eaten at home. People also like box meals as a catering alternative to buffets. Companies such as Panera Bread and Mama Fu’s Asian House are making it easier for people to either pick up food within the restaurant or from a drive-through window. Speed matters, especially on large orders. Being able to access orders online and to start putting them together is important. Corey Will, who is the director of off- premise operations at Applebee’s, has said that when someone comes to a restaurant to eat, the restaurant has about 45 minutes to make sure the customer has a good experience. With takeout, the window narrows to three minutes. People want convenience, but they also want fewer calories and high-quality food. Anything with reduced fat, salt, or calories has a market. Many people are looking for meals that are 500 calories or less. Being overweight or obese is a significant problem in the U.S., but the truth is that people would still like to eat out even if they are struggling with their weight. Having

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