Since the COVID-19 outbreak has begun, operators have seen a rise in demand for food delivery as eat-in is currently prohibited in South Africa. For operators, this presents a unique challenge in trying to make up at least partially for eat-in sales through delivery and finding ways how to increase restaurant delivery sales. One of the key adaptations that operators can make is to enhance their food delivery menu - focusing on meals that can travel well and excite diners in the comfort (and safety) of their own homes.
Here are a few useful tips for increasing the demand of your food delivery offerings:
Ensure your food delivery options exceed expectations
Your food delivery menu shouldn’t simply be a digital version of your restaurant’s eat-in or takeaway menus - when it comes to winning the food delivery game, everything counts. Here are some tips:
- Keep it simple: Your full menu doesn’t have to be your delivery menu.
- Compact delivery menu = easier operations and improving delivery times.
- Don’t forget add-ons. Offer avocado, additional sides or extra protein,cheese, sauce, etc.
- Complete the meal. Suggest pairings like milkshakes, desserts and home brewed iced teas for your meals to boost check prices.
- Bring on the food specials. Blast out specials on your Instagram or social media to drum up extra business and excitement about your offerings. Make sure to post with photos to get the cravings going.
- Consider family-style meals. Think beverage, appetizer, salad, main course and dessert.
Try these recipes that are simple in prep but big in flavour, and travel well for delivery:
Spaghetti & Meatballs: This all time favourite comfort food offers so many variations. It is perfect for the whole family. It can be converted into a kiddies meal, replacing half the protein with grated veggies such as baby marrow and butternut for boosted immunity. For a health conscious alternative, meat can be substituted with Future 50 foods including cow peas, mung beans or lentils.
Chicken Nacho Burger with Sweet Potato Fries: This twist of crunchy nacho chips on a juicy chicken breast smothered with tangy sauce can easily be packaged into a burger box for delivery. It is suitable for children, with the nutritious switch from traditional chips to sweet potato fries, and can also be converted to a health conscious meal by removing the bun for a 'naked burger', or replacing the bun with avocado halves.
Highlight the wholesome aspect of your dishes
Increase the sales of specific dishes (and your restaurant as a whole) by appealing to the health-conscious side of diners who’d usually prefer having their meals at home, especially relevant during current times.
Here’s how you can do so:
- Identify a selection of dishes that have wholesome ingredients, then group these dishes and place them at the top of your menu - preferably under a “Better For You” section to draw attention.
- Highlight the aspects of these dishes that make them great for the immune system by adding their benefits to each dish’s description. For example, if your dish features turmeric as an ingredient, you can highlight its anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Work with food delivery operators to promote your section of wholesome dishes.
Try out these recipes with wholesome ingredients that will leave your guests feeling better than ever:
Moroccan Rice Salad with Toasted Cumin, Coriander Honey & Mustard Dressing: This delicious Moroccan style salad recipe offers versatility as it's perfect served with chicken or lamb, as well as on it's own. For additional flavour, cook the rice in Knorr Professional Chicken Stock Granules. Package dressing separately in the container to ensure the salad travels well.
Sautéed Salmon With Wild Rice and Avocado Mash: Add diverse and new ingredients to your meals to delight your diners and protect the planet. Try this sautéed salmon dish, served with wild rice, vegetables and orange tomato. It is healthy, sustainable and delicious. For a more cost effective version, substitute salmon for hake fillet, orange tomatoes for normal tomatoes, and wild rice for brown rice. Serve in a 3 division take away container, fish separate from rice and avo mash.
Provide great value with family-style meals
Diners appreciate good value, and family sizes represent fantastic value for money while making purchase decisions easy. Diners can purchase food, drinks and even side dishes in one set, rather than having to purchase them separately and incurring additional charges.
Be sure to include set meal options for groups of all sizes. A good selection of choices should (at least) include:
- Individual meals
- Meals for two
- Bundled sets or feasts for a family of 4 to 6 persons
Salads and soups are a great way of creating family style meals, while taking advantage of batch processing in the kitchen. Here are a few examples you can use in your menu:
Succulent Scarlet Salad: A flavourful salad of feta cheese, tomato and rocket, this is the perfect accompaniment for any family meal including hearty roast chicken. It can be scaled up or down, depending on the number of people, or can be toppped with roast chicken pieces as serves as a meal on its own.
Namibian Spicy Peanut and Chickpea Soup: A traditional potato and pumpkin soup is given an exotic boost with garlic, ginger, chilli, cinnamon, kale, chickpeas and peanut butter, filled with nutritious immune boosting ingredients, and packed with goodness.