Digital Food Delivery – Opening up New Avenues for Revenues in Food Business


The rise of digital food delivery and the advent of food delivery apps have made life easier, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The exponential growth of digital food services – right from grocery pickup to delivery to restaurant deliveries has redefined how people across the globe get their food. Rising need for convenient food delivery and popularity of doorstep delivery have led to the development of web- and app-based services which can easily deliver a variety of fresh groceries, prepared foods, and everything else on the people’s doorstep. Digital food access have revolutionized the access to food for people with conventional food stores, mobility challenges, and time constraints. 

Ever since the pandemic struck the world, the food service industry has witnessed a revolution from taking orders on-premises to becoming highly dependent on delivery apps and other digital sources. According to a recent survey, over 33% orders come from third-party delivery apps and other digital food ordering sources. Even with many states and restaurants starting dine-in services, people are still preferring to take their restaurant and convenience store orders at home. Delivery customers are important for the restaurants as they are loyal and one-third of orders from delivery customers are from people who order multiple times a month. Moreover, the growth of online food ordering and delivery has increased by 20% over the last few years. Reports and Data estimates the global digital food delivery market is expected to reach USD 369.97 billion in 2030 and is expected to register a revenue CAGR of 13.2% during the forecast period, 2022-2030. 

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Rapid Changes in the Way Food Business is carried out Today and The Emergence of Digital Food Delivery Options

Digital food delivery covers a wide range of restaurant ordering capabilities that are beyond the conventional brick-and-mortar restaurants. In addition, over the last few years, delivery-only operations have emerged that accept only online orders through apps and websites and with no need for four-walled restaurants, these restaurants are only available online. Digital food delivery apps and options have emerged as one of the fastest-growing developments in the field of e-commerce. With these apps, consumers can choose from a plethora of cuisines, at any given time and place, from different food providers that are available on the digital delivery apps. Features such as no minimum order value and a variety of payment options such as digital wallets, net banking, credit and debit cards, and cash on delivery have further increased convenience of the consumers. Moreover, increasing access to smartphones has accelerated growth and acceptance of online food delivery systems. Online food delivery market, majorly comprising of aggregators and internet kitchens, has shown tremendous growth in the recent years. Some restaurant owners have added delivery to their existing businesses while many have built their own direct ordering channels. However, a lot of them are taking cloud kitchen route and setting up delivery only.

Much of this growth comes from rapidly changing consumer preferences. Online ordering has captured a diner demographic that is increasingly faced with time constraints and is gravitating towards a sophisticated e-commerce experience. One of the major segment is the increase in disposable income and emergence of high-income households. Along with consumers, even restaurant operators are stepping up to meet demands and according to one survey, over 37% of restaurants now offer online ordering while 32% accept mobile payments. With food delivery options becoming easier and convenient with the advent of new mobile apps, text message communications, and websites of restaurants and food joints, more consumers are preferring to dine-in. 

And while some restaurants do not have in-house delivery capabilities, third-party partners are effectively bridging the gap between them. Biggest source of delivery orders come from restaurant’s apps or websites and now majority of them now account for third-party agents such as GrubHub, UberEats, Zomato, and Swiggy, among others. Hybrid delivery platforms are also actively accounting for a major part of the market share, rapidly changing the way ordered food is delivered. 

Digital Food Delivery – Driven by the Rise of Digital Age

Consumers are increasingly intrigued by the idea of ordering food online and having convenience delivered to the doorstep. Major segments of this trend includes millennials and high-income households with more than 70% of online orders and at-home delivery services customers include those between the age of 21 and 35 years. Digital age culture has largely contributed to the growth of online food ordering and food delivery as millennials and Gen Z are more accustomed to online ordering and waiting for their delivery. With growing number of customers jumping into food delivery bandwagon, many players are entering the industry with novel trends to capitalize on the lucrative opportunities the space has to offer. 

Some of the rapidly emerging online food ordering trends include orders by smartwatches, television screens, virtual assistants, tweets, and cars. In addition, a variety of delivery options have been introduced in replacement of conventional food delivery approaches such as pizza drones, robots, and UAVs for food delivery. With rapid innovations in ecommerce industry, these trends are seamlessly being integrated in the food businesses and in the food delivery segment. Over the last few years, restaurant delivery modes have changed with the emergence of new fleet types which include same-day delivery and same-hour delivery. The changes and introduction of new food business models continue to shape the food delivery space and has enabled introduction of new features such as cloud kitchen, aggregator, loyalty apps, delivery apps, and restaurant apps, among others. Rapid rise of digital technology has transformed the food delivery process and has reshaped the market and now consumers are preferring to place their orders through apps and websites. In turn, restaurants ensure transparency and convenience in their services. 

With improvements in technology, food ordering and delivery is set to witness massive changes and new and established players have introduced new models such as virtual kitchens to compete with each other. More and more innovations and growth are expected to be introduced in the future and the food industry is expected to become more industry with restaurants and food businesses become more creative in their choice of services and what they offer to the consumers.

Author Bio: 

Bhakti Shuke is a content writer at ReportsAndData with a zeal for designing and developing all sorts of first-rate content. She is passionate about science and healthcare but also has a fervor to stay updated with the latest happenings in the world. When she is not writing, she can be found immersed in a book pretending the outside world doesn’t exist.