The pressure-cooker environment of the pandemic continues to compel operators to cook up innovative ways to drive business forward. Pent-up demand for on-site dining paired with robust off-premises capabilities developed throughout the pandemic is a recipe for success that’s feeding the bottom line well these days.
The link between digital innovation and revenue generation has become stronger than ever, thanks to the pandemic-propelled surge in off-premises business. To streamline ordering, payments, and takeout and delivery, foodservice operators served up a feast of mobile apps and other digital customer service capabilities.
Over the past year and a half, operators have addressed emerging pandemic-related consumer preference, safety and other needs by introducing innovative menu and operational changes—and a number have shown some staying power.
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Major restaurant chains had no choice but to flex their off-premises muscle when COVID-19 hit. As discussed in a previous post, bigger proved to be better during the pandemic, as large chains were able to rely on and build out their already well-developed delivery, takeout and drive-thru capabilities. Digital ordering linked consumers to foodservice with contactless ease and became a lifeline that made the difference in whether operations sank or swam in a rising tide of restrictions and infection rates.
It’s no secret that top restaurant brands like Domino’s and McDonald’s navigated the pandemic more nimbly than small operations, which often ate heavy losses due to a lack of robust off-premises channels. Expedited by the ease and convenience of digital ordering, takeout, delivery and drive-thru service all proved to be powerful revenue engines for major players when in-store traffic slowed to a crawl or came to a screeching halt.