The Italian restaurant had been a blur of activity. Chefs furiously cooked pizza and pasta at both ends of the store, waiters busily took phone orders and a procession of food couriers acquired deliveries. There is one problem: few in-store dinners had food on their own table.
By my count, no less than two-thirds of restaurant patrons were expecting food. Some had that, “please feed me before I faint” look. Others were “hangry” (hungry-angry) from a lack of food, overpriced menu along with a flood of delivery orders that crushed your kitchen.
Nearly every pizza cooked went into a home-delivery box and pastas were stacked rich in plastic containers and delivery bags. I don’t know if the restaurant prioritised forskolin purchase or maybe if the orders just fell that well. But also in-store dining seemed a lower priority.
I have got seen a similar problem several times this season. Popular restaurants are now being swamped by online or phone orders and struggling to balance the requirements of in-store diners because of their takeaway or home-delivery customers.
I suspect more family restaurants will forget to adjust to development in online food ordering and delivery – and unwittingly wreck their in-store experience and brand.
Will it be taking longer to receive food ordered in restaurants?
Are definitely more orders being manufactured for pick-ups or home delivery?
Do you feel in-store dining is now less appealing as more restaurants gear up for online orders and deliveries.
It can be fascinating to watch smaller restaurants adapt to the foodstuff-ordering boom that Menulog and delivery companies such as Foodora, Deliveroo and Uber are driving.
The suburban restaurant that catered to local residents and possibly a tiny takeaway market now serves a more substantial market via online food-ordering platforms. Some even promote their business into a wide radius of suburbs, creating a potential client base they cannot aspire to serve properly.
Their kitchens are not established to handle a huge number of online orders at once, they don’t have plenty of staff after they need them, as well as their in-store dining and web-based components are frequently poorly co-ordinated.
Their cost base and business model remains to be built around in-store dining, though even more of their revenue is on its way from online orders. One local restaurant owner explained 80 percent of meals they cook are now for home deliveries or pick-ups.
Granted, this is an excellent problem for smaller restaurants. Individuals who successfully market via food-ordering platforms have realized a bigger subscriber base and surviving in the difficult, competitive market. Needless to say, they really want as numerous online orders as is possible.
The prospect of churning out meal after meal to get a takeaway market, often at only a compact discount to in-store dining, looks considerably more lucrative than relying on in-store diners.
The prospect of churning out meal after meal for the takeaway market, often at just a small discount to in-store dining, looks much more lucrative than depending on in-store diners, waiters, and the expenses and hassle that is included with that. And fewer risky.
But smaller restaurants need to think through how continued fast development in online food ordering and deliveries will alter their industry, and adapt. Those that respond just by cooking increasingly more meals, with the same business model and infrastructure, will ultimately damage their subscriber base.
My guess is because they will alienate in-store diners and push a lot more people towards ordering deliveries or buying pre-cooked meals. It’s no real surprise that David Jones plans a big push in this area: the market is ripe for higher-quality, pre-prepared meals.
Overseas, food delivery giant Deliveroo, reportedly worth a lot more than $US1 billion, is opening kitchen spaces in places not well-served by restaurants – a strategy it calls “food delivery 4.”. It’s changing how takeaway food is prepared.
Deliveroo as well as other food-technology innovators can easily see the potential: more and more people will order food on the web and get it home delivered, and cook less, in future years. However the marketplace is still geared mostly towards people ordering and consuming (or picking up) food in-store.
As I’ve written before in this column, smaller restaurants should rethink their approach to the meal-ordering boom: virtual brands, shared kitchens, industrial-style cooking facilities 46dexipky smaller menus (which are faster to prepare) for your online market.
Store layouts need to change: separate areas for food couriers far from in-store patrons, different kitchen configurations, and other staffing in busy periods. And more considered how in-store diners are served, or whether or not the business should downscale in this area.
Yes, there will definitely be interest in in-store dining and several restaurants do a great job. But as increasing numbers of of the revenue comes from online orders in coming years, the business will have to adapt faster to capitalise over a fantastic opportunity.
Up to now, really the only people being disrupted from the online food-ordering boom seem to be in-store diners – and then in time, the major supermarkets as people cook less.