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How to Transition Your Restaurant to Takeout and Delivery

17April 2020

As the world struggles with how to stop the spread of COVID-19, the islands of Hawaii have been under new restrictions mandating that restaurants close their doors to patrons and can only offer delivery and takeout food services.

While the use of online ordering and delivery services has skyrocketed in the past five years, it has been mostly larger chains and franchises that have been able to benefit from the popularity of easy order and delivery platforms. Many of Maui’s local, sit-down restaurants now need to set up takeout and delivery services overnight.


Making the Transition to Takeout and Delivery

At WeDeliverOC.com, we are dedicated to helping you through this crisis with tools and information, and this quick guide is designed to help your business pivot to a restaurant that offers takeout and delivery while practicing safe, social distancing restrictions.

NOTE: This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal, tax, human resources, or other professional advice. You are responsible for compliance with laws and regulations and should contact an attorney or advisor to discuss your specific services. Any mention of a service or business is not an endorsement.

Develop a Profitable Menu of Delivery-Friendly Items

Operating with reduced staff, under a new service model, it’s critical that you shave down your menu to your most profitable items. All of these items should be travel well for delivery. Not only does this reduce inventory costs, but it also makes things easier for everyone from the cooks to the customers.

Make sure that the ingredients you are buying can be used in multiple items on your new delivery menu. Additionally, only select items that will still be tasty after sitting in their delivery containers for 20 to 30 minutes.

Raid the Freezer and Pantry to Create Your Delivery Menu

Take stock of what you have in your freezer and dry storage before you finalize your new menu. These are the ingredients you want to use in the dishes you’ll be delivering, especially when shopping for fresh produce and meat is the hardest.

If you work through your frozen and dry goods, you will save money because you’ll be ordering less inventory. And what you already have, you paid pre-crisis prices for, which means you can create a more profitable menu.

Using what you’ve got also has the added benefit of exposing your facilities and your employees to less risk with less frequent deliveries TO your restaurant or trips to buy ingredients and supplies.

Set Up Your Menu on an Online Ordering Service

If you have never offered delivery before, the fastest and easiest way to get your food delivery service going is to set up online ordering and delivery service on a platform that serves your area.


Door Dash – You tell them about your restaurant, upload your new delivery menu, they send you the orders, you cook it, and they deliver it.

Bite Squad – With no setup fees or upfront costs and a dashboard to view all orders, Bite Squad makes it easy to set up a delivery service.

Bite Squad also has a PROFIT CALCULATOR to estimate your profit on deliveries that you should play around with no matter which platform you choose.

Postmates – You have the option to receive orders through your phone, tablet, or POS, and they have tools to create attractive online menus to attract new customers.

Let Customers in Your Area Know You are Delivering

It’s time to shout it from the rooftops… WE NOW DELIVER! The best ways to let your loyal and future customers know that you are delivering is through social media, email announcements, banners or popups on your website, and with signage on your door.

Your messaging should be consistent and branded. That means you’re using the same words in all your announcements and putting your name and logo on everything. Let them know that your dining room is closed for the health of your employees and neighbors, but you are offering a special takeout and/or delivery menu for the next few weeks.

Be sure to encourage customers to use the ordering method that is most beneficial to your business but give them all the delivery and ordering options so you don’t lose any potential sales.

Offer Family and Bulk Orders to Fill Fridges Through Confinement

Many homes that use to rely on restaurant food for their meals are struggling with constant home cooking to feed whole families. Consider adding large-format portions of your best sellers that people can buy and refrigerate or freeze. There might be a sizeable BBQ chicken in their refrigerator right now where your food should be.

Last – But Not Least – Take Care of Your Delivery People

Whether you are using a delivery service or have drivers on staff, prioritize their health and well-being. Educate your staff and customers on contact-less delivery when promoting your delivery service. And encourage healthy tips by reminding everyone that delivery drivers are performing a high-risk service for your customers’ comfort.

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