The Key Ingredient in Off-Premises Growth is Strategy

When you read the title, what came to mind as the key ingredient? Was it people, technology, the food, operations? All of these are important and relevant, but strategy is the tip of the spear in driving sustainable off-premises growth.

The idea of using a more strategic method for developing off premises programs for restaurants was first introduced by Erle Dardick in his 2011 published book Get Catering and Grow Sales, A Strategic Perspective for the Multi-Unit Restaurant Executive.

2011 seems like centuries ago, and in many ways it is, so much has changed in the restaurant industry since 2011, but two stand out.

  1. The rise of third party marketplaces
  2. The use and importance of technology.

The end result has been revolutionary in many ways, providing more choices, more convenience, more services, more engagement & communication. More can be better or worse but it usually also means more complicated, more choices, more decisions, more opportunities to fall behind your competition.

Many restaurants are seeing up to 50% of their sales coming from off-premises sales channels, and the stakes to succeed are greater. Now faced with the myriad of options and opportunities a strategic framework becomes even more important.

Why Strategy Matters!

We know using a strategic framework is a proven way to systematically analyze situations, set goals, determine actions and establish mechanisms to monitor those goals.

Despite these known benefits, its common to see a rush by brands to narrowly focus on a few shiny aspects of building or improving a new revenue channel and not laying the additional and needed groundwork that establishes a strong foundation of growth. I get it, it’s hard work, it takes time and laying the foundation doesn’t improve next quarter’s results.

Where it Starts

Catering and off-premises programs require the buy-in and engagement of the whole organization, as it impacts the whole organization. Brands that have been successful have it incorporated into their DNA, at every level. This includes having a purpose statement all the way to making real estate decisions. All decisions made within the organization take catering and off-premises into consideration.

The Strategic Steps That Build a Growth Platform

A strategic framework typically includes the following components, and an off-premises strategic framework is no different. Follow these 8 steps to build your strategic plan.

  1. Vision, Mission or Purpose: Create a clearly defined statement outlining the organization’s purpose, and more specifically your off-premises or catering purpose.
  2. External or Competitive Analysis: Assessment of the external environment, including market trends, competition, regulatory factors, and technological advancements.
  3. Internal Analysis: Evaluation of internal strengths, weaknesses, resources, and capabilities within the organization.
  4. Strategy Objectives:  High-level approaches or plans designed to achieve strategic objectives. Strategies often involve market positioning, product development, cost leadership, or innovation.
  5. Strategic Goals: Specific, measurable, achievable elevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals that align with the Organization’s purpose.
  6. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Quantifiable metrics used to measure the success of strategic objectives and initiatives.
  7. Resource Allocation: Allocation of human, financial, and other resources necessary for implementing the strategies and achieving the objectives.
  8. Monitoring and Evaluation: Systems and processes to track progress, assess performance, and make adjustments to strategies as needed.

The OPGA Strategy

The OPGA strategic framework has evolved just as our industry has evolved. The strategic framework is inherently woven into The OPGA’s approach to building off-premises programs.

Start with Purpose & Priority

Knowing your purpose is energizing—it provides you with the clarity to make quick decisions and the tenacity to stay motivated. It is also the key to experiencing lasting success.

Organize Through The 5 Stages of Stellar Off-Premises

The 5 Stages is a data-driven business framework designed specifically for multi-unit restaurant brands and for any foodservice operator who wishes to design a scalable, predictable, and reliable off-premises experience.

The framework is designed specifically to support the profitable world of takeout and catering for pickup or delivery.

Invest in The 12 Areas

While consumer behaviors and technology may change, this business will always be about food and service. The challenge lies in leveraging your brand, your people, your technology, and your existing assets into these areas without compromising product quality or the customer experience—factors which, ultimately, will make or break your business. The 12 AOI identifies how to make this pivot.

Measure Using The 109 KPI’s

Establishing where you stand using a detailed set of benchmarks provides a clear idea of your current state and shows you the gaps to guide you along the path.

Off-premises dining represents a paradigm shift in the restaurant industry.  OPGA is the only organization using a proven framework to create successful shifts in off-premises sales channels.

Off Premises Education, And Advisory Success Programs

The Off Premises Growth Academy is an advisory, education and certification firm with a focus on helping restaurant brands evaluate, build and implement direct to consumer off-premises programs.

We specialize in:

  • Advisory Support
  • Education & Certification for Operators & Suppliers
  • Program Evaluation
  • Strategy, Leadership, Operations, Experience, & Promotion Guidance and Support

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