If you’re considering reopening after lockdown with a takeaway service or quick turnaround food, you may be concerned about what to offer, potential stock shortages and how you’ll manage with limited staff.

Done right, it’ll be a great option to ramp up your business, and if you’re successful, you’ll be able to continue and become part of Britains ballooning £5bn-a-year sector.

Our high streets have always had a fair amount of takeaway options that continue to grow, regardless of what happens in other areas of the catering world.

Getting started might be daunting, especially with all the competition around, so you’ll need to find your niche and one that factors in today’s challenges.

The Menu
Creating an agile food offer will be crucial to your success; a menu people want that fits with multiple demographics and returns a good gross profit.

To overcome the current limitations, you’ll want to offer easy to prepare options that can be readied in advance and with shared ingredients to reduce stock holding and maximise your efficiency.

Here are some ideas to consider:

Chicken Tenders

  • A novel chicken burger – in a brioche bun garnished with crisp lettuce, sliced beef tomato, red onion topped with burger sauce
  • As a wrap – for a snack with one less tender, still using the fresh lettuce and cheese and topped with buffalo sauce
  • As a side – with a buffalo sauce dip

Notice this is one product, three menu items and three different price points. There’s minimal stockholding and prepping, an excellent profit potential!

Beef Burgers

The beef burger, another great way to create a selection of food offers using items in multiple ways:

  • The burger – toasted brioche, grilled beef burger, sliced beef tomato, chopped lettuce, burger sauce and American Mustard, the standard offer. Option to convert to a cheeseburger by adding a double sliced burger cheese
  • The Indian – add an onion bhaji with mint sauce
  • The Mexican – Add spicy tomato salsa
  • The Tower- add two chicken tenders to the burger

Sweet Potato Fries

Then there are the humble fries, always a favourite and still sells well as a side, but that same product with a few toppings, salsas, cheese or even your chopped-up tenders then becomes ‘Dirty Fries’, it’s the latest kid on the block and is sold at a premium price. Using sweet potato fries also attracts a premium price, consider:

  • Loaded Nachos Fries – guacamole, salsa, soured cream, black beans and sweetcorn.
  • Brie and Bacon – crispy sweet potato fries topped with crispy bacon and brie.
  • Asian Sweet Potato Fries – with pickled carrot and chilli garlic sauce.
  • Chorizo Sweet Potato Fries – topped with crispy chorizo and manchego cheese
  • Vietnamese Fries – A dash of hoisin sauce, spicy sriracha, garlic mayo, and a topping of peanuts.


  • Nachos – cut tortillas into triangles and lightly fry. Smother a generous stack of tortilla chips with cheese, refried beans, guacamole, sour cream and salsa.
  • Huevos Rancheros – a popular breakfast dish of egg in a tortilla cup, complemented by smashed avocado and spicy beans.
  • Banana Burritos – featuring banana and Nutella, wrapped in a tortilla wrap, crisp fried and with a good dollop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Be creative with what you have, use as many shared and ready-made ingredients as possible, all of which should be readily available from your local supplier.


Another factor determining the success of a takeaway service is the staff, who are also the principal cost! Create your menu wisely with limited options and using shared ingredients requiring minimal preparation. You’ll be able to contain staff costs and have a robust business model.

Don’t Stand Still

This sector of catering changes quickly with new trends and new outlets opening regularly. Stay in touch with your suppliers for great deals, changing trends and new products coming down the line.


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Hilsea Industrial Estate Hilsea, Portsmouth,
Hampshire PO3 5JF

© Dennis Edwards for Foodservice 2022