Dining out is no longer the luxury experience that it once was, in fact, for many city dwellers, it is a weekly occasion. With new restaurants popping up on every corner, more of us are inclined to spend our hard earned cash on restaurant food than take the time to cook it ourselves at home. This attitude has now transformed the restaurant industry into something bigger, especially with the introduction of takeaway apps. Where once you would have to call ahead to the restaurant so they could prepare your order for collection; now you can order food at the touch of a button. This has revolutionized our eating habits.
All of the biggest apps such as JustEat, Deliveroo and UberEats were founded in the last 10 years. Today, the market for food delivery stands at a staggering $96bn. JustEat was launched in 2001, years before apps were even available. Even then, the prediction that the average consumer would relish in getting food delivered was accurate indeed. Deliveroo quickly jumped on the trend in 2013 launching in London, UK. Uber is one of the latest companies to delve into the industry, founding UberEats in 2014. Uber had the advantage of an already globally recognized brand, hence they felt confident enough they could compete with the established apps.
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All the newer food delivery apps are now available globally, a shift that took place in a relatively short period of time due to overwhelming demand. Food delivery companies have particularly flourished in areas where people have the most disposable income; for example, it’s no surprise that the UK and USA have topped the user list.
How are they changing eating habits?
In a city like Manchester, England where it is renowned for its relentless rainy seasons, apps like Deliveroo have taken over. People are less inclined to leave the comfort of their own home, opting to have their favorite restaurant food delivered directly to their door. It has also benefitted Manchester restaurants, who are grateful for the additional custom at times where their restaurant may have been empty due to poor weather.
In a way, these food delivery apps have made restaurant food somehow ‘commercial’. Lessening the experience when it comes to actually entering the restaurant and having a sit-down meal. In many respects, premium restaurants are now the go-to choice for those who eventually do dine out, by making an occasion of something that has now turned into the everyday.
Last year, JustEat launched their tester delivery robots. Around 10 of these specially designed robots were trialed on the streets of London, delivering food from popular takeaway restaurants in the city. The robots were fitted with a GPS system that allowed them to track the exact delivery location, all the while traveling at a maximum speed of 10mph. All going well, it’s likely JustEat will develop more of these food delivery robots, erasing completely the need for delivery drivers. In turn, this could jeopardize the thousands of jobs that the restaurant delivery industry has created. Time will tell whether this is something that could be taken up worldwide.