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Are phone or takeout orders a pain point? Could they be better?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have an idea that I "think" may be helpful to restaurants with takeout orders and just wanted to get feedback from you guys to see if I'm going down the right path.

Just wondering what's the annoying part of takeout orders?
If you were granted three wishes to improve takeout orders what would they be?
Are takeout orders particularly by phone problematic enough to fix or are the issues small enough that you can live with them?

Thank so much in advance for your help in advance guys!
post #2 of 6
In general takeout is an all around hassle. It's a hassle to stop serving the guests to answer the phone. It's a hassle for the cooks to have a takeout order in the middle of friday night mayhem. And then it's a hassle for someone to stop what they're doing to package it up.
We're at a crossroads with it. Our take out business is too small to devote separate staff members to it but also too big to give it up entirely.
post #3 of 6

The last restaurant I worked at the bartenders handled all the take-out orders.  They answered the phones, put the order in the POS, went back to the kitchen to pack up the togo boxes and brought out to the customer at the bar.  Sometimes this resulted in the pickup adding a drink sale (while they waited), so that was a good thing and ended up with better tips for the bartender. On very busy nights, the barback would handle this for the bartender.  This worked out really well during the day for the lunch shift when the bar was fairly slow, so it gave the bartenders something to do and a little revenue, a little more problematic late night when bands were on (hard to hear the phone behind the bar).


One main problem with takeout is when people order and then are super late picking up.  I saw one too many caesar salads die (and require redoing) while waiting for pickup.

post #4 of 6

My main problem with takeout is the way it was sometimes used by customers. At my last job at a country club, we didn't mind it too much, but like mentioned above, it was a little annoying in the middle of a Friday night rush. The part about it that really got to us is sometimes people would call at 7:30 and ask how long the wait for a table was. When we'd say an hour, they would say "okay" and hang up. They would then call back immediately and place a take out order and expect it in 15 minutes. 

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Wow, what feedback! I figured some of these things, but never thought how the customer created delays. This is actually some of the stuff I'm trying to solve.


Can I ask, what's the difference in prep with a takeout and dine in plate? You guys all kind of mentioned that the process had to be stopped to cook the takeout, why is that it can't kind of fit into all the other orders, is it simply because it needs to be completed in a quicker manner than typical for a dine in guest?


Thanks so far for all the help. 

post #6 of 6

There isn't really any differences in prep between takeout and dine in when it comes to the food. The only differences are obviously the container and with salads, dressing was served on the side. Part of the gripe is the quality of the food is going to suffer on the way home. There isn't much a cook can do about that and with a lot of chefs wanting every plate to be perfect, it's sometimes a little painful (at least for me) knowing that that to-go order is not going to be perfect because it's going to sit in a box during the car ride home.


As for the whole process being stopped, it has more to do with that it can easily interrupt the flow of service. You have this machine working to put out these meals and suddenly something has been thrown in the middle of it and it can mess up the momentum a bit. Some restaurants will say it might be an hour for a to-go if that's how long it would be for a table. In those cases, they don't really mess up the momentum; it's just like any other ticket. Other establishments have the policy where to-go orders have to be started right away and shouldn't take longer than 15-20 minutes. Those are the ones that really grind my nerves; it kind of felt like someone was cutting in line to me when they did that. 

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