Convenience Reigns King as Food Delivery Sales Soar Over Takeaways

Britain’s consumers have switched from pick-up food takeaways to third-party deliveries, continuing the habits they picked up during COVID-19 lockdowns, the latest CGA Hospitality at Home Tracker reveals.

The monthly report shows delivery sales at managed restaurant, pub and bar groups in August 2022 were 13% higher than in August 2021. By contrast, takeaway and click-and-collect sales were 25% down from one year ago.

Compared to August 2019—the last comparable month before the COVID-19 pandemic—delivery sales were 263% higher—more than five times the growth of 49% for takeaways. Deliveries accounted for nearly 15 pence in every pound spent with managed groups offering delivery in August 2022, while takeaways attracted only seven pence.

The Hospitality at Home Tracker shows how total at-home sales have fallen since COVID restrictions ended, but remain much higher than pre-pandemic levels. Combined delivery and takeaway sales in August 2022 were 8% down on August 2021—the tenth month of year-on-year decline in a row—but 102% ahead of August 2019.

The shift away from takeaway or click & collect services highlights the opportunities for outlets who don’t currently offer delivery – however these operators need to consider how the quality of the delivery service can impact their brand. CGA’s exclusive Food Insights report shows that consumers’ expectations about the quality of their food deliveries from restaurants have increased. Two in five (42%) consumers say they would be less likely to order from a restaurant again if they got an unsatisfactory order—and while 13% would hold their delivery company responsible for the failure, nearly three times as many (35%) would blame the restaurant.

Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said:
“Restaurant closures and COVID concerns led many consumers to order in food and drink instead of going out in 2020 and 2021, and while restrictions have ended it is clear that delivery habits are here to stay. The convenience of third-party platforms means people no longer need to leave home to pick up their food but instead enjoy door-to-door delivery.”

This data suggests pubs, bars, restaurants, and takeaway outlets that don’t yet offer a delivery service are missing out on significant sales. For those that do so, there are now three big challenges: growing delivery sales without compromising in-venue trading, meeting consumers’ high expectations about food quality, and managing relationships with delivery platforms to protect profit margins and maintain customer loyalty.”