Three Must-Try Tips for Taking To-Go to the Next Level

With takeout and delivery orders on the rise, there’s a great opportunity for commercial operators to add new customers and increase revenue with simple enhancements to menuing, marketing and helping back-of-house operations. According to Restaurant Business, the average restaurant’s delivery sales could top 40% by 2020 – making it more important than ever to ensure a seamless takeout and delivery program.1

One of the biggest challenges commercial operators face in takeout and delivery is making sure the quality of the food does not change and that guests are just as satisfied with their dining experience as they would be in the restaurant.

You can take to-go to the next level with these tips:

Choose the right product.

Chefs are proud of their creations and always want to serve the best possible version of it. The important thing to remember is that not every dish works for takeout and delivery. If you want to turn a best-selling regular menu item into a to-go dish, there are many things that need to be considered – from the way it’s prepared to the sauces, and how long it will sit in a container.

Clear coatings and batters help fries stay crispy, while thick-cut potatoes retain heat longer.

One simple solution is to offer an item that holds its flavor and texture – like McCain® SureCrispTM FriesSureCrisp Fries consistently deliver great taste and maintain crispiness for up to 30 minutes after frying.

Choose the right packaging.

To ensure guests receive hot and crispy items, it’s essential to prevent moisture buildup in their packaging. Consider using napkins to insulate and keep the heat, and to use vented containers or vent existing containers to preserve crispness.

A must-try solution for offering menu items to-go is to experiment with what packaging works best for their establishment. Fry sleeves, clamshells and folded cartons are popular to-go packaging options that ensure meals hold up during delivery. You should also consider packaging sauces and other add-ons in separate containers that guests can assemble.

Image Image

An example is the Mole Mac & Cheeseburger, topped with golden brown battered mac and cheese wedges; served with an order of sauce drizzled fries. When menued for takeout and delivery, try packing tomatoes, fresh cilantro and a lime wedge in a separate container and serve mole and crema in disposable ramekins for dressing fries on-the-go.

Create an experience.

Pick a menu item that is going to showcase everything the restaurant is known for – the quality, flavor and appearance. It’s important to think through how your restaurant model translates to takeout and delivery, and make as many test runs as necessary to ensure customer satisfaction.

Customize to-go packaging and add personal touches to keep guests coming back for more. When food looks and tastes good, people remember the experience. Try to place emphasis on how you are presenting the food to meet both of those needs, like garnishing with seasonal fruits or herbs.

Seventy percent of consumers expect restaurant meal quality to meet or exceed dine-in quality.2

By using these tips, you can capitalize on the growing takeout and delivery trend. For additional tips and menuing ideas, visit Takeout and Delivery.


1 Restaurant Business, "Potential Sales Mix for Delivery Could Top 40%, Study Finds," August 2017

2 Restaurant Business December 2017; Technomic’s On Demand Delivery Study; Technomic’s Transaction Insights