Today, it’s easier for consumers to get a restaurant-quality meal without leaving home, with a lot of the traffic moving to the web. Some $60 billion of the total food spend occurs online, up from $50 billion in 2015, says Erik Thoresen, principal at Technomic. And many are responding to this shift—some competing with traditional restaurants, some working with them. Here are three ways the foodservice industry is catering to the lack of desire to leave the house.
Groceries at your doorstep: In the U.S., the meal kit business is trending just below $1.5 billion, says Thoresen. When asked what diners would cut back on if they began using meal kits, nearly half said that they would reduce takeout, and 37% would cut dine-in spending, he says. By 2020, Technomic expects subscription services will take $2.2 billion away from restaurant spending.
Hassle-free takeout: Delivery has gone from a perk to a competitive must for many operators. The emergence of Postmates, Door Dash, UberEats and others have proven to be a boon for business for some and a threat for others. At this point, the delivery market is $30 billion, while total off-premise sales ring in around $210 billion, showing that there’s ample room for continued expansion.
The shrinking dining room: If diners aren’t eating out, why have a dining room? That’s the mindset of some delivery-only restaurant operators. These concepts are able to trade on convenience and a mobile presence without the stress of landing top-quality real estate. However, they still aim to deliver a great customer experience, so the challenge becomes how to do that when the interaction with the diner is through an app.
Related: 2014 Disruptors