Case Study | Keeping up with Consumer Trends

See why offering meal delivery is a crucial part of competing in the food industry

Meal delivery options are expanding rapidly, and business owners like Wollenschlaeger, CEO of Pittsburgh Fresh, and David Greensmith, president of Essential Meal Delivery, say they recognize their customers’ ability to pick up a phone or tablet to order their next entrée.

According to NPD, a U.S. market restaurant services research firm, online food orders have grown from 33% in 2013 to 53% in 2017. “Almost 8% of NPD’s measured universe of $1.8 trillion in U.S. consumer purchasing is now online,” says David Portalatin, the firm’s vice president and industry advisor for their food and beverage division. “In both retail food and foodservice, e-commerce penetration is far lower than the average across industries, but the gap is shrinking fast as Americans turn to e-commerce for groceries, restaurant meals and subscription meal kits,” he adds.  “The manufacturers, retailers and restaurant operators that best leverage digital will win in today’s challenging environment.”

As a result of changing consumer preferences, meal delivery concepts like UberEats, Amazon Restaurants, GrubHub and DoorDash have been sprouting up like dandelions after a spring rain. Throughout the United States, these firms are delivering everything from a Big Mac to a Vietnamese avocado egg roll.   

The trend is undeniable and many restaurants are partnering with delivery services, says Yukon Palmer, a senior executive with FieldLogix, a GPS fleet and workforce management company. He says restaurant owners should consider some critical factors in determining if these delivery services are cost effective, but also to consider other key customer satisfaction factors when they make their choices.  

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