4 Tips for Launching a Click and Collect Service at Your Restaurant

In this article, Mike Hardman from catering equipment suppliers Alliance Online offers his advice for launching a click and collect service at your establishment.

Now that delivery apps have introduced consumers to the idea of eating restaurant food at home, many restaurants are offering click and collect options so their customers can pick up their high-quality food to take away.

One of the main benefits of offering a click and collect service is you can reach a whole host of new customers who may not be familiar with your restaurant. Additionally, you can offer your customers a convenient takeaway without having to charge them delivery fees or allowing a third-party courier service to take a percentage of the order. So, in a lot of ways, click and collect is better for you and your customers when compared to delivery.

Below, I’ll be taking you through my four top tips for implementing and pulling off a click and collect service in your restaurant.

Seek the advice of a hospitality expert

Offering a click and collect service isn’t as simple as receiving an order, cooking the food, and waiting for someone to pick it up. A click and collect customer’s main priorities are convenience and efficiency. As you can’t rely on normal industry distractions, like an attention-grabbing décor or charming waiting staff, if their food is running late, it’s imperative they have as short a wait as possible for their order.

A successful service is dependent on a reliable, easy-to-use platform for your customers and flawless execution behind the scenes — anything else could damage the reputation of your restaurant. As such, you may want to enlist the help of a restaurant, hotel, or hospitality advisor who can take you through the logistics of setting up a walk-out system.

Know who your customers are likely to be

As you connect with more and more new customers, you may notice some differences between your in-house clientele and those who decide to use your new click and collect service. For example, Gen Z and millennials are more likely to order food through an app than their parents (Forbes), with this demographic also including students. So, you may find that demand for your click and collect service increases during term time.

Hire the right additional staff

Many establishments that decide to offer a click and collect service find their rate of orders dramatically increases, so you might struggle to keep up with this new demand. As a result, you may need to take on additional kitchen staff. You should strongly consider employing staff that work solely on fulfilling takeaway orders to get the food out as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality.

Allocating separate staff to walk-out meals also means that your restaurant service won’t be disrupted. You stand to alienate your regulars if they don’t get their usual level of service, so it’s important that everything continues to run as smoothly as possible for them as well as your new customers.

Packaging

Take-out orders need appropriate packaging that guarantees food safety and protects the quality of the food until the customer is ready to eat it. It will need to be easy to stack and store, as you’ll have to order a lot of it in bulk and keep it somewhere on the premises.

It’s also important you choose packing that is sustainable and can be disposed of in an eco-friendly manner. Compostable alternatives to polystyrene and other plastics you should look out for include materials made from bamboo, sugar, and even mushrooms. These green alternatives are much more ecologically responsible and, as 61% of consumers would choose a more environmentally friendly business over their current favourite, you’re sure to win lots of repeat custom too (Global Web Index).

These are just some of the key areas to consider when launching a click and collect service at your restaurant. The tips in this guide can help make sure your new service runs as smoothly as possible, hopefully securing you lots of repeat custom in the long run.