Delivery and Takeaway Sales Slip Year-on-Year as Consumers Return to Eating Out

Britain’s managed restaurant and pub groups’ delivery and takeaway sales remain more than double pre-COVID-19 levels—but trading has dipped year-on-year after consumers resumed their out-of-home eating habits.

The latest edition of the CGA & Slerp Hospitality at Home Tracker shows that groups’ combined delivery and takeaway sales in March 2022 were 119% higher than in March 2019. Three-year sales growth for deliveries stands at 382%—19 times the increase of 20% in the takeaway and click-and-collect sector.

However, growth has stalled in the last 12 months, as COVID-19 restrictions eased and consumers returned to restaurants and pubs, with many tightening their belts as the cost of living rises. March delivery and takeaway sales were 24% below the levels of March 2021, when Britain was under strict COVID-19 restrictions and venues were closed. Deliveries were 19% down year-on-year, and takeaways down 31%.

Karl Chessell, CGA’s director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said:
“Given the comparatives, the year-on-year dip in deliveries and takeaways was inevitable. It’s also a welcome sign that many consumers still prefer eating out to ordering in, and that their behaviour is settling back to pre-pandemic norms. However, the at-home market still represents around a quarter of managed groups’ sales, and it is very clear that the convenience of deliveries will continue to appeal. Optimising deliveries and partnerships with third-party platforms, without disrupting eat-in trading, is going to be crucial as we head towards the summer.”

Slerp founder JP Then said: “The focus for operators is turning repeat customers into loyal advocates. This applies online as much as it does for on premise. We know that up to 70% of revenue is generated from 30% of customers – it’s now about engaging with this customer base when they purchase online, and rewarding them to drive repeat purchases directly. Successful operators are using their own apps and web-ordering with loyalty and customers are responding with repeat spend.”