In my last blog: The Resilience of the Hospitality Industry During COVID-19, I touched on the positive impact lockdown has had on delivery, specifically how it has encouraged previously dubious operators to embrace delivery and explore its capabilities when it comes to increasing revenue. Eight weeks down the line everyone from huge brands to independents are taking advantage of what delivery-dining has to offer.
Before lockdown, there was a disconnect between operators and delivery – they either didn’t see the advantages, wanted to focus more on guests in their dining room, or were worried about how their products would travel or could look when they arrived. Those worries seem to have been largely overcome, primarily because there’s a huge benefit to expanding a restaurant’s customer catchment area. Audience expansion has become especially important since customer visits started reducing due to the sheer number of new restaurant & bar openings. The uncertainty surrounding packaging has also been dealt with as venues have found improved options that allow products to be delivered more efficiently & stylishly.
It’s interesting to look back & compare delivery operations before and after lockdown came into effect. Since restaurant operators have had time to weigh up their concerns against the advantages of delivery they have seen the benefits in expanding sales capacity without the need for extra space, gaining exposure to new customers, and increasing marketing opportunities with customers sharing user-generated content of branded products in a home environment.
The key to offering a successful delivery service is creating & translating a brand’s products into a unique in-home experience, people are less likely to purchase, or repeat purchase, products that are available from multiple venues or the local supermarket. Aside from the quality of products, setting yourself apart with a signature offering is a great hook to encourage repeat custom, for example during lockdown Wagamama’s revealed recipes for some of their most iconic dishes to tide people over until they could enjoy the real thing, or the London burger brand Patty & Bun, who launched lockdown DIY kits for makings their burgers at home.
We’ve seen Customers have shown particular interest in supporting brands that continue to engage with their audiences, this powerful interaction attracts customers, who ultimately could visit any online platform or venue, but choose to purchase from a specific operator who appreciates their business and engages with them.
In some cases the acceptance of, and transition to, delivery is proving so successful some business owners are considering reducing the size of their premises, or even looking to close their bricks and mortar stores all together to become a dark kitchen operation. When becoming a
Delivery has been one of the most exciting and fast-growing additions to the food & beverage industry over recent years, and now that operators have started to embrace and exploit its value, I’m looking forward to seeing its continued growth…