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5 Tips to Prepare for Increased Holiday Takeout Orders

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October 21, 2022

Holiday seasons are some of the busiest times for restaurants, especially for takeout. A study conducted in 2021 revealed that 64 percent of diners anticipated ordering their holiday meals to-go. With online food delivery and takeout expected to hit $220 billion by 2023, we can expect robust holiday takeout orders in 2022 and beyond. If you want to capitalize on this trend without added stress, start preparing your restaurant and team now.

Getting Ready for Holiday Takeout Orders

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are just around the corner. So, now is the perfect time to get organized and plan for a bustling food ordering season. Whether you are new to takeout or a seasoned to-go establishment, these five tips will help you optimize your menus and increase efficiency.

1. Design Your Pre-Order Platform: Consumers prefer to plan ahead for the holidays. In fact, a large restaurant group, Puffer Malarkey Collective, has seen holiday orders come in three weeks early. If you want to maximize revenue and streamline efficiency, ensure you have an easy system set up for pre-orders. 46 percent of customers cite an easy process as their main reasons for ordering directly from restaurants. Not only will pre-orders help you capture customers upfront, but it will give your restaurant a better idea of how many covers to expect. This will go a long way to figuring out how much staff to have on hand and determining your wholesale grocery purchases ahead of time. Consider in-house, online ordering options to give you better control, navigate staff shortages, and reduce errors.

 2. Stock Up on To-Go Supplies: Don’t wait until the last minute to secure your paper goods and takeout containers. Bulk up on all your packing and paper supplies to safely transport orders before they are in high holiday demand.

3. Prepare Your Staff: Talk with your servers, managers, and chefs early on about a game plan for high-volume takeout orders. Work out all the essential details like hours of operation and employee availability. Keep in mind that some of your employees might not be available last minute for a shift on a holiday. The more planning in advance you can do will give you an accurate idea of your staffing. If you need some holiday incentives, consider offering increased holiday pay, options for payday advances, and more.

4. Simplify Menu Offerings: Running a limited specialty menu during the holidays can help maximize ingredients and reduce unnecessary food waste. Customers placing holiday orders often gravitate towards larger orders. Consider focusing on family-style offerings like whole pies, lasagnas or casseroles, whole turkey breasts, etc. Instead of an expansive menu or individual portions, gear your selections towards customer favorites they can easily put on their dining table with no fuss. 

5. Promote on Social Media: Get ahead of the holiday curve and post your exclusive menus, operating hours, and other important information on your social media. Offer “early-bird” incentives that give guests a perk if they pre-order by a specific date. 44 percent of customers are more likely to order from a restaurant if an incentive is offered. So a promotional discount could help boost your consumer base and drive more orders to your restaurant.  Include a link or QR Code for pre-orders to encourage advance orders.

Partner with Our Wholesale Restaurant Supply Store

At US Foods CHEF’STORE, you’ll discover exceptional wholesale meat and seafood, dairy products, fresh produce, and more! We also stock quality eco-friendly to-go packaging for all your holiday takeout needs. Stop by and explore our products. In need of grocery delivery? Simply order through our third-party delivery services. Visit your local CHEF’STORE today to start saving!


Tips to prepare for holiday takeout orders.
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