Research recently released from KAM Media has highlighted that the takeaway and delivery boom is not going anywhere, with 22 million Brits now ordering a takeaway or delivery from a restaurant or pub at least once a week.
Encouragingly, rather than replacing on-trade visits, the survey shows the significant majority – 74% of people – are ordering in to replace cooking at home. Further research from Otter highlighted the opportunities further, citing that Brits on average spend ₤21.29 per delivery order, with the average amount spent increasing throughout the day.
As we all know, many operators had to pivot to at-home dining offers during the pandemic – a move which no doubt saved thousands of businesses. With a cost-of-living crisis on the horizon, the question for hospitality now is: can takeaway and delivery can also get the sector through the next few months and beyond?
The results from CGA’s Hospitality at Home Tracker would suggest so, revealing that demand for takeaway and delivery remained high, even when normal trading resumed, with demand for both up on the same months in 2019. Furthermore, the research shows that a key factor determining the strong performance of restaurants is omnichannel operations – that is, those that have a takeaway, delivery or click and collect arm of the business.
Tech can play a huge part in this – moving online can streamline operations and increase visibility of a brand. For those considering how the takeaway and delivery boom might well help them through the current economic crisis, here are some top tips:
- Make it digital
Even pre-pandemic, the likes of Deliveroo and Uber Eats were popular. In fact, last year our GO Technology research conducted with CGA revealed that in January 2021, nearly a quarter (23%) of consumers said they had ordered deliveries or takeaways from platforms like Deliveroo and Just Eat more often than usual—double the number (11%) who said the same in April 2020 during the first lockdown. With this in mind, operators should consider shifting this element of the business online, to align with consumer behaviour and ensure that their delivery options are visible – especially as competition will be fierce. Don’t make your online ordering options hard for consumers to find!
- Accessibility is key
We know from our own research that customers who order via takeaway and delivery services do so for convenience and speed. In fact, two in five (43%) consumers say they would like to see faster delivery than they currently experience and the KAM research shows that 62% of people would prefer to order direct. Thus, whilst hosting a venue on third-party sites is great for visibility, it is also worthwhile for venues to set up their website to be able to process orders directly. Tech can help businesses and there are plenty of tools available to help businesses process takeaway and delivery orders efficiently and provide a more seamless experience for customers.
- Centralise online orders for complete control
An efficient digital takeaway and delivery system can also be essential in supporting staff on-shift. By offering online ordering to the customers– whether that be via app or website – and it being linked to your EPoS, staff won’t need to spend time on the phone taking orders or having to re-key them into the till. Instead, they can focus on delivering exceptional customer service to customers in-venue. It also avoids errors made from busy staff re-keying in orders taken over the phone.
It is also possible to connect online bookings to back of house tech, to support the kitchen staff in delivering orders in a timely manner. For example, Zonal’s Click and Collect technology and delivery solutions will only show orders to the kitchen team when preparation needs to begin. Instead of simply printing tickets as orders are placed by customers, the system will delay displaying information until it’s actually needed.
For the service to deliver maximum impact, it’s important that you can manage the flow of orders to the kitchen from orders received through online channels at any given time, to ensure the kitchen never gets overwhelmed. If a restaurant is usually particularly busy between 7-8pm, tech enables operators to simply set the system to reduce the number of orders that can be accepted during that time – or stop it all together.