For customers eating more meals at home due to Covid-19, the nightly meal has become more important, but has also become a bit mundane. Sure, some may have taken this extended time at home to whip up some new recipes, but for the majority who are learning to balance work and home responsibilities in a new and more restricted environment, it’s been increasingly difficult to make dinner interesting and easy.
To fill the gap, restaurants dealing with dine-in restrictions have discovered how to reach customers in a new way by meeting the needs of bored families stuck at home. From fast food to gourmet, from fully-prepared to portioned ingredients, meal kits can give your customers a welcome break from the usual and offer them something to look forward to at dinner time.
Three Different Approaches To Meal Kits
There are almost as many types of meal kits as there are restaurants offering them, but most of them have one thing in common — portioned and packaged ingredients or whole meals made in advance and ready for delivery or for the customer to pick up. How a restaurant chooses to execute their meal kit service, however, can vary widely.
Many restaurants are looking at meal kits as more of a family pack or bundle intended to feed a group (usually targeted toward a family of four). They usually consist of an entree choice as well as sides and even beverages to make a complete meal. Many QSRs will simply cook and assemble your meal kit at the time of order, while others offer pre-cooked and chilled or frozen meals that are ready for reheating upon reaching their final destination. In both scenarios, this type of meal kit is intended for the customer who still wants to enjoy the foods they love at home, with minimal preparation. You can read more about restaurants that are offering these types of bundles in this article.
“Cook Your Own” Meal Kits
Other restaurants are betting that customers who are spending the majority of their time at home may enjoy a dining experience where they have a hand in the cooking process. Meal kits that include pre-portioned ingredients and a step-by-step recipe allow cooking enthusiasts and amateur chefs a fun and interactive way to learn how to make meals from their favorite restaurants.
“Assemble Your Own” Meal Kits
Somewhat of a hybrid between a meal kit that offers fully prepared food and one that has you doing most of the work yourself, assembly kits are proving to be some of the most popular. In this article from Nation’s Restaurant News, check out how some restaurants are preparing build-your-own meal kits for everything from tacos and burgers to pizzas and ice cream sundaes. This approach seems to hit all the marks for simplicity, customizability, and entertainment.
Find Your Own Success With Meal Kits
Restaurants are expanding and finding new ways to reach their customers. If you’re considering adding meal kits to your list of current offerings, there are a few things to consider that will help ensure your success.
First, consider the type of meal kit you want to offer — whether it be a type of family meal bundle, a cook your own kit, or an entirely different kind of hybrid.
Second, consider the types of food you’ll be offering in your meal kit. For a DIY kit that the customer will have to cook themselves, you’ll want to keep cooking techniques fairly simple and the number of steps involved to a minimum in order to appeal to a wide range of cooking abilities. For hot meal bundles, whether your customer is picking up their order or you’re delivering it to them, keep in mind that some foods travel better than others. Items like baked fish, steaks, and ice cream can prove to be quite a challenge.
Finally, if you’re offering home delivery for your meal kits, you’ll want to focus on the delivery experience as well as the quality of the meal being delivered. Customers expect their orders to be delivered correctly, on time, and at the right temperature, at the very minimum. However, you can excel in the meal kit delivery category by going a step further and personalizing communications, sending email and text alerts, and offering your customers a user- and mobile-friendly interface to place their orders. It’s easy to do all of this and more, with delivery software from Delivery Biz Pro.
Are you interested in learning how we can help you find success with take-home meal kits? Contact a member of our team to find out more.