The world has been turned upside down over the past few years, and some exciting trends can now be identified from this. Our creativity has been called upon and, according to Emerce, many hospitality entrepreneurs have become more active on social media, have adapted their menus and websites and have started to deliver meals to their homes. We have found this to be a challenging time and we still need to be creative. Many entrepreneurs are facing chronic staff shortages and rising commodity prices are asking us to choose different products for the menu (ABN AMRO, 2021). Due to the lockdowns, restaurants are now also delivering to homes. Unfortunately, this does not always prove to be a profitable option. What are we holding on to from this time and what may we capitalize on in the coming period?
In this diptych, we discuss several trends and developments. First we look at delivery, in part 2 at trends in the menu and online and offer a future perspective.
1. Delivery: Do it yourself or outsource?
Delivery was one of the ways to still retain customers and provide them with tasty dishes in times of lockdowns. According to Forbes, by the end of 2021, 28% of all orders were made digitally, up from 10% prior to the pandemic. For those who have ventured into a delivery service, they have found out that it requires some pretty good logistical planning. Delivery services like “Take Away,” “Deliveroo,” or “Uber Eats” take this out of the hands of restaurant owners, but they pay handsomely for it. As we wrote earlier: Uber Eats charges a 30% fee to the restaurant owner including delivery. This can be an important reason for restaurants to arrange their own delivery service. Cashdesk’s delivery software facilitates this process and is often easy to link to existing POS systems. By investing in delivery software, as a restaurant you keep a grip on quality and service, you stay in direct contact with your customer and there is no less competition from other restaurants. After all, in your app you only show your offer.
2. Delivery: on the e-bike and without cash in your pocket
Those who could invest in an electric bike are participating in a long-standing trend. After all, electric bikes can be driven by schoolchildren who do not have a scooter license and have a lower purchase value than a scooter (Misset Horeca, 2018, Restaurantkrant, 2019).
These delivery drivers now also have less responsibility to bear when it comes to handling payments. Entrepreneurs who have started to deliver set up their website with a payment system or choose a Cashdesk ordering website so that guests can checkout their order directly. It is especially important that there is a good link between the website and the part where the guest can actually order and pay. It increases the ease of use and lowers the threshold for ordering. In addition, it is fast and safer for the delivery person (Nu.nl, 2019).
3: Criticism of platforms
Platforms like “Take Away” seem to get more competition from restaurant owners themselves. Restaurants are getting more of the favor factor from their regular customer base. This is partly due to the corona policy in which especially the hospitality industry had to pay the price. The notion to keep the catering industry closed for a longer period of time at various moments of the pandemic decreased more and more (Horeca Nederland, 2021). People gladly supported the “buy local” movement that entrepreneurs from the region initiated among themselves (Trouw, 2020).
Many platforms like Uber Eats grab high percentages of up to 30% on an order and have become big this way. Back in 2019, Fabled wrote that about 84% of restaurant owners indicated that these fees, which came at the expense of their profits, were not worth the revenue growth. The question is: Who are these platforms good for? Convenience and comfort are often leading consumer choices and that is what makes services like Take Away and UberEats so popular, explains Joey Bloemendal of Takeaway.com during the online Horecava in 2021. Nevertheless, there is also criticism of such platforms (RTL Nieuws, 2018) and consumers choose more consciously by booking directly with the restaurant itself.
From the trend of delivery, so called “ghost kitchens” have now emerged.
Guests have become more accustomed to having options. Are we going to eat somewhere? Do we pick up special products ourselves and cook at home? Or do we have it delivered? From this, new concepts have been devised in which entrepreneurs no longer invest in an expensive building and decoration of a restaurant or eatery. They only invest in a kitchen with a good delivery service and good online visibility (Eatly, 2021). This development also fits well with the staff shortage, with savings being made on staff in this way. In doing so, rental prices have risen dramatically in recent years. Starting a catering business from a ghost kitchen takes less risk in times of crisis. There are many names for these kitchens. In our article “Dark kitchens: the future of delivery kitchens?” you can read more about this.
In the next article
Part 2 of this series, we look at other trends in the kitchen. How have menus changed due to the lockdown era and how are the changes in hospitality land leading to more digitalization, for example through QR codes? You can read part 2 in our next newsletter.
– Emerce, 2021, Hospitality 2.0: the importance of social media for the holidays
– ABN AMRO Sector Forecast 2021-2022 ‘Growing pains and uncertainty around climate policy can make or break growth’
– Forbes, 2021, Restaurant Industry Outlook For 2022: Five Trends To Watch
– Cashdesk, 2021, What are the differences between Home Delivery, Deliveroo and UberEats?
– Missethoreca, 2018, This is why e-bikes for delivery are becoming more popular
De RestaurantKrant, 2021, Energy-conscious and economical delivery with an electric delivery bike
– Online payment must prevent robberies of meal delivery companies, 2020, Nu.nl
– KHN, 2022, KHN: Hospitality industry is essential and comes into action. New cabinet leaves hospitality & culture out in the cold
– Trouw, 2020, Crisis drives consumer to store nearby
– Fabled, 2019, Why Restaurants are Ditching Third Party Delivery Services
– FarmersBusiness, 2021, Meal delivery remains popular even after corona
– RTL News, 2018, Jitse Groen of TakeAway: ‘We don’t have a dominant position’
– Eatly, 2021, The first ghost kitchens are active in the Netherlands