Food and DrinkNews

UK Diners Aren’t Sold On Third-Party Online Ordering Marketplaces; Favour Going Direct For Delivery & Takeaway

Excessive fees, lack of trust & a desire to support restaurants is driving consumers to opt for direct

New research from SevenRooms reveals UK consumers aren’t completely sold on third-party ordering marketplaces, with 1 in 5 UK consumers wanting to see a legal cap placed on the commission fees charged by these services.

The ‘Takeaway Trends Report’ from SevenRooms, a data-driven guest experience platform for the hospitality industry, polled a representative sample of 2,113 UK adults through YouGov to discover how consumer perceptions around online ordering have evolved during the coronavirus pandemic  and subsequent upheaval for the hospitality industry.

While only 6 percent of UK adults cite being put off by having bad experiences with third-party delivery services like Deliveroo and Uber Eats – and now order directly with the restaurant as a result of this – there are other notable concerns from consumers around additional costs and fees incurred when using these platforms. In fact, 1 in 4 (26%) think it’s cheaper to order directly from a restaurant instead of using a third party service and 11% do not use them altogether because they believe these businesses charge restaurants too much in fees.

The study also indicates that some UK consumers lack trust in the type of experience they will receive when ordering from a third-party provider, which is encouraging them to order directly from their favourite restaurants instead:

  • Problem Solvers: 26% think it will be more straightforward to solve a problem if it arises when ordering direct
  • Order Confidence: 1 in 5 (20%) have more confidence they will receive the correct order if going direct
  • Efficient Experience: 17% think going direct will lead to a more efficient experience from ordering to delivery
  • Personal Touch: 14% believe they will receive a more personalised experience when ordering direct
  • Data Safety: Nearly 1 in 10 (9%) trust restaurants to handle their data (e.g. name and contact information) correctly compared with if they ordered through third-party providers

The pandemic has driven a surge in awareness when it comes to helping local restaurants, as well as the wider hospitality industry during the challenging months of restrictions. In line with this, almost one third (31%) of UK consumers want to do all they can to support restaurants while on-premise dining isn’t possible and believe ordering directly is the best way to do this. The study also revealed that 41% of respondents want a clear pathway on when restrictions will be lifted so restaurants can plan for the year ahead without worry about further closures, while a further 21% want hospitality workers to be moved higher up the priority list for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Other key consumer habits when it comes to online ordering for takeaway or delivery include:

  • 43% of UK adults will only order delivery from restaurants in their local area
  • 33% are more likely to order from a restaurant they have been to before
  • More than 1 in 10 (12%) will only order from independent restaurants
  • Just 2% will hold off ordering food for takeaway or delivery until they have received their COVID-19 vaccine

Danilo Mangano, General Manager Europe at SevenRooms, comments: “The last year has seen more people ordering delivery than ever before, but it also has put the spotlight on third-party marketplaces and the impact these services are having on restaurants and the wider industry. For operators, the pandemic has served to show the value and importance in establishing and building direct relationships with guests. However, this doesn’t come from relying solely on third-party providers to facilitate delivery or takeaway alone.”

“There will be a huge desire among the British public to ‘make up for lost time’ when restaurant doors re-open and we know that many diners will want to make an immediate return to their favourite venues in-person after so long. But there will also be a significant proportion who, for a variety of reasons, will prefer to stick to online ordering and dining at home, at least in the short-to-medium term, and being able to meet these needs in the most cost-effective and valuable way will be important for driving long-term success and customer loyalty.”