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Pros and Cons of Offering Holiday Take-Out Meals

Many grocery stores and restaurants across the country offer prepared entrees and side dishes to help out customers who can’t or don’t want to cook their own holiday meals, but want to enjoy them in the comfort of their own home. Many places allow customers to order appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and desserts a la cart to supplement their own cooking or purchase a whole meal. If you’re thinking about offering this service for your customers, here are a few things to consider:

Pros of Offering Holiday Take-Out

  • Extra Business: The holidays are a busy time, and almost everyone is looking for a way to save some time. By offering your loyal customers the chance to relax on the holidays, rather than cook, you can rake in some extra, high-profit business.
  • Pros
  • Already Have the Supplies: If you have any sort of take-out or delivery system for your restaurant or store, then you already have everything you need. Instead of your normal fare, though, simply prepare the traditional food for the current holiday and package or deliver it as you normally would. You can also consider selling your signature dishes that your guests already love.
  • Providing a Service to Your Customers: Everyone appreciates a hand every now and again. If your customers have to throw a last minute Christmas party or just don’t have the time or equipment to properly cook a turkey for Thanksgiving, you’ll be there to help.
  • You Know Your Customers: Holidays and traditions vary by location, and who knows your area better than you? Cater your holiday menu to your specific customers to give them exactly what they want. For instance, if you live in an area with a large Jewish population, you can offer foods traditionally associated with Hanukkah.

Cons of Offering Holiday Take-Out

    • Setting up a Take-Out System: If you don’t already offer take-out services in your business, then it can be a big hassle to set one up just for the holidays. It can involve a lot of planning and purchasing to ensure you have everything you need.
    • Different Menu: Most holidays have foods associated with them: Thanksgiving has turkey, mashed potatoes, and pecan pie while Hanukkah has latkes, sufganiyot, and brisket. If you want to serve a traditional meal but don’t usually sell those foods, you will have to make sure you have the appropriate ingredients and equipment needed to make them. This can add up quickly.
    • Cons
    • Open on a Holiday: In order to do business, you will need to have your store or restaurant open on a holiday, which can lead to unhappy employees who would rather be at home with their families and friends.
    • Steep Competition: You may have noticed that lots of other businesses are offering this service. If there are already popular locations in your area that offer traditional holiday take-out, they might already have a following, leaving few people to purchase their food from you.

    Offering traditional holiday food to go can be beneficial to both your business and your customers, but there is a lot to consider when thinking about this service. Many restaurants and grocery stores are already profiting from it, so maybe your business would benefit, as well. Ultimately, the decision is up to you and should be based off of your unique location, business model, and customers.

    For everything you need for your take-out service, check out these items:

    Posted in: Holidays | Management & Operation | By Alyssa Burns
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