This year, Tork wanted to provide restaurants with even more insights, tools and resources through its Take Back the Lunch Break effort to help during this critical period of recovery. As such, Tork conducted research to understand the consumer mindset when it comes to lunchtime behavior during the workweek and through these insights, created key tips to help improve business operations.
Here are some of the most impactful pieces of advice:
Reach Out to Your Diners
According to Tork research, 44 percent of people say they feel good knowing they are supporting local restaurants when they order takeout or delivery. Restaurants can benefit from reaching out to diners on social media or via email to let them know their support is appreciated.
For example, in 2019, a Cincinnati-based restaurant, Buffalo Wings & Rings, a franchise with 60 locations across the U.S, leveraged Tork resources to promote Take Back the Lunch Break in stores and on social media. As a result, the restaurant saw a 62 percent increase in loyalty member sign ups and received over 7,000 check-ins from existing loyalty members in just two weeks.
Tork research revealed that during the workday, women are over twice as likely (67%) not to take a break than men (33 percent). When women do take a break, they are more likely to spend the time doing household chores. Restaurants can help women take advantage of lunch break benefits by encouraging them to take a break with takeout.
Fifty percent of people who do not order takeout or delivery report meals being too costly as their primary reason. Additionally, 51 percent of people would be more likely to order if restaurants offered free delivery, and 47 percent of people would be more likely to order if restaurants offered a discount on some items. Restaurateurs can incentivize delivery or takeout by offering special discounts on appetizers or consider reduced service fees. Modest reductions in price can spur increased traffic from new patrons who value a deal.
Meet Diners Where They Are
Offer a variety of ordering options for your diners. Mobile ordering apps may be why people ages 18-34 report ordering delivery and takeout more than other age groups (70 percent compared to 54 percent (aged 35-54) and 37 percent (aged 55+)), so having an easy-to-navigate website and smooth phone ordering process will help you cater to all diners.
Build a Connection
Capitalize on every opportunity to build a stronger connection with your customers. Tork research uncovered that 35 percent of people would be more likely to order takeout or delivery if restaurants offered a small free item. So, whether it be a small dish or beverage as part of a loyalty program, small tokens are key to fostering personal connections with your customers.
Get Hungry for Feedback
Encourage your customers to leave reviews online and via third-party ordering apps to help encourage more customers to dine with you, on- or off-premise in the future.
To learn more about Tork “Take a Break with Takeout” survey findings and access a free toolkit of materials that help operators turn them into actions that drive business, visit www.Torkusa.com/BreakWithTakeout. Between now and September 3, 2021, restaurants that share how they’re using the toolkit on social media with #BreakWithTakeout and #Sweepstakes will be entered to win $1,000 towards free lunches for their customers.