Want to start offering takeaway food in your pub in 2016? The route to market is changing, so here's how to do it.

TV dinners are, maybe sadly, a favourite feeding strategy of us Brits. So if the couch potatoes won't come to the pub, is it time to take the pub to the couch potatoes?

The takeaway market is big business. Four in five people order takeaway food and nearly half of them have now used a third party service like Deliveroo or Just Eat [Mintel, 2016].

Take out is not a new concept for pubs, but the route to market is changing.

Founded in 2013, Deliveroo provides a service for customers who want restaurant-style food in their home.

Businesses agree a percentage cut of any food sold via the service, then Deliveroo will implement an order system via a tablet, handle your delivery, and ensure your menu can be accessed on the site.

Nick Green, head of sales at Deliveroo, says: “Pubs that partner with us maximise their kitchen capacity in traditionally quieter times, such as Sunday evenings - one of the busier times for Deliveroo.”

 

How to offer a delivery service in the pub – 3 top tips from Deliveroo

  1. Choice is key. We get great customer feedback for the partners on our platform that provide a wide range of options for all three courses - plus a refreshing beverage or two.
  2. Offer your best, most delicious dishes. It’s our job to make sure it arrives at the customer as well as you would serve it in-house. Our team of experts can offer all the guidance you need about packaging and travel requirements.
  3. Snap happy. Nothing drives customer interest to your menu more than some mouth-watering shots of your signature dishes.

 

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 Credit: Paul Calver

 

Recently, the business also launched a standalone alcohol service - another tactic pubs can consider to drive wet sales.

One pub group welcoming the benefits of takeaway food is PubLove, which has five London-based sites. 

Chris Clawson, head chef of Burger Craft, PubLove’s in house burger brand, says the decision to offer delivery was not taken lightly.

“I wasn’t convinced. As a chef, I thought it would affect the quality of our food, but then an accident happened…

“Our boss Ben Stackhouse asked me to wrap a burger for him to take away. So he jumps on the tube and a few stops later I get a call saying the burger was amazing!

“When we grill our burgers we steam them to enhance the flavour, and when we wrap them in greaseproof paper it continues the steaming process. After I heard that I was sold, and we always say this decision was born on the Bakerloo line!”

Increasing covers is one thing, but there are other ways to make the most of your delivery customers.

 

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Fries with a flier

Chris says: “Make sure your food packaging has your pub's latest fliers and event details with it. Everyone I serve takeaway to is a future pub customer, they’re local and they’re likely to pop in themselves.”

The Four Horseman Pub in Bournemouth has been on Deliveroo for nearly a year, and manager Phil Thy is seeing the benefits.

“It acts as a promotion inside another company which people are already aware of. Yes you have to pay for it but it benefits both of us. You can use it as a platform so people know what we do.”

“It was an idea to bring more money in without having to take up seating. It also re-emphasised that we did food, and people became aware of the fact we did awesome roasts.”

 

Optimising food opportunity with takeaway

Pubco Punch Taverns is also keen to get a slice of the take away market, and recently announced a partnership with online delivery service Just Eat.

“We believe food has a role to play in all our pubs - so wanted to optimise that food opportunity, says David Wigham, development director at Punch Taverns.

Punch is now trialling the delivery service with two sites.

“The questions we’re asking are: can we do it? Does the market exist? Is it economically sustainable, and will it have a knock on effect on pub trade?

“We also need to test delivery costs and extra labour, as we are delivering food later than we do in the pub.”