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A foodservice strategy that includes a multi-channel approach to your catering business: it is the future. COVID-19 has sped up this development, but the trend has been around for some time now. The multi-channel approach in a nutshell: generate income through various channels. Now, do not think this only applies to new concepts you might come up with. Every entrepreneur in the catering industry must – especially now – take a critical look at their business and look for new ways to reach their target group. It takes guts to do that, and a good foodservice strategy.
Flexibility, letting go of old values, and thinking from the perspective of your customer have never been more important. What does the customer want, when do they want it, and above all, where? With a foodservice strategy that centres around these questions, you can make future-proof choices.
Tomorrow’s winners are the businesses that opt to have their foodservice strategy include a multi-channel approach today. There are plenty of examples already. Expanding: restaurants that now also offer an option for pick-up and delivery. Blurring: webshops through which you sell the wines served in your restaurant. Merchandising: your own line of products that suit your business. Collaborating: in collaboration with the local florist, offering a home-delivered meal as a package deal. The multi-channel approach offers a endless possibilities.
Which sales channels are interesting to include in your foodservice strategy? Here are just a few of the possibilities:
1. Delivery | More and more restaurants are including the option for delivery. A recipe for success, even after COVID-19. Carefully think about your menu; not everything is suitable for delivery. Pick the right products to uphold your quality standard. And think about how you want to deliver: do it yourself or outsource it?
2. Drive-thru | Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) with an ingenious drive-thru strategy are now doing very well globally. A clever pick-up lane can also be interesting for Fast Casual concepts and Casual Dining formats.
3. Take-out (curb side) |Due to COVID-19, people have become wary of going in somewhere. Selling through a hatch now became an interesting option.
4. Pick-up | Pre-order, pay online and pick up the order contact-free. This is a nice, and corona-proof alternative for many people, now that the restaurants are closed again.
5. Dine-in | Social distancing, hygiene measures and proper ventilation are more important than ever. But remember that your guests will still want to have a culinary experience. How do you convey that ambience in times of COVID-19? Consider it carefully and, for example, put your social media channels to extra use.
6. Food trucks & other mobile solutions | Go to the customer if the customer can no longer come to you. You can also use your food truck as a temporary kitchen on the road if your business is closed. Two advantages: you can still cook with fresh products and you will be able to bring the food closer to your customers.
7. Dark kitchens | An interesting option. as the costs for your location will decrease. However, you do need to realise that you will need to increase your digital marketing efforts, taking your customers along on a culinary experience.
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The world has changed; it is up to you to change along with it. This includes coming up with new formats, being creative, thinking about your (digital) marketing strategy and choosing innovative paths. Make sure your foodservice strategy includes a focus on a multi-channel approach that will contribute to the optimisation of your processes, turnover, profit and the quality of your products and service over a longer period of time. Putting a lot of effort into short-lived temporary solutions is a waste of time and money.
Devise a new foodservice strategy or reconsider your existing one? The same goes for both: look around you, make choices and act!
Conceptional is happy to discuss ideas with you. We have already helped many clients set up a new foodservice strategy. Take a look at the cases on our website.