6 Food Delivery Industry Trends That You Should Know

With COVID-19 forcing people to stay at home, it has become crucial for restaurants and other eateries to deliver food to their clients’ doorsteps. Luckily, there has never been a more sophisticated food delivery infrastructure like we have today.

Restaurants are using all manner of strategies to reach their clients. As a result, food deliveries have increased dramatically since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020. For instance, in New York, Uber Eats has seen an increase of over 152% in food deliveries. Before COVID-19, there was already an increase of 23% in food deliveries over four years.

This trend is set to continue in 2021 and beyond. While COVID-19 is yet to disappear, the food delivery sector is not about to relent. It’s expected that the sector will continue to grow as the demand for meal plan delivery services continues to soar.

Below are six food delivery industry trends you can expect to see in the future:

Trend #1: An Increase in Third-Party Deliveries

Already, this trend is on steroids as demand for prepared meal services continues to expand. Eateries are partnering with third-party food delivery providers to expand their customer reach beyond their environs. Instead of worrying about the logistics of delivering food to clients, restaurants are using third-party food delivery providers. This way, they get to focus on their core business, churning out gourmet meals as quickly as the orders flow in.

However, although this strategy is extremely convenient to restaurants, it means they have less control of their delivery operations. To overcome this hurdle, some restaurants are using their websites for ordering, and DaaS (delivery as a service) providers, for the actual food delivery. With the help of food delivery management software, they have control and visibility of the deliveries, even where third parties are involved.

Trend #2: Use of In-House Delivery Fleets

Use of in-house delivery fleets is becoming an increasingly popular food delivery industry trend. Some restaurants are stubbornly resistant to using third-party food delivery providers. They are in favour of their own in-house delivery fleets.

While this trend will continue among a select few food providers, the tide is shifting heavily towards the former. Among the benefits cited for backing this trend includes the fact that it offers them full visibility and control over branding and clients’ data.

Trend #3: Use of Delivery Management Software (DMS) to Escalate

It’s easy to deliver food to clients when a business is small. However, when you have to deliver thousands of orders every day, the logistics become more daunting. To manage and track these deliveries, you need efficient delivery management software.

With so much of your delivery flow being handled by third-party food delivery providers, data collection and analysis are critical. You need a way of measuring, analyzing, and improving your deliveries. A DMS provides invaluable insights into delivery operations, ensuring flawless deliveries.

Trend #4: Big Tech to Embrace Food Delivery

The Big Tech companies such as Amazon and Google have entered the food delivery market. For instance, Amazon bought Whole Foods in 2017 in a bid to control the grocery market. Uber Eats followed with a platform aimed at delivering groceries and restaurant meals. Around the same time, Google made it possible for clients to order directly from the Maps and Search functions. Participating restaurants can now integrate their orders into the map and search results.

Clients can place their orders straight from the search results page. Once the orders are received, deliveries are made by the same fleets serving the restaurants. As businesses invest in online sales and off-premise, drive-thru, and curbside pickup deliveries, tech giants will upscale investments into this niche. This trend is already picking up and will continue into the future.

Trend #5: Rapid Growth of Online Grocery Delivery

Thanks to COVID-19 guidelines that encourage people to stay at home and maintain physical distance, online grocery sales have skyrocketed. To scale up your grocery delivery and keep your customers happy, your biggest challenge is to compete with the largest players in the online grocery market. For a business with little or no automation, this is not an easy task. It’s even more difficult if you rely on one delivery provider to get your products to customers. To circumvent this challenge, you can use fulfilment centres and neighbourhood stores to offer competitive SLAs.

Trend #6: Proliferation of Food Delivery Apps

Before the outbreak of COVID-19, many restaurants felt that developing delivery apps was not an emergency. Then came the pandemic and governments locked down as businesses cut down on hours of operation. Others were closed indefinitely. With people staying away from public spaces such as restaurants, it has become essential for customers to order food and groceries online.

As a result, apps that allow them to effortlessly place orders online have become critical. This trend is set to continue as the convenience of online orders, and third-party deliveries take root.

Prepared meal delivery services will continue to define the food delivery industry trends. While COVID-19 is expected to blow over soon, a return to normalcy won’t slow down the accelerating trend in the food delivery sector. The sheer convenience of ordering online and having your groceries delivered to your doorstep is simply irresistible.