Consumers now expect everything exactly when they want it and for food delivery services that means capitalising on the rise of the homebody.
There’s no doubt food delivery is now a staple of Australian consumer’s lives, with the sector set to be worth $2.4 billion in Australia by 2025, according to Morgan Stanley.
At the start of the year, analysts said the sector had ballooned from a $600 million market in 2006 to approaching the $2 billion mark, with more growth to come. It might not just the expectation of convenience driving this trend, either: according to delivery platform Menulog, customers are keener than ever to just stay home.
Data collected by the platform this month on consumer preferences suggests that the trend of “homing” has grown exponentially in the last year. With the likes of television and cinematic entertainment available on demand via online streaming companies, the notion of “fast food” seems to have gone up a gear.
A Menulog survey of more than 1200 Australian customers saw nine out of ten respondents say they had cancelled pre-existing social plans to stay at home and have food delivered instead.
The study also suggests that one in five people claim to not have time to cook or buy ingredients, 61% of people can’t be bothered cooking and 41% of people use the service simply because they are craving a particular food.
Menulog says that since launching in the local market in 2006, it now covers 90% of Australian addresses and has 3.1 million active users and more than 10,200 restaurant partners. In 2017, the company said it took $645 million worth of orders.
Food delivery “the new form of catering”?
Managing Director of Menulog in Australia and New Zealand, Alistair Venn, believes that there are two driving forces behind the growth of its services.
“There are two macro trends driving online ordering. Technology the incubation of the smartphone. In the old days you had to sit behind a desktop and tap away (to order food) and social trend,” Venn tells SmartCompany.
“Our research showed that people don’t have as much time for what they want to do, they either spend too much time working, or commuting,” he says.
Venn believes that quite often the preparation of food “pulls people apart” where as the consumption of food is “something that pulls people together”.
“It is a new form of catering, you can invite people around order the food and there is no need for preparation,” he says.
The study suggests that 75% of online ordering is taking place through mobile devices.
Venn believes that online food ordering is no different to other industries around that world that have incorporated technology into a business model.
“It’s a gradual trend, any business is able to evolve with these trends. How many other businesses have been affected by digitization?”
Restaurants around Australia are altering business structures and consumer offerings inline with the rising homing trend, one restaurant in particular, Manoosh Pizzeria in Enmore NSW, reporting it has seen firsthand the growth in Aussie homebodies ordering food to their doors.
“A lot of people these days are quite time poor,” Owner Charlie Hoyek tells SmartCompany.
“A lot of customer don’t have the time to go home, cook and prepare food.”
Hoyek believes that customers are “more inclined to order food to their homes” nowadays and having been partnered with Menulog for nine years, he says his restaurant has seen a major shift in usage over the time period.
“Since joining Menulog, we saw a 20% growth year on year for the first five years and then 10% each year in the following five years… but that is just us,” he says.
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