Are grab-n-go menus suitable for your restaurant? Is snacking a new opportunity? The Covid pandemic has hit the mom-and-pop restaurant industry hard over the past two years, but as things slowly hit a new normal, a surprising yet believable trend is emerging.

With more flexibility in daily schedules because of many working remotely, people are now leaving the house just for a yummy snack in the afternoon or stopping by a favorite restaurant for a quick grab-n-go menu item while running errands.

Nation’s Restaurant News recently released an article asking if snacking was the new happy hour, which isn’t off the mark. Many large-name restaurants have seen a lot of success with smaller portions offered throughout the day at reduced price points.

Mostly, this trend has always been a boon for quick-serve restaurants and convenience stores. But, with delivery introducing people to new restaurants and cuisines, more and more customers are looking for high-quality options from their favorite mom-and-pop places.

If you’re looking for a smart way to elevate your restaurant traffic, we have five tips and tricks for setting up a grab-n-go menu that customers will love, a few of which are a great way to take advantage of the snacking “happy hour.” Double the strategies below with an awesome take-out system, and your restaurant will thrive.

1. Go Organic

Incorporate organic or locally sourced foods into a grab-n-go menu and advertise the source. People feel good when they’re helping their local community, especially the Millennials most likely to pop in and out. By placing the name of the source on the label and using organic foods, when possible, customers are more likely to pay a higher sticker price, which in turn covers the costs of packaging a grab-n-go meal.

2. Keep it Fresh

Social media is a significant factor when trying to advertise your new menu. Using fresh foods and ensuring the presentation is top-notch, you’ll see customers sharing their fabulous new finds, which is free advertising for you. Leave the deli sandwich behind and choose bright and colorful foods with fantastic flavor combinations. You can also install a smoothie machine to get in on the snack and health trend all at once.

3. Perfect Packaging for Your Grab-n-Go Menu

Package grab-n-go menu items and keep them ready. Customers are wary of buying food they can’t see or items sitting on a counter or table. One major factor in grab-n-go success is proper refrigeration and clear packaging. If they can see the food and sell by date under the bright lights of a temperature-controlled display case, you’re already a step ahead.

4. Stay Popular

Choose popular options for your grab-n-go menu. People are more likely to buy breakfast, lunch, and snacks to go. Having a variety of each will ensure you can keep your customers happy any time of day. Even those that dine in for a meal might grab a to-go treat for later if it’s tempting enough. A self-serve frozen drink machine near the display can double your sales, too, especially if someone is heading home to the kids on a hot day. Throw in a selection of cookies, and you’re making bank.

5. Be Inclusive

Dietary restrictions leave a lot of customers feeling left out of the grab-n-go options. Providing vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, and allergen-free options ensures food-sensitive customers will return time and again.

We provide quality guarantees on used and new restaurant equipment at Taylor Freezer of Michigan. We are ready to help you jump on these trends without breaking the bank while ensuring your restaurant runs smoothly with reliable appliances and customer support. Give us a call at 734-219-9969 and let us help you bring your restaurant to the next level!

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