Following the forced closure of hospitality businesses earlier this month in a bid to help tackle the spread of the global coronavirus pandemic, pubs and other outlets have stretched into takeaway and food deliveries with varying levels of success.
While some have questioned the possibilities the shift affords to closed pubs, UK consumers are voting with their fingers and ordering more deliveries and takeaways, viewing it as a vital source of sustenance.
Some 53% of those asked by data analysts CGA said they had either used a delivery service or were planning on doing so in the week before the Prime Minister placed the country on lockdown.
Getting a delivery
A further 13% of those said they were getting a delivery from an outlet for the first time or more often than normal in the past two weeks.
CGA’s data also showed delivery was a clear opportunity for outlets to sell drinks, with 32% of the public looking for both food and beverages.
In contrast, out-of-home click-and-collect services proved less popular than delivery, with 36% of those asked saying they have or would use the service.
CGA vice-president Peter Martin said: “With major fast food and sandwich chains like McDonald’s, Greggs, Pret and Burger King now closing, local operators who are able to keep their kitchens open for delivery could play a vital role in taking the strain off of the supermarkets.”
The biggest demand for deliveries comes from those who regularly dine at pubs and restaurants, while there is also expected to be increased demand within rural areas, as 22% of those living away from cities and towns are planning on tapping into the service.
Cost is a factor
“The main reasons people aren’t using delivery are around cost and trust, and the fact that many want to cook for themselves,” said Martin.
“Overall, 39% mentioned the expense, 21% wanted to minimise contact with other people, 16% said they didn’t trust the places preparing the food and 12% didn’t want to interact with delivery drivers.
“The survey showed consumers were also looking for assurances about quality and 39% thought that only items that travelled well should be available for delivery.”
For operators looking to tap into the opportunity, CPL Learning chief operating officer Jamie Campbell said: “Communicating your commitment to exemplary food hygiene principles and product quality is crucial to bolstering consumer confidence.
“For many operators, takeaway and delivery services will be entirely new to them. They are having to quickly adapt their operations to meet this demand, so considerations and processes need to be put in place that they don't risk damaging their business reputation or more importantly, people’s health.”