With the number of people getting restaurant food delivered to their homes hitting an all-time high in 2018, it’s fair to assume that fewer people are choosing to dine out in favour of dining in the comfort of their own homes. However, a recent study has found that this actually isn’t the case. Deliveroo, a market leader in food delivery, revealed that the number of people dining out in 2018 actually remained stable at 60%, whilst takeout food and cooking both took a small hit.
It comes as a surprise that the abundance of food delivery options hasn’t had a knock-on effect on people dining out, but instead, people are using it as an alternative to cooking or getting takeaway food.
In their April 2018 report, Millennials and delivery, Morar HPI found some more interesting statistics when it came to our millennial generation and food delivery. They found that 85% of UK millennials (23-38 year olds) are now ordering dishes online, with this ease of technology blurring the boundaries between dining out and eating in.
The ordering behaviours they display, however, are different from more traditional habits. Instead of ordering delivery later in the day, they are high spenders in the morning, and more likely to order at less traditional times like mid-morning and early afternoon.
Furthermore, not only is food delivery not stifling the number of people dining out, but it is also swaying where we go when we do. The Morning Advertiser discussed the fact that 76% of people are more likely to dine at a restaurant if they have previously enjoyed an online delivery from there, showing that getting food delivery is just another way consumers can practise brand loyalty.
Takeaway doesn’t have to mean unhealthy
When we think of what foods are available for delivery, we imagine the likes of pizza, curry and Chinese food. These meals are often calorie-rich and high in fat, which is why getting food delivered has traditionally been viewed as an unhealthy option and more of a treat.
However, this simply isn’t the case anymore. Although delivery food has typically consisted of quick, crowd-pleasing dishes, now with the plethora of online delivery services available and myriad restaurants offering delivery of their dishes means there is far more choice, especially in cities.
As well as the large range of options available, delivery companies like Deliveroo are doing more to help the consumer be aware of the nutritional content of their choices. A recent pilot scheme rolled out by the company means it will be adding meal-by-meal calorie and nutritional information for large brands on its platform. As well as this, they are in the process of writing to all businesses on the platform to urge them to make use of this new feature.
Deliveroo founder and chief executive Will Shu said it best: “Consumers should have amazing food whenever and wherever they want it, but Deliveroo wants to also enable customers to be aware of what they’re eating.
“We want to make it simpler, easier and quicker to find healthy meals with new information and new options on our platform.”
This just goes to show that these companies have the consumers interests at the forefront of their minds. With the public crying out for the industry to pay more attention to people with food allergies and dietary restrictions, there has never been a better time for thorough labelling to be implemented.
What is the future of food delivery?
When it comes to the future of food delivery, I believe we are already seeing it. As I’ve written about before ‘virtual restaurants’ are delivery-only establishments, set up to take advantage of delivery services. They operate from shipping containers or even home kitchens and mean that chefs no longer need to worry about being brick-and-mortar before selling their dishes. Rather than spending their money on running a restaurant with staff and other overheads, this means chefs are able to put more money into developing their product, whether it’s vegan sushi or bespoke packaged drinks, and spend less time worrying about making enough money for rent.
Will Shu explained what these delivery businesses mean for customers: “Virtual restaurants mean more great food for our customers. By creating new brands out of existing kitchens, restaurants can really boost their business and try new ideas without the need for expensive new premises.”
As far as I’m concerned, this is all amazing news for the dining industry. Restaurants aren’t losing out and customers are being offered more choice than ever before. After all, if we don’t need to leave our house to get our favourite meal from our favourite restaurant, are we not a lot more likely to order it regularly? I’m interested to see where the future of delivery goes and how this market continues to evolve and adapt to suit the consumer.