The Decline of Eating Out


UberEATS, Just Eat and Deliveroo seem to be taking over the world’s eating habits. Covering almost all of the country, getting food delivered to you is getting easier and easier. British consumers are expected to spend 22% more on takeaway deliveries by the end of 2020, creating a market worth £5.8bn annually. Alongside this increase, it’s no surprise to see that the number of customers choosing to eat in has decreased. What are the factors driving these consumer trends?

The world is becoming time poor. Lives are getting busier, people don’t have as much spare time. Travelling, parking, ordering, service and waiting time all add up when eating out. The only time involved in a takeaway is the ordering and you can do whatever you want while you wait. What option would you chose?

Eating out can quickly turn into a very expensive treat. Research has shown that although the number of consumers choosing to eat out is reducing, the amount of money spent isn’t. Travel and parking costs are similar to delivery costs, so why is eating out so expensive in comparison to a takeaway? Many restaurants have a huge mark up on drinks meaning that they are very expensive compared to buying them in a supermarket.

Deliveroo, Uber eats and Just Eat provide meals from thousands of different restaurants. Whatever cuisine, there is always something on one of the many menus that will tempt you.

Apps

UberEATS and Deliveroo are two app powerhouses. With a huge range of menus, they provide a platform for even the smallest start-ups to compete with the big chains. The dining in game is changing with some restaurants developing apps that let the consumer order without having to queue. Is this really enhancing the dining experience?

Innovation

Domino’s have made it so easy to order, that you can simply press one button on your watch and wait. Your favourite pizza will be ordered to the set location of the watch. Very dangerous if you have a sudden urge!

Drones look set to take over the delivery scene. Testing has been carried out across various university campuses. I know my flatmates and I would have ordered more if we had had this option. Thankfully, we didn’t!

The latest talk in the industry is automating the whole service. Pizza delivery vans where pizza making is automated would mean we can become even more unsociable. Machines to prep, cook and deliver food would mean that we never need to leave the house or speak to a human again. While I believe that technology can be used to produce amazing things, this could be that step too far!

My take on this is that eating out is more of a special occasion whereas takeaway meals are becoming a normal part of life. They aren’t just reducing the amount of people dinning out, but the sheer convenience of it is stopping people from cooking at home. Eating is a social event where people can get together and enjoy food. If technology allows consumers to order food and have it delivered without having to speak to anyone, then we will have so many problems, not just with obesity, but also socially.

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