Food delivery services have become a staple in big cities, where the hunger for convenience has grown insatiable over the last few years, rising by 18 per cent in three years. As the numbers below show, the appetite for food delivery is only set to grow.
With Australians ordering food online almost once every week, food delivery services are changing the way customers eat and the way casual dining operates; more Cafés are venturing into food delivery services to stay ahead in a changing game.
New opening hours
Cafés are now opening later, but for longer, to meet growing dine-in and delivery demands.
It also isn’t unusual for casual dining establishments to experience a popularity boost from exposure through online food delivery services opening up opportunities to extend the business into lunch or dinner hours.
Many establishments now offer takeaway or delivery-only menus that provide a greater variety of choices at an affordable price while allowing customers to customise their dishes based on their dietary needs.
A delivery-only menu also gives customers a taste of the eatery’s offerings and encourages them to dine in on the full menu.
Adapting for delivery
Casual dining enterprises are rethinking their store design and kitchen flow to keep up with an increased volume of orders.
A number of Chefs going into food delivery services are now concerned about disrupting dine-in customers. An effective solution is hiring more staff to fulfil orders and creating a pick-up area for their delivery service partners without impacting the dining experience.
Food delivery service: sweet takings or sour taste?
- Food delivery services can provide businesses with a greater reach. By joining the food delivery community, Cafés are serving a much wider range of customers and are more discoverable.
- Smaller eatery’s offer food delivery to boost sales over slow seasons and stay competitive.
- A number of Cafés are finding it a lot more work just to cover the increased costs of fulfilling orders in-house and high commission rates which actually cut into their profit margins.
- Late deliveries, cold food, poor dine-in service and an overstretched staff – these are some of the issues establishments can face when going for food delivery services leading to a poor customer experience.
In spite of the challenges, some view food delivery services as part of an evolving dining experience and an investment to future-proof their business.
As customer lifestyles and priorities continue to shift with technology, food delivery is set to be an inevitable feature in the industry. But it may not be for everyone. So whether they are looking to shift their business focus or just to give it a go, casual dining establishments today have their work cut out as they take food delivery services in their stride and decide what works best for their customers and business.
Cafés determine if there is a local demand for their food to ensure they can reach more customers and increase orders.
Menu and ingredients
Chefs pick dishes that can maintain taste, temperature, presentation and overall quality for a longer time when packed.
Prep and packaging
Dishes are chosen for ease in prep and the packaging able to hold dishes properly during delivery and keep it as fresh as possible.
Cafés ensure they have enough staff to process orders, manage and coordinate deliveries, and fulfill a higher volume of orders.