Competing with Takeout: Reinvesting in the In-Restaurant Experience

It’s not difficult to see that ordering-in has been on the rise since the advent of apps like Uber Eats, Grubhub, and the like. Many restaurants are adapting by optimizing their delivery and takeout services, which is seeing some good results, for the most part.

Just like any other new area of investment, however, these off-premise channels come with their own set of obstacles and complications. The orders may not be as refined as they could in person, third-party partnerships can be more costly than they’re worth, and the guest experience that restaurateurs have so fervently designed in their venues simply isn’t translated adequately enough to delight people in the ways they’ve intended.

Founder and CEO of Lazy Dog’s Restaurants, Chris Simms recently talked to Restaurants Business Online about his philosophy on staying focused on internal operations. In the interview, Simms says, “I believe that people still need a place to go out and spend time reconnecting with their friends and family. A big piece of our concept is about nourishing those connections with friends and family. We’ve spent more money on interiors. I don’t believe that off-premise is going to be the saving grace for casual dining in the future.”

Simms isn’t wrong with this assertion. One Toast report shows as much as 45% of diners going out to eat multiple times a week, and 20% doing so once a week. But it’s the matter of where and why diners venture out of their homes for a meal that’s the large piece of this puzzle. When pieced together, however, the whole picture shows that experience is the key.

Diners, especially millennials, are seeking more than just food—which, as we know, they can simply order with the touch of a button if they wanted—they want their nights out to feel complete. They’re seeking experiences over products.

This is a major factor in the rise in popularity of Eatertainment venues, for example. According to SevenRooms, 62% of Americans are choosing these combination dining/activity settings over traditional nightclubs and bars for their evenings out. That’s generally why professionals have dubbed Eatertainment, “the new nightlife.”

Blythe Grates, the senior marketing director at Firebird Restaurant Group, told Forbes magazine, “Part of the stay-at-home movement is due to the prevalence of in-home entertainment.” Largely, it comes down to the question: why go out to eat when you can get restaurant-quality food in the comfort of your living room while watching whatever you’d like?

To stay ahead of and exceed customer expectations, restaurants of all kinds must modernize and adapt to the wants of guests. If it’s video entertainment they want, stop wasting your screens with muted network TV and provide something better—something stimulating, yet still fitting for your atmosphere.

Clearly, you can’t stream Netflix programming or random YouTube clips for guests, or host movies for them. The best solution to the video problem in restaurants lies in one simple, yet effective format: music video.

Music video streaming for restaurants is the modern way to enhance your venue’s ambiance and deliver quality video entertainment for guests who are looking for that little something extra.

When the top 28/30 videos on YouTube are music videos, and Vevo—the world’s leading music video publishers—reports an average of 25 million daily viewers in the US alone, it's clear just how strongly the medium is thriving.

Of course, video entertainment isn’t the only area worth revisiting and modernizing in restaurants, but it is our specialty here at Control Play. Our innovative video experiences are built to WOW guests specifically in the food and beverage industry.

Professional music mixologists work tirelessly here to craft custom playlists for casual dining, family style, and fast casual restaurants, as well as sports bars, neighborhood bars and pubs. New music is added daily so the vibe is always fresh and we’ll even schedule changes in mood/energy based on daypart or however you’d like it done.

Control Play is the easy way to differentiate your venue and provide a valuable piece of the complete experience that your guests are looking for. Give them a reason to walk out their doors and in through yours. Give them a reason to stay. Give them Control Play!

If you'd like to know more about our service, watch how it works with a live demo! Talk with one of our Business Development Executives and see if implementing this system is right for your company:

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Kevin Avram

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