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Delivery and Takeaway Sales Drop Again in February to Continue Post-COVID-19 Softening

Delivery and takeaway sales at Britain’s managed restaurant groups fell year-on-year for the 16th month in a row in February, the new Hospitality at Home Tracker from CGA by NIQ reveals.

Combined sales were 5.9% behind February 2022, as some consumers reduced their spending and others opted to eat out rather than order in. The 9.9% drop in the value of deliveries was steeper than the 7.6% decline in takeaway and click and collect sales. The volume of delivery orders fell even more sharply, by 13.3%—a reflection of consumers reducing the frequency of their orders but spending more on them because of rising prices.

Despite the extended decline, delivery and takeaway sales are still well ahead of levels seen before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. They accounted for 17 pence in every pound spent with the managed restaurant groups contributing to the Hospitality at Home Tracker in February.

Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said: “After booming during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, delivery and takeaway sales have dropped year-on-year in every month of 2022 and 2023. This is an encouraging sign that consumers have returned eagerly to restaurants since restrictions eased, but it also reflects the still-tightening squeeze on consumers’ discretionary incomes. Our research consistently shows that people want to prioritise the affordable treats of restaurant meals, and their spending will hopefully increase when household bills and inflation come down. In the meantime, we can expect more softening in the at-home market.”