How to start your takeaway business

So you want to start your own takeaway business heh?


You'll probably have different reasons to start your business, You like cooking, or you see a big gap that you can fill in your area? Are people amazed by your cooking and cant get enough of it? 

Anyway, we're more than happy to share some interesting ideas and real life experiences with you that we gathered from OrderTree customers.


1. Get to know your customers

Dont start by just guessing who will come to buy at your place.

Create a profile of 1 to 3 types of customers in your area and define what's important to them, why they would order from you and what would be their budget to order.

Talk to as much of potential customers. Tell them about your plans, dishes and prices and ask their honest feedback.

This way you get to know your future customers and get first hand interesting information.

TIP: Create a facebook survey or google survey and ask your friends to share it. 
Post your survey in the facebook groups of your area and watch the answers/ideas/suggestions come in.
At that point you'll probably also get a feeling of the interest in your idea.


2. Pricing and costs

Make a list of the dishes you want to provide and how much the products cost for each of those dishes.  Then think what would be a good price so that customers will buy it.  Dont think too low but also not too high.  This is a very important step because if you start too low, its hard to go up.  If you start too high people might order 1 time and if your dishes are not up to their value-for-money standards its hard to get them back.

Put a higher price if you have reasons for it and if your customers will be able acknowledge that.

TIP: Scan a lot of your competitor's websites for prices to get an idea of the average used price for similar products.
Again, ask potential customers if they would buy the dish for your price or the average price you've Googled.


3. Delivery or not?

In the last years, delivery was hot. Nothing easier than order, open the door and eat.

But let's face it, using delivery services will cost your business a lot of money (10-30% per order)...
Imagine what you could do with that money on a monthly or yearly basis!

We've seen that a lot of customers don't mind to come and pick up their orders, a lot even prefer it!
They come for the social contact, in Covid times it's an excuse to leave the house or they had to pass by anyways after work.

For you it's the perfect ocasion to bind with your customers, to see what they like and what not and to nurture them.

If you'll be using delivery systems, then be sure that you will give away all of that. That and a lot of money which you can invest in your business or in extra personel or yourself!

TIP: Decorate your takeaway, create a good atmosphere, put on some nice music, add nice seats.. This way your customers will like to come to visit your place, step into your world and come back.
It's all about the experience you give your customer!


4. How to get attention.

Let all your friends on social media know about your plans. Create a dedicated Facebook and Instagram page a month before you start your takeaway. 

Ask your friends to share your first posts. Design nice menus (with pictures of your dishes!) and put them in all postal boxes in a radius of 5 kilometers. (3,2 miles).

You could also start with a coupon, but don't forget to limit it in time! (in OrderTree you can do so!).

TIP: if your business is open for lunch, approach nearby companies by visiting their receptions and hand over multiple of your nice menus. 
You'd be amazed that your menus will circulate fast through the company.


5. Prepare

You'll be picking up phone calls, answering Whatsapp messages and emails, so be prepared

We are a bit biased here and want to emphasize not to fall for that trap. 

Start with a clear ordering process:

Take a 14 day free subscription on OrderTree, setup your products and (try to) only accept orders through your OrderTree webshop.
This way you'll be able to invest time in preparing your dishes and even have a talk with your customers when they come to pick up their orders.
Don't start with 20 products if you doubt you can handle that.
Keep it limited and simple to start, you can always start with menus, coupons and other fancy stuff later.

TIP: Put your OrderTree webshop address on all your communication towards potential customers; menus, answering machine, Whatsapp and Facebookchat....

Another TIP: invest time in creating beautiful pictures of your dishes. Nice pictures make eating.

More on that in a later blog post!


6. The start

You will make mistakes.  But thats a good thing!
Be kind to yourself and know that your customers will forgive you.  

Note down all mistakes you have made and find a solution for them after or before opening hours.

TIP: Try to limit your maximum amount of orders in OrderTree, set it to 1 or 2 orders per 15/30 minutes.
This way you'll give yourself some time to solve issues when they arise!


Feel free to share your mistakes and tips with us:

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