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2021 & Beyond: Emerging Trends to Watch Out in the Food Delivery Business

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2021 & Beyond: Emerging Trends to Watch Out in the Food Delivery Business

Congratulations, we all have crossed 2020 successfully and entered 2021 with hopes and new energy.

The year 2020 has taught us a lot; it has impacted our health and transformed business facets. Today, more and more enterprises are going online as this is the solid way to interact with people and stay competitive in the crowded business dynamics. Besides, consumers’ preferences have evolved; their inclination towards online ordering increases as it saves time and allows them to get things done in a few minutes.

Digital disruption has affected almost all industries, and the restaurant industry is not an exception. Even before the outbreak, the restaurant industry has undergone some major changes. From online ordering to the digital menu to social media marketing to parachute delivery- there is much more cooking in the restaurant industry.

No doubt, the restaurant industry has suffered a huge revenue loss due to lockdown and social distancing, but they have certainly experienced a surge in takeaway and delivery orders. However, it keeps their business afloat during the contingencies. The online food delivery market is exploding, and its future is definitely bright because “convenience “is the king right now. The advent of modern technology and smartphones have made it easy for people to order their favorite meal by sitting at home or office.

What the Future Holds for the Food Delivery Market

Adoption of technological solutions means half the battle you won.

The food delivery market is rising at an unprecedented rate; restaurants are trying to adapt trends with resilience in order to get desirable outcomes. Technology is the prime factor of that change in the restaurant industry. This is why more and more restaurants are investing in developing websites and apps as it enables their customers to place an order online and makes their online presence strong. (source)

Furthermore, food delivery apps such as Zomato, GrubHub, UberEats, etc., have made their position strong in the market. Usage of these apps continues to grow. It does not look like it’s going to slow down in the coming years. It offers some additional features such as a table booking system, premium membership, faster delivery during peak time, attractive discounts, etc.

According to the NPD Group, online restaurant orders grew 23% annually since 2015 and are expected to grow in the upcoming years.

The online food delivery market will keep thriving in the years ahead; here, we have come up with five key trends that will shape the food delivery market for the future.

Independent Restaurant Apps Rising

According to eMarketer’s report, here you can see almost 52% of customers prefer to use a specific restaurant’s app. Restaurants have understood the significance of adopting digital solutions for their business. Undoubtedly, popular food delivery apps help you receive more orders and customers at the initial level, but they cost you more. Hence, restaurants are now intending to develop their own custom application with ultra-modern features; it will allow them to connect with customers personally and save third-party commission costs.

According to IAB research, more than 70& of people prefer to order food online, and out of the 50% of customers have at least one restaurant app installed on their smartphone while almost 55 % have downloaded multi-restaurant apps such as Yelp and OpenTable.

Here are several reasons why restaurants will opt for their own branded apps rather than third-party delivery

  • Brand loyalty
  • Personalized menu
  • Saves heavy commission
  • Improve delivery operations
  • Seamless communication

Having their own online solutions put them in better control to offer personalized offers, menus, pricing, and overall improved customer experience for restaurants. This trend will continue to grow after all enticing offerings and communication won’t let customers browse any other app.

More Doorstep Delivery Options than Ever

Customer’s expectations and technology keep changing over time. Whether you order food from a restaurant or order groceries from a retail shop, customers always want timely, accurate, and quick delivery solutions. Well, the online delivery market keeps rising, brands are also coming up with innovative solutions that make delivery operations faster and fulfill customer’s demands.

Let customers get their food how and when they want. For restaurants, options that are becoming popular include takeaway, curbside pickup as well as doorstep delivery. But modern technology has given us many things and automating business operations.

The idea of delivery through drones and robots might look a little bit sci-fi, but it’s already in progress. Drone technology is becoming popular as it solves traffic issues and delivers food rapidly to locations. There are companies like Domino’s and Amazon that have already started developing drone technology at scale.

Ghost Kitchens Are Appealing in 2021

Ghost kitchens are also called cloud kitchens, delivery-only restaurants, dark kitchens. The concept is relatively new but gaining huge momentum recently; thanks to the corona outbreak, dark kitchens have become a legitimate and even preferred business model for many entrepreneurs.

However, the dark kitchen concept is still in the initial stage but allows restaurants to combat losses due to the pandemic. Dark kitchens are restaurants or food outlets without the dining space. Their major goal is to accept online orders and deliver them using third-party apps like Zomato, GrubHub, UberEats, etc.

All they have to do is develop a website or app from where they can accept and manage online orders without any hassle. Typically, dark kitchens have no visible storefront. Now, you must be wondering why it will appeal to restaurants; here are several reasons.

  • Low overheads
  • Improved delivery operations
  • Convenience
  • Additional revenue streams
  • Flexible business model

Well, the customer’s tendency towards online ordering keeps increasing, and getting started with the ghost kitchen concept won’t cost you more as you can stay connected with your valuable customers by offering them mouth-watering dishes for less.

Contactless Payment

Penetration of smartphones in people’s daily lives is the major reason behind increasing awareness about the digital payment market. To prevent virus spread during cash exchange, people now pay digitally through cards, e-wallets, net bankings, etc. (source)

According to one of the reports, the global contactless payment market was valued at $6.81 billion in 2016, and it is forecasted to reach $39.75 billion by 2025. Rising corona cases across the globe have compelled people to pay digitally that prevent virus spread and keep customers and delivery providers safe.

If you are new to the food delivery market, introduce multiple payment options to your customers so that they can make payments swiftly and securely without any hesitation. Furthermore, by processing contactless payment, you are not only doing business amid difficult times but also serving customers with utmost care that eventually builds long-lasting relations with them.

Using Social Media to Gain Repeat Business

Today, social media is not only for posting pictures and getting likes. Businesses are using it to increase online visibility and bring new customers. According to Koen Pauwel, restaurants can boost their sales by 6% if they have a strong social media strategy. It builds brand engagement, strong online presence, and that eventually leads to an increase in sales. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc., are the popular social media networks that restaurants are using to push their brand ahead in the competitive world.

Parting Thoughts

The food delivery market is exploding as it offers comfort to the customers and creating an additional revenue stream for restaurants. If you are engaged with the restaurant industry, this is the golden time to embrace technology solutions as it will leave a long-lasting impact on customers and enable you to streamline business operations. Here we have speculated what the food delivery market will exactly look like in the coming years. Hoping that it helps you grow your business from the bottom line.

 

 

 

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