Pandemic Drives Households To Increase Spend On Takeaways By Almost A Half

UK lockdowns prompted Brits to increase spending on takeaways by almost half (42 percent) as the hospitality sector closed to on-site dining, according research.

Research by KPMG with over 2,000 consumers in spring 2021 found that the average spend per person on takeaways had risen to £641, due in the most part to the restrictions of visiting on-site dining. This is a significant increase since the research was last conducted in August 2019, when the average spend per person on takeaways that year was £452.

The report, “Food for thought”, crowned Nottingham as the takeaway capital of the UK with average spend standing at £1,097 per person in 2021, up almost four times on the £299 average spend of a Nottingham consumer in 2019.  Liverpudlians spent the least on takeaway food with the average spend at £346 per person, whilst fast food lovers in Belfast and Sheffield also spent below the £400 mark.

Three fifths (61 percent) of those who have ordered a takeaway or a meal kit say they will go to a restaurant in person based on their positive experiences of ordering their food over lockdown.

Commenting on the findings, Will Hawkley, Global Head of Leisure and Hospitality at KPMG said:

“The increased appetite for takeaways has in part been driven by the pandemic, but credit must also go to restaurant operators who took innovation to new levels to capitalise on booming demand. They adapted to the channel-shift of at-home consumption with direct-to-consumer offerings, such as meal kits and subscriptions.

“The hospitality sector is steeped in customer-centricity and creativity and, through necessity, has condensed a decade or more of innovation into less than a two-year period.”

Chinese was cited as the most popular cuisine to be ordered amongst those surveyed (55 percent), followed by Pizza (52 percent), Indian (45 percent) and Fish and Chips (39 percent).

Pandemic drives new experiences in home dining

Since the pandemic, a third (37 percent) of Brits admitted to trying something new with food ordering including a fifth (19 percent) who have ordered a takeaway from a pub or restaurant that previously only offered an eat in service.

One in five Brits (17 percent) admitted to having tried meal kits from a restaurant or a recipe box from a dedicated provider.

Will Hawkley observed:

“Our survey suggests that growth in takeaway consumption is here to stay, which will continue to bring more entrants into the market. Even though ultra-rapid grocery delivery companies are playing in a different market to meal delivery, there’s scope for them to eat into takeaway operators’ market share too.

“Embracing a multi-channel offering with the right mix of eat-in, takeaway and meal kits promises enormous growth potential and could attract investors for operators. Reverting to pre-pandemic operations and channel mix is unlikely to be a recipe for success.”

Other key findings from the research:

  • Three-quarters of Brits (76 percent) said they ordered takeaways, doing so on average once a week.
  • 39 percent say they order takeaway as a treat, whilst 17 percent do so for the convenience.
  • Norwich has the second highest average spend per person at £978 followed by London with an average spend of £781.
  • 39 percent of people order takeaway by phone – marginally down from 43 percent in 2019.
  • Use of third party apps increased from 34 percent in 2019 to 37 percent in 2021.
  • 18-34-year-olds prefer using third party delivery sites with over half (54 percent) ordering this way compared to just 20 percent of those aged 55+.
  • 34 percent of people say discounted offers would get them to order more frequently in future.