In 2018, a report suggested that 86% of consumers now use off-premise services such as restaurant delivery at least once a month.
What’s more interesting is the fact that food delivery is projected to grow by 12% year-over-year for the next five years. And that begs the question: should all restaurants be considering takeaway as an option?
The same report is quick to highlight that generational shifts contribute significantly to the growing desire for food delivery, but when you consider that 80% of millennials will be parents by 2026, the eat-at-home trend is probably set to continue and define most people’s restaurant experiences.
The death of dining out?!
It’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean dining out will become a thing of the past; there will always be a requirement for venues which offer great dining locations.
Sometimes, people just want to get out of the house, treat a loved one or wine and dine customers. That’s unlikely to change.
What’s more, the figures are still relatively low. If we look at the percentage of weekly household expenditure that goes towards takeaways in the UK by disposable income group, the top is just 1%.
The restaurants that will survive and thrive in the dine-in era are those who combine a great in-house offering with one that can be ordered from the comfort of one’s sofa.
Are health kicks driving more takeaways?
In 2017, 96% of takeaway restaurants offered a vegetarian option, while over half included dishes on their menu that were either low in fat or low in salt.
This is a far cry from the greasy kebab shops of old and perhaps a clear indication that healthy eating is something more people want to experience - even if the meal is hand delivered to their door in a plastic carton.
Any independent restaurateur operating in today’s foodservice market will know how important it is to cater for common allergies and diners’ increasing desire for healthier food, smaller potions and sustainably-sourced ingredients. And, if those people would rather consume that food after a gym session without dressing up and jumping in the car, who’s to stop them?
Looking beyond the traditional
When you think ‘takeaway’ what comes into mind? A curry, pizza or table full of Chinese dishes? Studies suggest that those food types might soon lose their takeaway crown.
Breakfast, sandwiches and even desserts are fast becoming the takeaway food of choice. In fact, orders for the latter grew by an incredible 504% in just three years and that’s a trend that looks set to continue.
This is great news for restaurants who believe their cuisine is simply too specialist, complex or - let’s be honest - good for takeaway orders. If there are businesses out there capable of delivering delicious hand-crafted sandwiches or painstakingly created desserts to customers’ doorsteps, why can’t you do something similar with your a la carte menu?
The step-by-step guide to offering delivery at your restaurant
If we’ve convinced you that adding a delivery or takeaway option to your restaurant is a good idea, you might be wondering how to get started.
Although there’s no way to guarantee delivery success, there is a three-step process most restaurants can follow if they at least want to give this method of service a try.
- Create a delivery space. You might not think it, but the delivery arm of your restaurant will need its own, dedicated space in the kitchen. The key thing is to not disrupt table service, therefore if you can, designate a portion of the kitchen to takeaway preparation and packaging. The more efficiently both sides of service can operate, the happier your customers will be.
- Get the right tech. Worldwide platform-to-consumer delivery is expected to increase to 817 million users by 2023. So, if you have a website from which people can’t order their meal, you’re unlikely to receive a phone call instead; they’ll simply move onto the competition who can accept online orders. The good news? Such tech no longer costs an arm and a leg!
- Give specific employees online delivery duties. While it would be lovely to designate one dedicated employee to online ordering, it’s best to walk before you can run. With that in mind, ensure you have at least two members of staff tasked with fulfilling online orders each shift, and make sure it’s their priority.
Are you excited or concerned about the online ordering revolution? Share our post, and tell the world what you think - we’d love to hear your own thoughts on a topic that’s the subject of hot debate throughout the industry.