Rather than simply choosing their own salad dressing or pizza toppings, diners today are demanding more options to build their own meals than ever before. Meet these demands from diners by determining new ways to build customized food orders.
Set up an assembly line
For customers who opt to visit your restaurant – rather than order online or by phone – consider setting up an assembly line, so diners can pick and choose the items they’d like from a variety of options right in front of them.
While Just Salad, which offers countless ways to mix and match salad vegetable, proteins, dressings and more, is one that has fully embraced this concept, many different types of restaurant cuisines can make this form of customized ordering work. And for diners who aren’t as adventurous, consider keeping a set menu on hand as well, with suggested dishes and associated nutrition information.
Switch things up
Take your assembly line a step further by switching up your ingredients on a regular basis. While it’s always beneficial to keep your customer favorites on the menu, keep customers guessing – and coming back to try something new – with a constantly rotating list of ingredients and specials.
For example, Brightwok switches up its stirfry vegetable and protein offerings, while Just Salad offers seasonal salad specials – all of which can still be customized to diners’ preferences. To continue improving your special offerings, make sure to consistently collect diner feedback – either via paper comment cards, online surveys or online reviews.
Offer online and mobile ordering
A simple way to offer customized restaurant orders – and eliminate any potential human error – is by incorporating order customization into your online and mobile ordering options. By giving diners the flexibility to customize their orders through your online ordering portal – or even building their own dish, such as a salad, smoothie bowl or sandwich – not only will your customers be satisfied, but your back-of-house staff will more easily be able to decipher and prepare each order.
And online ordering isn’t limited to takeout or delivery customers. Consider adding digital menus or kiosks to your restaurant so dine-in customers can order customized orders quickly and efficiently.