This continues a plateauing of the ordering-in market that has now seen year-on-year sales drop for 15 months in a row, according to the latest Hospitality at Home Tracker from CGA by NielsenIQ.
The tracker showed January’s delivery volumes fall by 12% as some consumers cut down on how often they ordered but spent more when they did so.
Even so, delivery and takeaway sales are substantially head of pre-Covid levels, accounting for 17p in every £1 spent with managed restaurant groups in January 2023.
CGA director for hospitality operators and food EMEA Karl Chessell said the levelling out of delivery and takeaway sales since 2021 had been a “double-edged sword” for operators.
Positively, he believed it showed many consumers had returned to pre-pandemic habits, replacing deliveries with the special experiences only dining out can provide.
But he said it also indicated consumers were reining in their spending as household bills soared. Consumers are also cutting back spending in the dining-out market. Last week, only 17% of customers celebrated Valentine’s Day by going out to eat.
Partners in the tracker include BrewDog, Mitchells & Butlers and the Restaurant Group.
“With business costs so high as well, and third-party delivery platforms taking a large slice of sales, protecting already thin profit margins will be a challenge throughout 2023,” Chessell added.
Tough winter months
This comes after a tough trading period over Xmas where the sector was hit by rail strikes, soaring energy prices and the cost-of-living crisis in what UKHospitality dubbed a “winter challenge like no other”.
What’s more, two in five operators (43%) who responded to a recent poll by The Morning Advertiser found Christmas trade to be poorer than expected.
The CGA Hospitality at Home Tracker provides monthly reports on the value and volume of sales in the delivery and takeaway market as well as year-on-year comparisons and splits between food and drink revenue.
It offers a benchmark by which brands can measure their performance and participants receive detailed data in return for their contributions.