The Takeaway Trend
The appeal for cafes, pubs and restaurants to boost their profits through takeaway sales is spreading – with some even offering free delivery!
“We’ve offered everything from our menu as a takeaway option from day one,” said Katherine Pritchard, joint owner of Blueberries, a cafe in Clitheroe, Ribble Valley. “It’s proven to be a consistent, busy part of the business, and therefore a profitable one.” Blueberries’ most popular dishes are soups, sandwiches and cakes, and because it is cheaper to takeaway, a soup is only £2.50 compared to the eat-in price of £3.95. “We have our regular customers who always ring their order through so they don’t have to wait,” adds Katherine. “But equally we get a lot of walk-ins who are happy to wait for their order if necessary.”
The Hanging Gate in Chapel-en-le-Frith, near Whaley Bridge offers a takeaway option seven days a week from 10am – 9.30pm from their whole menu – they even offer a 10% discount. But it’s their breakfast – they charge £7.25 for a Full English or £8.95 for the full bonanza – and roasts that are the best sellers. “Sunday’s are the busiest days when we sell a lot of breakfasts and roasts – it’s a day people like to relax and not cook for themselves and this is where we come in with our delivery offer,” said Mark Thomas, owner, who started the delivery service six years ago – initially targeting local businesses with lunchtime buffets because of their rural location and in an aim to improve takings. “It’s grown from there and we can now do at least 40 meals in the week – the majority tend to be a Sunday – which means we can make up to £250 a week extra, sometimes more, on top of our in-house takings.”
The Crown Carveries chain offers all its menu meals to go. From starters to pub classics like half a roast chicken, shepherd’s pie and gammon and eggs, to puddings, they are all available any day of the week. The customer just needs to place their order at the bar – as if they were eating in – then, with their chosen dish, add as many side dishes as they want to into their takeaway box. All meals are the same price as eating in.
In our previous Take Stock we told you how fish and chips remain the nation’s favourite dish, so the Five Bells in Colchester, Essex know just how to keep their customers happy – they have takeaway fish and chips all week and on Saturday from 5-7pm. Customers can order the classic dish, scampi and chips, sausage and chips and gluten-free options are also available. “Having the takeaway option is a chance for us to get our products out to a larger market and often leads to potential in-house sales,” says Darren Lingley, owner. The pub is in a rural area with the nearest fish and chip shop at least three miles away, making them a prime location for the takeaway service. “We do fish and chips really well – it’s our biggest seller,” adds Darren. “We sell around 7,000 covers a year – 15% of that is takeaway. We have regulars who use the service but walk-ins come in wanting the takeaway option but once they have ordered a drink and are settled they then decide to eat-in – which is even better for us.”
Tips to try
• All-day tea or coffee will attract customers throughout the day and those that fancy a post-dinner cappuccino or
latte but don’t have time to stay and drink it!
• Sunday carvery will gauge the interest of your customers. All you need to do is buy a bulk of takeaway boxes to test the water.
• Pizza to go once the main kitchen is closed will target those customers who would normally leave your pub to
get some fast food on the way home.
• A soup and sandwich deal is quick and easy and shouldn’t impact too much on your in-house orders and may lead
to more sales too if the customer buys a drink or dessert to go with it.