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Keep it Clean, Keep 'em Keen

At Cheap Takeaway Menus we concentrate on three things: Takeaways, Takeaway Menus, and low cost. That’s it. So we have menu designers coming up with professional designs, menu printers producing top notch products, and everyone else concentrating on the best ways to keep your takeaway growing and to save you money at the same time. We also try to come up with solutions to the problems you might not have thought of. You may never have to deal with this next one, but just in case, we’ve worked out some useful answers.
 
Keep it clean. Keep them Keen
We all know about urban legends, and we can probably rattle a few off if asked; scary ones, silly ones, conspiracy theories, the list is endless. We’re all a part of the internet age now, and in the internet age it’s impossible to avoid rumour and so-called clickbait (content designed to attract you to a particular webpage). Unfortunately (as the recent US election suggests) this is where a lot of people get their information from. Right or wrong, true or false, once it’s out there it generates its own momentum. Takeaways and restaurants are not immune to this effect. A rumour can put a restaurant out of business. Often it can be a joke which has mutated into something else, or it can be a simple case of spite, revenge, or even racism. Have a look at this, from the website snopes.com, which exists to investigate and prove or (mostly) debunk these scurrilous tales and rumours.
 
 
The idea is quite distasteful, but worse is that these ridiculous rumours start in the first place. Playing games with people’s integrity, reputation, and livelihood is cruel at best, but can actually be devastating. This is a heavy subject for one of our little articles, I’m sure you would agree, but there is a point here, and it applies to every takeaway. In fact, most of the ways you can disarm critics or spike the guns of rumour and insinuation are things which any serious and responsible business owner should have on their recurring ‘to do’ list anyway.
 
 
 
So here are a few ideas which will put you in charge of rumour control.
 
Certification 
 
You need a number of certificates and licences to operate your business. That you have earned them is testament to your commitment. So show them off. Put them in a frame and display them prominently. They don’t just allow you to do business, they mean something. And they will mean something to your customers. The Food Standards Agency actually produce rating stickers you can display in your window as well as other materials. You can order them here
Update everything regularly; keep all your paperwork well-presented and available for anyone to see if they should ask. Create some yourself by printing off the codes of practice from the FSA. Develop a relationship with the local authority so anyone can see how seriously you take your responsibilities.
 
Appearance
 
Your takeaway business consists of so much more than the food. The pride you take in the food should be rivalled by the pride you take in your service and the image you present. This image is what your community will picture when they think of you. Your branding is important, yes, but how you present it will be what carries you forward and keeps the confidence of the customer high. So, keep your front of house spotless. ‘Clean and tidy and regularly dealt with’ should be a permanent philosophy. Freshen up paint when it’s needed, keep the windows clean, replace lightbulbs; if you have boards, whether they are inside or out, keep them clear and up to date.
 
Appearance also relates to your staff. Make sure your staff is well groomed and if you have uniforms, then keep them fresh, laundered, and well fitted. If you don’t have specific uniforms then implement a dress code (you can’t go wrong with black trousers and a white shirt). 
 
It goes without saying that you should have professional signage and quality menus. The menu, after all, is a miniature of your shop. So make sure you have high quality design and printing on your side when it comes to menus. Those poor examples of menus which look like someone has knocked them up on their home printer will not do you any favours at all. For some ideas on menu design click here
 
Transparency
 
Closed doors make for rumours. Like displaying your licences and certificates, you should try to be as transparent as you can. You don’t have anything to hide, so let your customers know that. Many takeaways now integrate their cooking area with the rest of the shop so people can actually see their food being prepared. Although this isn’t always possible you can still let your customers get a look at what’s going on behind the scenes. An open door through to the kitchen, or a glass door, or windows will allow customers to see what’s going on. You’ll be amazed at the extra confidence in you which this builds. Or if you have CCTV, then having a monitor out front with a camera view of the back during opening hours is a great twist on the idea of transparency.
 
 
 
What you are looking for is to be in a situation where no rumour, tall tale, or gripe can get any traction. Like we said, you don’t have anything to hide and nor should you. You are asking for people’s money and trust; the minimum they should expect from you is good food and to deserve that trust. It’s an oldie but a goodie, but do as you would be done by and you won’t go wrong.
 
Take another look at one of Cheap Takeaway Menus’ previous articles for some great links and tips about keeping things clean and legal. Click here for details.

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About the Author

Kevin Moyse

With over 19 years creative marketing experience Kevin has a wonderful knowledge of takeaway restaurant industry and specialises in creative takeaway menu design and printing.

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