Fast food delivery services are expanding rapidly in the UK – with consumers spending around £656 million on having their meals delivered to their door in 2019. According to a survey by the NPD Group, householders’ appetite for upmarket food deliveries is growing, particularly among Millennials. The market has grown so big it’s overshadowing traditional dining-out options.
According to a report by MCA Foodservice, the food delivery market has increased by 13.4% year-on-year. A massive 60% of UK adults are now active delivery customers, ordering twice a month on average, spending £9.47 per person per order. This equates to 851 million meals ordered in one year, with no signs of the market slowing down!
The leading companies are using the latest technology to ensure they run a successful food supply chain to keep up with customer demands.
© Kristina / Adobe Stock
For 2020, food ordering via the traditional method of making a phone call to one single delivery service is on the decline. Instead, leading companies such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat have taken over, thanks to the rise in digital technology.
Customers can now go online and check out food from a variety of restaurants and upmarket takeaways. They have the option of choosing fine dining from many different brands, all advertising on one app. The new technology has made this possible, enabling people to order with a simple tap of their mobile device, as they would with online shopping.
The British public’s love for high-quality fresh food, delivered conveniently to their door, has opened up a new frontier of services, which are shaping our dining habits. Fitting in with our busy schedules, we can now eat restaurant-quality meals in our own home. Leading food delivery companies are pulling out all the stops to make sure their food is delivered in pristine condition and piping hot when it reaches the customer.
One of the most famous and most popular companies is Deliveroo, which continually ranks in the UK’s top three. Founded in London in 2013, Deliveroo now operates in 200 cities across the world and boasts revenue of £277.1 million.
Innovative ideas include a system that predicts how long it will take to prepare and deliver your meal. Offering a wide variety of cuisines, you can choose your favourite meal at any time. According to the Deliveroo website, the average delivery time is 32 minutes.
Customers can order up to 24 hours in advance to schedule a delivery. Delivery costs vary, depending on how close you are to the restaurant. Deliveroo Plus provides a subscription service, where customers can sign up to pay a set fee and receive free delivery from participating restaurants.
Deliveroo says it doesn’t have a specific refunds policy if the food arrives cold. It works on a “case by case” basis but will usually offer a full refund for below-par items, or credit the customer’s account to the full amount, plus an extra 10%.
Environmentally conscious, Deliveroo uses a range of biodegradable packaging and pulp-based products sourced from sustainable forests.
Launched in Denmark in 2001, Just Eat boasts revenue of £779.5 million and operates in 13 countries. Customers can search on Just Eat for local restaurants that offer a takeaway service, place their order and pay online. They can choose from home delivery or pick-up options.
The average delivery time ranges from 46 minutes to 53 minutes and at a cost of £2 – in 2018, the company scrapped delivery charges on some brands, such as Subway and KFC. There had been some customer feedback that the delivery charge was quite high compared with rival delivery companies.
If the food arrives cold, or is below standard in some other way, Just Eat advises the customer to give the restaurant a call to see if they’ll make it right. If the matter isn’t resolved satisfactorily, the customer is invited to leave a review on the Just East website. Just Eat says it “discusses reviews” with participating restaurants to help them “improve their standards”.
In 2018, Just Eat revealed it was launching a major drive to use more sustainable packaging. It was revealed that in 2017, Just Eat had sold more than one million plastic packaging products to UK restaurants. The company announced it was replacing all single-use plastic items with sustainable packaging to help reduce waste levels.
Uber Eats was launched in San Franciso in 2014. Today, it operates all over the world, including in the UK. With a revenue of £1.12 billion, it is one of the wealthiest food delivery brands. Its categories of food include various types of fast food, burgers, pizzas, Indian, Chinese and desserts.
Customers can browse a list of hundreds of restaurants and types of cuisine via the app, place their order and pay online. The order is delivered by an Uber partner by car or bike. Customers can track their order on a map via the app.
The average delivery time is 37 minutes, although if the restaurant is close-by, it can arrive in as little as 20 minutes – standard delivery charge is £2.50. If an item is missing from the order, or if it is incorrect in some other way, Uber Eats refunds the customer and then charges this back to the restaurant. If the food doesn’t meet customer expectations, customers can get help via the app. They can rate each item and give feedback about each dish. In the event of a problem, a refund or credit note will likely be issued.
Uber Eats prides itself on its eco-friendly biodegradable packaging, which is supplied to its partner restaurants.
The latest innovations in the food delivery sector include the launch of “virtual brands” and “dark kitchens”. Purely online brands, launched by existing physical restaurants for the delivery market, this equates to extra income and lower costs – several brands can cook from one kitchen.
Deliveroo Editions provides purpose-built kitchens in areas with a high demand for food, so that the restaurants can expand their customer base without the expense of opening new premises.
So, what do you reckon, folks? Is the new age fast food phenomenon really delivering? Visit Psydro’s unique customer reviews platform and share your views with us.