The pandemic has put a spotlight on off-premises business as major chains and independent operators strive to whip up recipes for success under challenging circumstances. Capacity restrictions, shutdowns and consumer safety concerns may have stalled in-store traffic, but the off-premises revenue engine continues to steer foodservice in the direction of delivery and takeout.
The pandemic has propelled the restaurant industry in different directions—some new and unexpected (think social distancing and face masks), others more familiar (the drive-thru, for example). In the case of takeout in general and the drive-thru in particular, "back to basics" has jumpstarted traffic and revved up revenue.
Strong off-premises capabilities have become the not-so-secret sauce of success for foodservice operators during the COVID-19 crisis. Pizza chains in particular have become delivery powerhouses.
Domino’s delivers sales—and a dilemma. In Q3, the pizza powerhouse served up its strongest sales performance in years.1 U.S. same-store sales were up 17.5%, and international same-stores sales rose 6.2%—a record since the company began reporting publicly in 2004.1
Downsized menus are a must for many operators re-orienting their businesses for less dine-in and more off premise sales. Major chains have been at the forefront of shrinking menus to achieve more manageable margins during the pandemic.