What Will the Future of Food Delivery Look Like?


Revel Blog | Sydney Kida | February 11, 2022 |

delivery technology Featured

The food delivery industry has experienced rapid growth in the last two years. Approximately 60% of consumers now order food at least once per week. But what is the future of food delivery, and what will it look like?

As a restaurant, understanding potential future food delivery markets will help you orientate your business to take full advantage. Overcome your competitors and establish your brand as a cutting-edge restaurant by making the most of the latest hot trends.

The Rapid Evolution of Food Delivery

There are several causes of the rapid evolution of food delivery. COVID-19 is falsely accused of being the defining factor, but the pandemic acted more as an accelerant than a cause. Even pre-pandemic, our food delivery future was taking hold.

Digital platforms like GrubHub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash were already established andDelivery pickup experiencing tremendous growth. It brought a more convenient, cheaper way of ordering food than finding a restaurant’s menu and calling them over the phone.

Another reason why the future of online food delivery is now is simply due to restaurants changing their business models to resemble retail. Same-hour and same-day delivery all play into the always-connected lifestyles of the modern consumer. Many restaurants have even constructed their own fleets to handle online deliveries.

Finally, the world has experienced a culture change. Younger people have adopted the culture of doing practically anything from a smartphone. Even older generations have jumped on board with this culture change.

Food delivery industry growth comes from a variety of factors. Still, it can be boiled down to a change in culture, the buy-in from restaurants, and the technology to execute these delivery services effectively.

Does it mean the end of on-premise dining? Not necessarily, but food delivery will comprise a more significant proportion of revenues in the coming years.

Hot Trends Driving the Future of Food Delivery

Understanding the trends driving society’s future of food delivery is necessary for grasping what customers want and what you need to do to fulfill their demands.

Become an early adopter and gain an edge on the competition. Think about how these hot trends, and potential future markets for food delivery, can play into your business strategy.

Order Online, Pick Up In-Store

Not everyone wants to eat inside a restaurant. Equally, not everyone wants to call from home. Some want to order their food, pick it up on their way home, and enjoy it.

Pick up in-store is a concept that did experience accelerated growth from COVID-19, as it was the only way most restaurants could do business. The chances are you already have the infrastructure in place to provide continued support for this model.

There are no signs that customers will turn away from the order online, pick up in-store concept.

Ghost Kitchens and Ghost Groceries

The ghost kitchen and ghost grocery model involves eliminating dine-in services entirely. These restaurants only offer meals to people who order online. Essentially, they are online fulfillment factories.

While conventional restaurants may not like the idea of eliminating the in-person dining experience, it can help expand into other areas.

Brands that utilize ghost kitchens may have dine-in services in a few select locations while serving far-flung communities online. Most analysts say this future food delivery idea could be what fast food looks like in the years to come.

Diverse Delivery Options

Reliance on third-party delivery apps could be costing you up to 30% of the total order value. Restaurants are coming up with new and novel ways of eliminating their reliance on third-party services.

Some of the diverse delivery options being trialed right now include:

  • Robot delivery
  • Drone delivery
  • Drop menus via parachute
Admittedly, most of these options are only found in highly specific markets, but, if successful, could be a future of food delivery reality.

Crypto Food Orders

The accessibility of crypto and the increasing acceptance of various currencies mean restaurants are increasingly allowing for crypto food orders.

Blockchain technology is accelerating, and it’s becoming easier for restaurants to accept crypto.

However, you need to think carefully about whether you want to accept highly volatile currencies. Work out a strategy for either holding those assets or converting them to fiat currency.

The last thing you want is to hold thousands of dollars in Bitcoin only for the value to crash by 25%. Crypto crashes happen with alarming regularity, and these possibilities must be integrated into your business plan.

Personalized Online Food Delivery Experiences

Personalized shopping has been a factor within the retail business for some time. Customers don’tPersonalized ordering want to feel like a number. They want to feel special, and part of that means giving them a unique experience every time.

Amazon has perfected the idea of personalized shopping by providing tailored recommendations for its users whenever they visit the site.

An extremely basic form of personalization has already appeared within the online food delivery industry. For example, Uber Eats will first recommend restaurants you’ve ordered from in the past.

But this rudimentary form of personalization can go much further. Virtual waiters could become a factor in the coming years. It will require paying attention to customer data and harvesting it to provide those memorable experiences.

Online food delivery is not an excuse for avoiding relationship building with your customers. Although it’s undoubtedly more complex than with in-person dining services, it can be done. And it is a necessity.

The Future of Food Delivery

The future of food delivery in the restaurant industry threatens to forever alter the food business landscape. Becoming an early adopter increases the likelihood that your business will survive.

Acknowledging the direction of travel puts you in a position to make significant cost savings, increase efficiencies on the backend, and provide your clientele with a better experience. This is why Revel Systems plays into managing your business better.

Avoid dismissing future delivery trends as gimmicks because innovation will define your business’s life expectancy in the near future.

Shifting of the Power Base

A crucial difference within the future of food delivery services is shifting leverage from third-party delivery apps to the restaurants themselves. For years, third-party apps have effectively held restaurants to ransom with high commissions and awkward customer service.

The development of in-house delivery services and falling costs have placed restaurants in a position where they can call the shots.

The investment in moving away from third-party apps could save the restaurant industry millions every year.

Reliance on Advanced Technologies

Future delivery will rely on advanced technologies to increase speed and efficiency while cutting costs. Route management, more targeted staff usage, and even advanced machinery will be a facet of the world’s future of food delivery.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are at the heart of this future, as they will be in several industries.

It’s not inconceivable to find that your customer’s pizza will arrive in a self-driving car or via a drone.

24/7 Food Delivery

Anyone who has ever shopped online at three in the morning has gotten used to ordinary opening hours no longer applying. So far, only a select few restaurants, such as fast food outlets, have moved to a 24-hour model.

Customers with non-conventional shifts increasingly demand access to online food delivery at every hour of the day or night. Firms that win this market will gain access to a highly lucrative industry of shift workers.

The “always-on” mentality will only go one way, and restaurants need to be prepared for that. Traditional opening hours are fast becoming a thing of the past, and sticking to them could lead to you leaving money on the table.

Superior Implementation of Automation

Imagine a world where orders are confirmed, payment accepted, and information flows to the kitchen without ever passing through a human. Automation technology allows for this, and restaurants can trim down the administrative staff required to take online orders.

The distant future may even see restaurants with no more than one or two human operators present.

For example, orders could be taken, finances dealt with, food cooked, and deliveries made in a way akin to a large factory than a restaurant.

Note that most of these technologies remain too expensive for all but the wealthiest restaurants to accommodate. More advancements must be made to execute these futuristic features in practice.

Conclusion

Like every industry, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned a glacial pace of change into a runaway train. The restaurant industry is one of the most ultra-competitive markets on the planet, and it has never been more important to think of ways to stay ahead of the competition.

Work on investing in the future of your business to ensure you can accommodate customer-driven online food delivery trends. Revel Systems has solutions for diversifying your income streams, implementing efficient workflows, and allowing seamless transitions from a customer placing an order to receiving their food.

Learn more about why Revel Systems is the world’s leading restaurant POS and get in touch for a free demo now.