Research highlights challenges for surging restaurant delivery business

Nearly 27 million people have had restaurant or takeaway food delivered in the UK over the last six months—and a third of them are increasing the frequency with which they do so.

Those are among the striking findings of ‘Delivering Opportunities’, an exclusive new report from leading business insight consultancy CGA Peach. The online survey of 1,000 UK consumers, enhanced by focus group interviews, finds that 26.8 million UK consumers have had hot restaurant food delivered to their home or workplace in the past six months.

With the popularity of delivery specialists like Domino’s and internet-based aggregators like Deliveroo and JustEat soaring, numbers eating restaurant food at home are set to continue rising. Among CGA Peach’s sample, 35% of consumers indicate that they have increased their usage of delivery in the last six months.

But the growing business faces challenges, the research reveals, especially around food quality and delivery standards, while adding drinks to the service appears a major opportunity for operators.

The survey shows that the delivery trend is being driven by young, city-based adults in particular, with nearly two thirds (63%) of those aged under 35 now using a delivery service at least once a week. It also shows how delivery has become a major part of UK eating: virtually identical numbers now order delivery weekly (49%) and dine out weekly (50%).

CGA Peach director Jamie Campbell said: “The delivery phenomenon has huge implications. Those who can deliver high quality food speedily, with efficient service and at a good price point can drive incremental business.”

Key findings from the ‘Delivering Opportunities’ report include:

·        Maintaining the quality of food is vital. More than a third (38%) of consumers believe the standard of delivered food is worse than that served in restaurants.

·        Delivery standards influence brand perception. Four in five (83%) consumers say a bad delivery experience puts them off returning to a restaurant to eat in.

·        There are opportunities to add drinks to the delivery offer. More than two in five (43%) consumers say they would order an alcoholic drink with their food delivery if the option were available to them.

CGA Peach’s report is a timely reminder of the need for restaurants to keep the quality of their delivery food high, and to invest in packaging and other technology to keep it hot and fresh until it reaches customers.

Campbell added: “Delivery is becoming a threat to some restaurant operators—but a better way to look at it is as a massive opportunity. Maintaining the quality and presentation of restaurant food is essential, and there is room to enhance the delivery offer further through things like alcoholic drinks. The industry’s big challenge now is to maintain consumer demand for eating out in restaurants while also meeting their needs when they choose to eat at home instead. It is a fine and difficult balance, and the operators who can work out how to strike it will be best placed in the years ahead.”

The full ‘Delivering Opportunities’ report contains many more insights into consumer interactions with the delivery market, and is available now from CGA Peach, priced £1,500. To purchase, or for more information, contact Sophie Martin on 077101 31031 or at sophie.martin@cgapeach.co.uk.