There’s no denying the growing trend found in food delivery these days. With diners now more than ever relying on this type of service to get the food and drinks they love, the question then becomes: “How equipped is your restaurant to take advantage of this?”
In this article, we’ll address one aspect of this question. More specifically, we’ll look into how the rising popularity in food delivery might negatively impact your business, so that you can take them into consideration and strategize your next steps.
Just how big is the food delivery business these days?
To put it simply, it’s pretty big and there are no signs of it slowing down anytime soon. Market reports from 2019 indicate that this sector of the F&B industry has seen percentage growth in the double-digit range from the previous year, and this trend will likely continue for the next decade.
Additionally, studies also show that the majority of the English public—at least 60 percent—are actively ordering food and drinks via delivery at least two times each month. Experts predict that the food delivery business will be worth an astounding almost-£10 billion by next year.
Given these facts, it’s clear that there are plenty of opportunities for restaurants and other food businesses to take advantage of its growth. However, not all restaurateurs and business owners are too keen on the idea, as this shift in consumer behavior does pose a set of new challenges.
The challenges this trend might pose
“Exactly what are these challenges?” you might ask. There are several, and we’ve highlighted some in this section. Take a look below.
- Less impressive products. There’s a world of difference between what your food might look like in your establishment versus how it would appear in a take-out container. There’s simply no comparison, and your sophisticated plating techniques will be all but impossible to replicate in a tiny cardboard box. This may be a huge challenge, especially for more upscale restaurants that require the whole dining experience to justify their premium price ranges.
- Fewer people in your restaurant. Many diners, especially those belonging to the under-35 age bracket, are taking advantage of the convenience provided by food delivery over actually eating out. This could also be viewed as a threat as a full restaurant often has the positive side-effect of attracting even more diners. With more empty seating at your establishment, passersby might not be as willing to come through your doors.
- Additional costs of delivery. While delivery is a wonderful service in the eyes of the diner, the service costs a lot of resources to pull off effectively. Not only will you need to hire additional crewmembers to service your customers, but you will also need to invest in a sizeable fleet of delivery vehicles to get your food on the move. Additionally, you will need to implement some sort of system to accept and manage delivery orders.
- Overreliance on delivery. You may address the previous problem by integrating with a third-party delivery provider. There are several options available, but they also have their own costs attached to them. You also have little control as to how these services might present your offerings as well as actually get them to your customers. Finally, there is no assurance that these providers will be around for the long-term, which begs the question: “What happens to your business when they decide to cease operations?”
Should restaurants be worried?
That is the ultimate question, is it not? The answer is a complex one but for the most part, as long as your food business is able to make smart decisions as to how it might take advantage of this trend, then the situation presents more opportunities than it does threats. Not every restaurant will be affected in the same way and to the same degree, so consider the points highlighted above to better assess your next course of action.
The bottom line: Regardless of the type of restaurant or food business you operate, you should consider implementing some sort of delivery system to better serve your customers. As to how you should go about doing so, that will be based on your specific business and you, being the owner, will be able to make the best-informed decision on the matter.
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