The Impact of Meal Delivery Services on Restaurants
The restaurant industry has undergone more changes out of necessity than most other businesses during the pandemic. There was a total shift in how the public accessed and prepared food.
The trend of delivering a meal or meal kit to the customer’s door was safe and convenient during this difficult time. This trend gained traction and has become a way of life for many, adding to restaurant challenges. The latest statistics show that 8% of the population has at least one meal kit delivery subscription, which has propelled the service to the $11.6 billion industry that it is today.
How Meal Delivery Services Work
Meal delivery services offer their customers the ability to choose meal option plans with the customer’s dietary restrictions and pay for them online. The delivered meal boxes are reasonably priced from $8.75 to $12.00 per serving, much less than going to a restaurant to eat.
A box with all the ingredients necessary to prepare the meal arrives at their doorstep. The customer can then easily prepare a delicious dinner using fresh ingredients in the comfort of their home.
How Meal Delivery Services Became a Trend
Consumers have begun to enjoy cooking at home again and have discovered another way to socialize over a meal. They can prepare an elegant dinner with their friends and family praising them for their fine talents as a chef. Some of the services even offer the perfect wine for the meal.
Most people using the meal delivery kits tend to be younger, with more spendable cash. They consider themselves “foodies” who enjoy the varied meal options offered by the services.
The United States Census report stated that the pandemic decreased restaurant and bar sales by $280 billion, but the industry is looking to change all that in 2022.
Competitive businesses like meal delivery kit businesses rely on technology, and technology may also play an essential role in the recovery of restaurant businesses. By using easy-to-use apps for ordering and food delivery, restaurants can compete with home-delivered meal kit services.
People have adapted to utilizing more technology and are used to ordering and making payments online during the pandemic.
Technology can also help restaurant businesses with the problems of labor shortages by reducing the number of employees required to provide good service to their customers.
Restaurants can also specialize and streamline their menus to compete with meal delivery businesses. Their specialized cuisine is not available to prepare at home.
Inflation may be the key to getting the restaurant business back from the competitive options–especially now that people are more at ease eating in restaurants.
Meal delivery services feel the same financial strain of raising costs that the restaurants do, and they will likely need to raise prices to operate in the profit zone. Consumers could decide that an occasional meal from a restaurant or ordering a meal for take-out makes more sense than the routine added expense of a meal kit delivery.
The outlook for the restaurant industry is still strong despite the losses over the past few years. Restaurant owners are very resilient people who know how to bend with the times. It has never been a painless business but has survived every trend over the centuries.
Its’ never a bad time to review your restaurant operations looking to improve efficiency and cost-savings. Look to Synergy—for over 30 years, we have been helping independent restaurants, franchises, and corporations with their bottom line. Please get in touch with us to learn more.