If you already run a hospitality or food business, you may think you have all you need to run a takeaway service – but there are a few considerations:
People don’t like to wait
If people sit in a restaurant, they are often prepared to wait for their food – but for takeaway this may not be the case. You need to be able to serve people quickly and efficiently.
To ensure you can do this, you may need to increase your hot-holding equipment – such as hot cupboards, bain maries and hot serveries.
Delivery can result in cold food – don’t get caught out
There is nothing worse than ordering a takeaway and it arriving cold. If you are doing delivery, protect yourself against this by investing in some delivery bags. These can keep food at a very snug 85 degrees until they reach the door of your customer.
Refrigeration is often overlooked
If you are converting to a takeaway, getting prepped is the key to efficient service, and getting at that prep quickly is vital. Think about investing in some additional refrigeration, especially multidecks, to give you quick and simple access to the prepped food.
Vacuum packing machines
With the simple addition of a vacuum pack machine, you could create several income streams for your business.
You could offer some of your normal menu dishes for sale for heating up later – be sure to chill the food before vacuum packing if you are cooking it off first.
Or, You could try un-cooked versions of your dishes with detailed instructions on how to cook them – we’ve seen one business in the Cotswolds offer their famous pies in this fashion.
It’s also a good opportunity to continue supporting your suppliers by portioning up meat and other primary ingredients for sale – if you buy from farms that aren’t able to go direct to customer this could be a great way to boost both of you by leveraging your existing customer base.
It’s a great idea to increase your production equipment to boost your capacity quickly if you are going to be a takeaway – as we’ve previously mentioned, delays to food are less forgivable from takeaways. The cheapest and easiest way to do this is with a little fan oven, such as the new Lincat Convector series which will sit happily on a counter top.
If you want to expand your offering to foods more commonly found in a takeaway environment, adding a pizza oven can be a very cost effective way of doing this. You will be pandering to your customers’ tastes (pizza is still growing in popularity) and it is a very cost-effective thing to add to your menu – cheap and readily available ingredients make it very attractive with a fantastic markup.