Restaurants Can Provide Delicious Meals and Essentials

Keep your business relevant with meal kits and grocery staples.
Hand spreading pizza sauce on dough with ingredients on side

People want to support their favorite restaurants during the COVID-19 crisis. But tight budgets and social distancing are obstacles to takeout frequency. Operators can satisfy their customers’ hunger to help out, enjoy chef-quality food and eat well at home by selling meal kits and grocery boxes.

Meal kits bring the restaurant home   

Create meals to be warmed and served at home, or deconstruct customer favorites for easy assembly at the family table. 

Plan for success

  • Determine meal kit options
  • Order food and to-go containers and supplies
  • Promote online and phone order options
  • Train a staffer to take orders and ask about sides/beverages/utensils/if they want to leave a tip
  • Collect payment during order to reduce human contact
  • Explain pickup or delivery options
  • Provide easy to follow reheating or assembly instructions

Build a menu

  • Full pans or half pans of entrées:
    • Dinner salads with chicken, steak or salmon (dressing on the side)
    • Lasagna or steamy pasta (sauces to mix in at home and a side order of garlic bread)
    • Burger, chicken or breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches (lettuce, pickles, tomato slices, buns and condiments)
  • Add sides for an upcharge:
    • Specialty soups
    • Single-serve beverages
    • Desserts (such as cookies or small tray of brownies)
  • Create theme menus “kits”
    • Taco Tuesday
    • Barbecue
    • Build your own pizza
    • Chicken wings and variety of sauces
    • Baked potato bar

Provide essential groceries 

No one wants to make an extra trip to a crowded grocery store. Offer grocery basics customers can select when they call to order meals.

  • Determine what groceries you will make available
  • Discuss availability with your suppliers
  • Promote through social media 
  • Train a staffer to suggest grocery items when taking orders
  • Laws vary, so follow repackaging rules in your area 

Added benefits of meal kits and grocery essentials

Meal packages and grocery basics are time-savers that can make you stand out during this stressful time and can also support your business by: 

  • Expanding your customer database to share future specials 
  • Driving repeat visits (try offering a $5 coupon for spending $25)
  • Promoting your business on social media (suggest to customers to post their family meals with relatives and friends)
  • Showing your support for the community

Continue to give back to your community by offering unique ways people can support each other. 

  • Buy one meal, give one meal to a neighbor or charity
  • Buy meals for healthcare workers at a hospital or senior living facility
  • Partner with food banks to donate products that are no longer on your menu during this time

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