Orlando, Fla.—The biggest topics for restaurant businesses in 2019 may be meatless meat and convenience demands. According to the National Restaurant Association, three in five U.S. consumers order delivery or takeout at least once a week.
According to recent surveys, 51% of Americans use delivery services to purchase meals from casual dining restaurant and 26% order takeout or delivery at least once a week. These behaviors show little sign of slowing: digital ordering and delivery have been growing 300% faster than dine-in traffic since 2014.
This presents a unique opportunity for foodservice and restaurant operators to shift their strategies and operating processes to take advantage of the delivery and takeout trends, rather than have their dine-in numbers and market share cannibalized by competitors who are focused on these services. The so-called stay-at-home economy will continue to disrupt restaurant operations with off-premise channels – delivery, catering and pick-up – expected to surpass $300 billion by 2023 (more than one-third of restaurant industry sales).
According to Restaurant Business, subscription models that eliminate per-delivery fees in favor of a flat-rate subscription will emerge to present a clearer value proposition for consumers. This could provide a true competitive edge for third-party delivery apps that need to make an impression on those interested in ordering delivery.
Convenience is becoming increasingly important to customers, especially for Millennials, who are becoming a larger portion of the consumer population. This demographic wants to consume their favorite foods whenever and wherever they want, as well as order and pay for it with the click of a button.
Meanwhile, the food industry will continue barreling toward automation – in delivery, in ordering and in the kitchen. Food delivery is essentially on two parallel paths right now. There are companies trying to figure out how to integrate the channel into their systems, and there are companies trying to figure out how to automate the delivery process and make it more efficient.
Food Ordering Apps are Considered the
Next Big Thing in Food Business
Top-rated applications like Grubhub, Uber Eats, Foodler, and Door Dash among others, have taken food delivery service to the customer’s doorsteps successfully. To give you an example, Grubhub now boasts 6.7 million active diners, has a network with over 40,000 partners in more than 1,000 cities and achieved a record $643 million in gross food sales during Q4 of 2015 and $2.4 billion for the entire year while Zomato ( original from India, and previously called Urbanspoon in the U.S.,) made an income of about 1 million in just a year after its entry in 2015. Now it has shot up to 3 million orders in just a month!
However, learning how to compete in this environment can really yield benefits to your business. The most obvious solution for restaurant owners is to create your own proprietary delivery and takeout infrastructure. This option may require more effort and capital, but it enables operators to avoid the commissions charged by third party services. Also, additional benefits such as increased customer loyalty, and customers’ willingness to pay more for a faster service.
A few things are necessary to ensure the success of this type of business innovation, such as:
• Maintaining a strong delivery-tracking system.
• Easy check out.
• Safe, secure and wide payment options for your users.
• A smooth navigable website with a scalable interface.
If you are considering to move forward with this customer convenience trend, it is important that you have an adequate insurance protection to keep all your bases covered and avoid loss of business due to unforeseen events that could impact your business negatively.