Tight margins have always been a hot-button issue for the restaurant industry. But with the coronavirus outbreak, feeding the bottom line has become especially challenging, and while delivery has been a boon to many operations, third-party delivery fees continue to drain profits.
Delivery has always been desirable, if only for its sheer convenience. And now, as the pandemic persists with a far-ranging impact on the industry, it carries the enhanced appeal of combining convenience with safety.
It's become a key fact of foodservice today: The pandemic has hastened the pivot to off-premises business for restaurants across America. Forty-two percent of restaurant operators surveyed by Rewards Network, a restaurant rewards platform provider, have added delivery, and 31% plan to continue to invest in it—a clear indication that the service is here to stay.1
Leave it to a pandemic to build up the market’s appetite for foodservice. At one point, eating out at a restaurant ranked as the most looked-forward-to post-quarantine activity, according to the market research firm Technomic.1 But as infection rates rise, it should come as no surprise that consumer confidence in returning to pre-pandemic activities is falling.
The rollback of dining room reopenings due to the resurgence of COVID-19 in many states has been capturing a lot of attention. But equally compelling is the rise of off-premises models as mainstays, regardless of whether or not dine-in service is available.