Drawing on learnings from our restaurant partners around the world, this guide is for restaurants thinking about reopening their restaurant operation as delivery-only.
Our public sentiment tracking suggests that the public are supportive of (and grateful for) food delivery services being carried out, if done so safely.
Government regulation will continue to have a significant impact on whether individual sites are able to re-open. Regulatory and customer behaviour changes mean that normal operations are unlikely to resume for several months.
Can I re-open now?
Government continues to explicitly state that restaurant kitchens can remain open to provide takeaways and delivery.
What about dine-in?
The earliest date Government is currently advising on is 4th of July, likely under limited conditions.
How do I comply with safety guidelines?
All businesses should conduct a risk safety assessment.
What do I need to do to keep everyone safe?
Where possible, maintain 2m social distancing. Where this cannot be followed (e.g. chefs in a kitchen), take mitigating actions, like increasing hand washing.
What about the furlough scheme?
The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) will remain open until 31st of October but workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers paying a percentage towards the salaries of furloughed staff.
In the short term safety concerns, staff availability and regulation will be the biggest factors affecting restaurant reopening.
For detailed guides covering everything from the physical set up of your restaurant, to staffing and staff welfare read our guides to running a delivery-only restaurant.
1. Choosing which site(s) to open
Consider starting small, to assess operations, safety measures and how to maximise your chance of attaining breakeven profitability.
If you operate across multiple sites, consider reopening the site(s) with larger residential coverage, or proximity to key workers e.g. hospitals.
Tip: Restaurants who fulfil their own deliveries are able to extend their delivery catchment areas, reducing fees and minimum order values to reach more customers.
2. Menu simplification
🔎 Around 85% of a restaurant's orders are typically chosen from just 20-50% of their menu.
Adjust your menu to offer customers a smaller selection of easily-prepped dishes, choose a selection of your most popular menu items (base this on the % of sales they amount to). This will help you to:
- Reduce food waste
- Minimise supply chain issues
- Maintain a high portion of existing sales
- Optimise shift staffing and minimise unnecessary kitchen handover
The ideal menu for customer orders contains between 60-100 items. We suggest using Menu Manager (in Restaurant Hub) to optimise your menu based on your most popular items.
In addition to a smaller menu, consider changes to reflect your customer's needs:
- From our survey of French and British consumers, 40% reported the need to save money as an obstacle to ordering
- Families tend to prefer menu item 'bundles', these help to support group-ordering
- Some restaurants have started selling essentials like milk, bread, eggs, cooked meat or frozen meals, helping to address later meal needs
Restaurants located in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, or UAE seeking additional support food and packaging purchasing, please contact email@example.com.
3. Opening hour optimisation
The hours you're open for can help maximise your profitability. To see when your restaurant is taking orders go to Restaurant Hub to the Orders tab.
Select a large date range e.g. 2-3 months to see which days and day-parts (in Date column) are most profitable, as well as which dishes sold well (Dishes sold tab).
Assess which hours have the highest order volume, this will give you the best chance to reach breakeven profitability.
Restaurants can pursue multiple approaches to opening for reduced hours, remaining open during:
- Limited day-parts - two thirds of Deliveroo sales can be generated at dinner service
- Limited days - up to 50% of Deliveroo sales can be generated from orders made Friday to Sunday
- A combination of limited day-parts and days might also work for you e.g. dinners on weekdays, one full day of weekend opening
Our rider network will be ready to deliver your food, regardless of the day or day-part you choose - depending on your zone opening times.
4. Marketing and communications
We've prepared downloadable social media assets for restaurant partners, so you can let customers know you're open for business, whether you're already open or reopening.
Consider how you talk about your choice to reopen. Your communications can answer customer concerns about hygiene, safety and food quality.
In addition, restaurants should consider engaging with local communities in this difficult time. For example, many of our partners are donating meals to NHS staff in the UK.
- You can sign up to offer free meals by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org, we’ll reply with full details and next steps
As with any restaurant opening or reopening it's important to get the word out. We encourage announcing restaurant reopening(s) and encouraging customer confidence to support their new, more cautious ordering habits.
Before you reopen - let customers know when you plan to open again for orders with a social media post, flyer, an email or even window-signage.
e.g. "We're #openforbusiness, order from us again from 6pm on Tuesday"
When you reopen - communicate using the same channels, your stricter safety and hygiene practices and food quality.
e.g. sharing photos of fresh produce delivered, staff wearing protective clothing, practicing safe-distancing.
To support your takeaway orders - ensure your simplified menu has photography. Find out more about menu edits using Menu Manager.
From Hub you can also use Marketer to run a promotion, to help you attract new or existing customers.
Three key messages to keep in mind if you're marketing at this time:
- Reassurance and sensitivity about the situation - your marketing (written, visual or otherwise) should be sensitive to what is now a global health emergency
- Food and staff safety - stricter than ever hygiene practices should be followed (hand-washing every 15-minutes, social distancing within the kitchen itself, rapid communication of symptoms). Safety practices can also be communicated to customers
- Convenience - You're providing a service. This service is perceived in a positive light by those who are unable to prepare food at home, and anyone classed as a key worker at this time.
5. Operational safety - A to C
Plan operational procedures and site setup to enhance safety for staff, delivery riders, and customers.
A) Food safety procedures
A.1) Deep clean and site inspection
- Clean restaurant premises especially floors, surfaces, equipment, smallwares and storage areas
- All areas of the restaurant should be pest-proofed to protect the site and food which may remain on site during the time when the restaurant was closed
A.2) Strictest possible food safety and hygiene practices
- Discard all out of date products - cold, frozen and dry and any that could have been compromised during the closed period
- Remove dry food from the site - If you choose to keep any dry, ambient food on site, all storage areas should be cleaned and protected from pests to ensure safety and integrity of the food. Any food left onsite during the closure must be in date and in sealed containers protected from pests to ensure safety
- Remove perishable fresh food from fridges and freezers. If you decide to keep items that were stored in the fridges and freezers while the store was closed, you must ensure it is within date and the temperatures during the closed time were monitored and recorded
A.3) Disinfectants at Handoff points
- Place hand sanitisers at 'pick up tables' for riders to use. It's advised that there is a provision of hand sanitiser, as well as spray sanitiser and paper roll to sanitise rider bags before picking up orders
A.4) Regulatory approvals
- Local council should be informed of the temporary closure as well as your reopening, prior to resuming operations
- Certification and required regulatory approvals should be up to date
B) Packing Guidelines:
- Ensure all packaging is sealed, double-bagged, and tamper proof. Use tape and/or stickers to seal. This will limit any potentially infectious airborne material from coming in contact with food during delivery and increase customer trust.
- We also encourage you to double bag delivery orders so that food is kept safe inside before it is handed to the customer.
C) Employee welfare:
It's illegal for your staff to return to work if they have been placed on furlough, and if caught both you and your staff could face financial penalties.
- Be sensitive to staff safety concerns. At this time many employees will feel nervous about returning to work, you should in no way pressure staff into returning to work.
- Communicate safety measures in place to protect staff health. Share clear plans with your staff about what you're doing to keep them safe, and what they can do to keep each other safe.
- Dedicate time for staff with managers focused on discussing wellbeing.
- Additional compensation for staff returning to work. Many restaurants are offering an addition 'hazard' stipend to existing hourly rates.
- Strong communications about the social good addressed by the team member’s role and strict compliance with safety measures. Actions that support broader social good e.g. community action can bring a great deal of fulfilment to staff.
We thank you for your collaboration in these circumstances in which extreme precautions are fundamental to our ability to serve customers safely and support the overriding interest of safeguarding public health. We will continue to develop these policies as this situation develops.