When sales and transactions start to decrease we are all looking for ways to help increase these. The best way to increase your bottom line while transactions are decreasing is to offer catering on a take out basis. Many local businesses are always looking for a way to feed their employees to help boost moral, show how much they are concerned for their staff and increase productivity at the same time.
You do not have to go out and put together a big fancy catering menu. You can do it with the menu that you already have. You first want to pick items that travel well in larger containers, and that are a fairly low food cost item so that you can charge a reasonable price and not breaking the bank of the customer. Once you have determined the menu items you need to get in touch with your supplier to discuss packaging. You will want to pick a medium priced product because some times the lowest cost does not deliver very well. The highest priced packaging eats away at the profit you make and then you might have to increase prices.
You have your packaging and now you need to decide pricing. First see how much does it takes to fill up the container. If it takes about 15 portions to fill the container it is a good idea to charge for only 12 portions. The guest will see the value that you are offering and thank you for the savings.
The next thing is to come up with a marketing plan. Most of us could not afford to hire a large marketing company so we will have to do it ourselves. The best way is to go out and visit the local merchants in person. Make a list of businesses with a 3 to 5 mile radius. Take samples with you and offer free delivery in the beginning. Reason being is you are going to save your new guest some money and it show how much you want to help. Make sure to inform your guest what the minimum order would cost and the time available for delivery. You do not want the manager leaving the restaurant during the lunch rush. Recommend a time before the rush starts.
After you get all the kinks worked out and your business is starting to pick up you can get more creative with your menu and possibly hire someone on a permanent basis for delivery. Good luck and happy cooking.