3 ways you can pivot your kitchen for the uptake of takeaways

28th October 2020 | Advice &

Reports from food delivery giants Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats show that customers are turning to takeaways as restaurants, bars and café’s continue to bear the brunt of COVID restrictions.

While some eateries have welcomed customers back, precautions mean fewer people can be served, so business owners are seizing opportunities to use other routes to generate revenue – that’s where takeaway dining has stepped in.

From local restaurants to fine dining, small café’s and huge fast-food chains, customers can now order anything from coffee to cannelloni and get it delivered straight to their door.

If you’re looking to embrace the takeaway option for your business here are some things to consider to transition your kitchen.

Adapt your approach to cater for takeaways

Catering for takeaways is much different to eating in. First up, there are the semantics, where a takeaway you order remotely or in-person and then take the food away. Delivery differs where, as the name suggests, your order is brought to your door. Although the two are now becoming synonymous with one another, with both takeaway and delivery, there is much less emphasis on front of house service.

With a reduction in a need for front of house there is the possibility for far more customers wanting their food in a shorter amount of time – putting extra pressure on your kitchen. While it represents a good opportunity to generate revenue, plan ahead to ensure you can meet expectations. You might also need to use tools like Facebook to get the word out to your regular customers that they can make an order in a new way.

If you decide to list your restaurant on a platform like Deliveroo or Uber Eats remember that you will have to pay commission charges that can eat into your profits, and you may also have to notify your local authority if the takeaway option is new for your business.

Our tips for adapting your approach:

  • Offer a limited takeaway menu, perhaps of your best sellers or items you can prep and store to reduce waste and speed up service time
  • Ensure your kitchen can handle the pressure of extra orders, especially if you’re also serving to eat in diners
  • Check and maintain equipment, the last thing you need is a failure when things are heating up
Fast food menu in restaurant

Trial your suitability to a takeaway service by offering a limited menu first.

Safety first

Be mindful that we’re still operating during a pandemic, so the safety precautions for your area have to be adhered to. You’ll also have to think about storing, prepping and cooking extra ingredients. Ensure your equipment is well maintained so everything can be safely stored.

It’s also worthwhile to consider the layout of your kitchen if takeaway orders mean chefs will be busier. Open doors and drawers can cause bottlenecks during service, and if a chef has to keep moving away from their station to access ingredients or let other staff by, it is going to have a negative impact on the efficiency of the kitchen.

Tools like True’s preparation tables mean cooks can prep and access ingredients in the same place, keeping everything at the correct temperature for food safety standards and reducing the risk of staff coming into close contact. Everyone can stay in their own space to prep and access ingredients.

Our top tips for keeping safe:

  • Keep track of extra ingredients to ensure freshness and correct storage
  • Plan layouts to avoid collisions with staff and equipment
  • Maintain enhanced hygiene and distancing rules in line with COVID restrictions in your area
Chef working at True Preparation Table

Drawers can be an effective option when specifying refrigeration equipment for a takeaway service.

Because more and more customers and restaurants will be turning to this route, the competition is also increasing. Customers might try you once, but if the food is no good or late, then they will try somewhere else next time. Apps like Just Eat or Deliveroo also give customers more opportunity to review your food and the speed of your service, even more of an incentive to get it right!

If your equipment has been showing strain it may be worth investing in an upgrade before you ramp up service to include a takeaway option. An equipment failure when you have orders stacking up would cause severe disruption, potentially damaging ingredients and causing knock-on problems for your business.

True’s prep table products use patented air-flow refrigeration systems to maintain a consistent and even 0.5°C to 5°C temperature across all pans, ensuring your high-quality ingredients remain fresh and safe to consume, without drying out.

Give essential equipment a check over to implement essential maintenance if required. Things like seals and vents can easily become damaged or blocked, preventing things like refrigeration and ovens from operating efficiently.

Our top tips for avoiding break down:

  • Keep tabs on equipment performance regularly to avoid unexpected disruption
  • Don’t overwork your kit by using it incorrectly
  • Invest in high-quality equipment to avoid increased risk
  • Book regular services to ensure equipment is always in full working order
Pans of prepared food in True Refrigerator

Check seals, hinges and shelves for wear and tear.

How True can help

As mentioned above when it comes introducing a takeaway offer, you need equipment you can rely on.

Our range of chilled preparation solutions can help you optimize your operations for a more efficient and streamlined introduction to your takeaway service, while ensuring the optimum preservation of your ingredients.

True’s solutions have been tested in the most demanding kitchen environments, designed to withstand the heat and pressures of the busiest of services and achieve the longest possible service life – key for the hustle and bustle of a takeaway service. Our preparation products give teams direct access to organised and perfectly preserved chilled food items without slowing down service, keeping ingredients safe to consume without compromising their quality or your reputation.

Plus, with industry-leading five-year parts and labor warranty as standard, you have the peace of mind and confidence that your kitchen equipment will last your takeaway endeavours and beyond.

If you’re interested in finding out more about True’s range of preparation tables, or how we can help you adapt your kitchen to suit a takeaway offer, please get in touch.

And for more industry-related tips, follow our LinkedIn.

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