Just a few years back, home food delivery used to be limited to greasy takeaway foods, pizza and Chinese. But now as technology continues to take over the everyday life of individuals, the concept of home food delivery has changed forever.
These days, instead of searching to the back of the draw for the take out menus, families have the option of having restaurant quality foods delivered to their front door at a click of a button – literally. Thanks to new smartphone applications, such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Foodora and Menulog, individuals can have the restaurant experience in their very own lounge room.
Delivery Hero’s Australian chief executive, Clive Thorpe previously told Good Food: “Back five years ago on a Friday night you might have delved into the bottom drawer of the kitchen where it was full of takeaway menus. “You choose, order your Chinese, and 45 minutes later it turns up at the door, where you pay cash and the guy has no change, which is a bit annoying.
“As for these days; you’ve only got to look at the way people’s habits have changed. Technology has completely taken over,” he continued. But while it sounds convenient and easy for the end-user, how has the latest booming trend affected those behind the scenes, such as restaurant managers, chefs and front of house staff?
The outcome will surprise you!
Increasing the profit margins:
Over the last couple of years, the Australian hospitality industry has had to evolve and move forward with the development and improvement of technology. The biggest change to many venues across Australia has been the development of instant online ordering – and with that came the higher demand of restaurant-tasting foods.
While it sounds simple, restaurants have needed to adjust the way they take orders and deliver fast, tasty food, while also managing the quality control of the dishes. Bill Makris, owner of Tank Fish and Chippery, explained that it took some time for his team to adjust to the new ways of home delivery, but while they adjusted, the business boomed unexpectedly.
He said his business grew by 20% after advertising on home delivery application, Uber Eats. “We introduced the delivery service to increase our sales over the winter period last year,” he explained, adding: “I really just wanted to try it at the beginning”.
“The first couple of months were massive. What I originally thought was that it was just going to be a little extra on top of our revenue already. However, what actually happened was that our in store dining revenue dropped slightly, especially at night. So, we saw our night figures drop in store because people began to realise they didn’t have to leave their home or their office to come and eat the food.
“But overall, we saw a 20% jump on revenue from the year before, thanks to the new delivery concept,” he reassured. Bill’s Melbourne-based business isn’t the only restaurant to see a large jump in profit after using the online applications.
Pizza Capers in Sydney saw a 107% increase in orders during the first months of being part of delivering app, Menulog. Miss Chu’s Vietnamese tuckshops in Sydney also grew 93% while Red Rock Noodle Bar in Adelaide grew by 76%.
Menulog claimed local restaurant chains were the venues who most benefited from online ordering systems, such as their own. The rise in online orders doesn’t come as a surprise after a YouGov report found almost half of Australians had ordered food via one of the applications in 2016.
A National Australia Bank report also showed takeaway food sales grew by 56.1% in the year of June 2016, making up 5.8% of Australia’s online spending of $20.1 billion. Australia’s takeaway industry has since grown to be worth a whopping $16.4 billion according to Restaurant & Catering chief executive, John Hart.
Ensuring quality control of dishes:
It’s no secret chefs take pride in the dishes they serve in a restaurant, and since the high-demand of home delivery, chefs have had to arrange a new form of method to ensure quality control of their hard worked meals. Despite the risk of food being ruined higher than ever, Foodora CEO, Toon Gyssels has reassured chefs and restaurant managers that his company’s goal is to have the food delivered to the highest standard.
He told Hospitality Magazine “the brand works closely with chefs to ensure the quality of the food at all times is exactly the same as if it were being enjoyed at a restaurant. Before we start delivering, we make sure the packaging is right…Some dishes don’t transport well, so we don’t deliver them. We deliver the items that the customer well have the best experience with,” he continued.
Tank Fish and Chippery owner, Bill also explained he and his chefs have had to develop a shortened online menu, as well as restrictions, to ensure the quality of their popular foods remains high during delivery to the customer. “Because we use fresh produce, and fish doesn’t really travel that well, we limited the delivery to two kilometres from the store and we made sure it was with cars only, not bikes,” he explained.
“Our delivery time, from the time the goods are sent and received, is 10 minutes and [our menu] is about three-quarters of the size of our full in store menu,” he explained, adding that by doing this, it attracts customers to still dine at the restaurant for the foods they cannot order through the applications.
Bill added that the online concept gives the customer a taste of his restaurant’s food, and if the dish leaves a positive experience, it then encourages them to try the full menu in his shopfront. Hospitality blog, Nibble Matrix also explained “ordering systems provides an effective way to promote your restaurant or food servicing company online.”
Staying on trend
While adapting to the new form of hospitality has shown some struggles in a number of areas, home delivery food applications has become an important tool for all venues. It has also proven to be a great investment for restaurants in the long term.
Tank Fish and Chippery’s Bill explained that why he would prefer not to use the online delivery service for his seafood restaurant, it has become a must-have in a bid to compete in the market and to increase profit. “If I could do without it, I would but we have done it to increase our turnover a little bit and it’s worked so far,’ he explained.
“In this day in age and market, if you don’t do it, it will be more damaging than doing it,” Bill concluded. Hospitality blog, Nibble Matrix added: “By integrating an online ordering system in your restaurant, you can expand your business’ exposure, as well as increasing sales.”