Reportedly worth a staggering £9.9billion in 2016, Britain’s takeaway industry is booming.
Include an estimated rise of £5.1billion per year for the next five years, and the future’s certainly looking rosy. What can we say? It’s undeniable that us Brits love our takeaways.
For takeaway owners, these rosy figures can be a mixed blessing. On one hand, they’re obviously worth celebrating; the industry is on the rise. On the other hand, there are some challenges looming on the horizon, as competition between brands ramps up.
With disruptive players such as UberEats and Deliveroo also entering the fray, allowing restaurants without a traditional takeaway option to take part, things have never been hotter in the proverbial kitchen.
So how can takeaways do the seemingly impossible: stand out from competitors, improve their operational standards and increase their bottom line — all without letting the quality of their food slip?
The faster you move, the more likely you are to make mistakes. That’s why your sites need a very clear set of operational instructions which are consistent, thorough and easy to follow.
Customers at takeaways expect their food to show up within a certain timeframe, so slowing down isn’t really an option. Better instructions and guidance for site staff can make sure things like food safety, health & safety, employee engagement and brand standards don’t get left behind in the desire to get food out on time.
More than just about making sure things are done the same way across the board, they can target inefficiencies and streamline staff workflow, train new hires faster and more thoroughly, and make working life easier, all while keeping businesses compliant with food safety regulations.
Giving clear instructions isn’t just about keeping everyone in line though. It’s also about helping them to build good daily habits that will ultimately make everyone’s job easier and more enjoyable. Aided by technology in the form of digital checklists and app-based communication, they’ve quickly become the key to a smooth day-to-day running for many restaurants, cafes and bars.
Once a set of instructions becomes a set of habits, you’ll see things getting done faster, but still getting done right. That’s what standardising processes and standards does.
It’s nothing new, really. When you look at the story of McDonald’s Ray Kroc and his work to standardise food quality and customer experience across all sites, you can see how having a blueprint for each site to follow is imperative.
Across the hospitality industry brands find themselves at the mercy of paperwork at one point or another. A lot of this paperwork is designed to help staff stay on track and maintain compliance and brand standards, but it’s not always effective and it’s definitely not enjoyable.
More brands are starting to realise that paper processes are holding them back. This couldn’t be more true for takeaways. Paperwork and speed rarely fit together. People expect their food quickly, and they expect it to be hot, high-quality, and produced in acceptable conditions.
That means operational inefficiencies can greatly affect takeaways, slowing down processes or putting food at risk. To keep up with competitors and disruptors, takeaways need to target this area — the speed of processes — to come out on top. This is where specific directions are priceless.
Through specific directions, takeaways can trim the fat from processes, reducing them to easy-to-follow instructions which can be applied across multiple sites and picked up by various members of staff.
Digital checklists and data entry logs feature heavily in the implementation of these faster processes, with the checklists in question forming a framework around processes. There’s no more second guessing or confusion — and there’s little need to micromanage, as the checklist monitors which tasks have been completed.
There’s also food safety compliance to consider. Usually a time-consuming task (but one that is essential for takeaways), programmed reminders and digital checklists can keep teams aware of their obligations, and helps them to fulfil checks on time.
With the right combination of features, quality can be preserved all while staff are freed from timely processes and inefficiencies — striking the balance between speed and quality.
It’s an exciting time for takeaways across the country. The industry is buoyant, the opportunities are plentiful, and we’re all still smitten with our takeaways.
To make the most of these ideal conditions, however, takeaway restaurants must be prepared to try doing things a little differently — embracing innovation now can help them to keep one step ahead of the disruptors (and competitors).
And with opportunities to save money and keep the bottom line happy, why wouldn’t they want to give it a go?
Ready to see how Trail can support your multi-site takeaway brand on the road to success? Let’s talk.