A Growing Trend: Get it to Go
You may have noticed a growing trend within the food industry. People are getting their food to go. In fact, there are many restaurants who offer this as the ONLY way to get the food. This can help lower operating costs because you don’t have to worry about china, glasses, silverware, or even a dishwasher.
Everything that goes out the door is disposable. You can choose to be environmentally friendly with your choices of to-go products. This includes using more paper as well as recycled materials and less Styrofoam. Invite people to bring in their own cups for using the drink fountain or use a recycled cup as well.
Many people like the idea of getting it to go because they can control how long it takes to enjoy their meal. The trend of dissatisfaction with sit-down restaurants is due to slow service, as it has caused people on a business lunch break or in a hurry to attend an event after dinner to be disappointed. Not everyone has an hour or an hour and a half, and slow service can result in upset customers.
But wait! When you want customers to stay on your premises to eat, there are still options. Forget the dining room altogether. Instead, add a variety of wooden tables in the form of high tops and picnic benches outside. This will allow people to enjoy your meal and the great outdoors. You could also operate the location like many other chains where people get the order, and then take a seat within the dining room.
The tables can be communal with benches or they can be two, four, and eight tops to allow people to walk around and find a table that works for them based upon how many people are in their party.
The general premise can cut down on labor, saving you a lot of money. Not only do you eliminate the position of dishwasher, but also hostess and servers. You may want to have a greeter at the door to explain your concept and even a person or two walking around to see if people need anything else (drink refills, extra sauce) and to clear plates when people finish their food.
You choose how “to go” you want to make it. Moreover, you can choose to put everything in a bag, regardless of whether people will be sitting at one of your tables. Alternatively, you can provide a tray where the food is placed in to-go containers, but still intended to be consumed on the premises, similar to the setup of a McDonald’s restaurant. The decision is yours to make based on your preference and the needs of your customers.
What you ultimately do within your restaurant is up to you. However, it’s a good idea to remain aware of current trends and give the people what they want. If you find out that people want their food to go, then you can get some fun takeout containers. They allow you customers to eat wherever they want after picking up their food.