Bring It On Home

With the holidays approaching, football and hockey seasons in full swing and temperatures dipping, interest in dining at home is mounting. Operators are looking to reach these at-home diners by introducing value-focused takeaway meals and promotions. Here are a few recent examples:

  • East Side Mario’s launched a Buy One, Take One Home deal. Guests could purchase a dine-in entrée and receive a free signature pasta to take home through October 4. Dine-in entrée options were Veal Parmigiana, Spaghettini & Meatballs Gigantico, Grilled Lemon Chicken, Thin Crust 10-inch Pepperoni Pizza, Pesto & Peppers Spaghettini, Sausage & Peppers Penne and Fire Cracker Shrimp Bowtie. Takeaway pasta dishes were Spicy Sausage with Penne Arrabbiata, Spaghettini & Meatballs, Penne Primavera and Fettuccine Alfredo. According to Technomic’s 2015 Canadian Value & Pricing Consumer Trend Report, 39% of consumers say buy-one-take-one-home specials are likely to influence their decision to visit foodservice venues. Therefore, East Side Mario’s Buy One, Take One Home deal not only appeals to deal-seeking diners looking for an at-home option, but also likely draws consumers into the restaurant at the outset.
  • Sawmill Prime Rib & Steak House rolled out BBQ Steak Packages, featuring vacuum-sealed steaks to cook at home in the following 4-pack or 8-pack options: 7-ounce sirloin, 10-ounce sirloin, 8-ounce top loin, 10-ounce top loin, AAA 6-ounce filet mignon and AAA 8-ounce filet mignon. The meal also includes side options like garlic mashed potatoes and Caesar salad. This deal serves as a convenient option for consumers who may prefer to dine at home, but still want the restaurant-quality steak served at their favourite steakhouse.

The weather is certain to only get worse, so experimenting now with options that draw consumers in could be beneficial to restaurant operators during the slower-traffic months. For these types of deals to prove successful though, operators will need to be sure their takeaway meals match the quality of dine-in fare. Keeping in mind freshness, portion size and taste—which are all fixtures of dine-in eating—as well as convenience and affordability—pillars of takeaway dining—will be key to an effective at-home dining platform.

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Patrick Noone

With more than 15 years of experience in the research/consulting industry, Patrick Noone, Executive Vice President, Business Development, is integrally involved in the sales, development and marketing of Technomic's online resources, reports and custom studies—tools that provide clients with actionable industry data that supports their strategic and tactical business planning processes. He also manages Technomic's Business Development and Client Service teams.

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