I wanted to take a moment to share a practice that I have implemented at my store, to see who else thinks this should be a given to deliver great customer service, and who thinks it is a waste of money.
We have always delivered plates, napkins, cups (when applicable), and spice packets to hotels, as well as marketing materials such as a menu and magnet, in addition to the aforementioned to businesses. Recently however, I have started to automatically include these items with every order.
We pre portion the materials in a bag ready for the driver to just grab with their order, and make it standard on all deliveries. One of my managers recently suggested that instead of automatically providing them with orders we should ask the customer if they would like them or not, to save on cost.
I am trying to determine which is the best course of action, continue providing them automatically as “customer service marketing” even though it is a bit of a cost, or ask each customer and have the drivers portioning them out for each order during the rush before they leave, as needed.
Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated.
There are extremes at odds here. If you have customers who are green conscious and receive these items when not needed they may see you as being wasteful. On the other hand if you have a customer ordering because they are busy they may really appreciate that everything is disposable so there is no cleanup.
If you are using a POS you might put a no charge item on that could be used when the customer requires. Train your staff to ask if plates and utensils are needed. You can still prepackage so your drivers are not doing it during supper rush.
I personally would not send it out on every order but ask if it is needed.
I see this from both sides of the counter.
As a business owner I always ask with our carry-outs if they need plastic & paper goods but never automatically include them. As a carry-out customer I find the practice wasteful and have always encouraged the shopkeeper that no flatware etc. was necessary as I would be eating at home.
For your hotel customers, sure…“all” deliveries and carry-outs? Save the money, but make the offer.
We always provide them if delivery is to a hotel or business. We assume that deliveries to homes do not need them unless they ask.