The Italian restaurant was actually a blur of activity. Chefs furiously cooked pizza and pasta at both ends in the store, waiters busily took phone orders along with a procession of food couriers picked up deliveries. There was one problem: few in-store dinners had food on his or her table.
By my count, at least two-thirds of restaurant patrons were waiting around for food. Some had that, “please feed me before I faint” look. Others were “hangry” (hungry-angry) from too little food, overpriced menu and a flood of delivery orders that crushed your kitchen.
Just about every pizza cooked went in to a home-delivery box and pastas were stacked rich in plastic containers and delivery bags. I don’t know if the restaurant prioritised buy coleus forskohlii or if perhaps the orders just fell that well. But also in-store dining seemed a lesser priority.
I have got seen exactly the same problem repeatedly this year. Popular restaurants are swamped by online or phone orders and struggling to balance the needs of in-store diners using their takeaway or home-delivery customers.
I suspect more family restaurants will neglect to get accustomed to increase in online food ordering and delivery – and unwittingly wreck their in-store experience and brand.
Could it be taking longer to receive food ordered in restaurants?
Will be more orders being manufactured for pick-ups or home delivery?
Do you experience feeling in-store dining has become less appealing as more restaurants gear up for online orders and deliveries.
It can be fascinating to watch smaller restaurants adapt to the food-ordering boom that Menulog and delivery companies including Foodora, Deliveroo and Uber are driving.
The suburban restaurant that catered to local residents and maybe a compact takeaway market now serves a more substantial market via online food-ordering platforms. Some even promote their business into a wide radius of suburbs, developing a potential client base they cannot wish to serve properly.
Their kitchens usually are not set up to handle a lot of online orders right away, they don’t have enough staff once they need them, along with their in-store dining and web-based components are usually poorly co-ordinated.
Their cost base and business model continues to be built around in-store dining, although much more of their revenue is originating from online orders. One local restaurant owner informed me 80 per cent of meals they cook are now for home deliveries or pick-ups.
Granted, this is an excellent problem for smaller restaurants. Those who successfully market via food-ordering platforms have realized a more substantial client base and surviving in a difficult, competitive market. Obviously, they need as many online orders as you possibly can.
The possibilities of churning out meal after meal to get a takeaway market, often at just a small discount to in-store dining, looks considerably more lucrative than depending on in-store diners.
The prospect of churning out meal after meal to get a takeaway market, often at just a compact discount to in-store dining, looks a lot more lucrative than relying on in-store diners, waiters, and all sorts of the expenses and hassle that is included with that. And less risky.
But smaller restaurants must consider how continued fast increase in online food ordering and deliveries changes their industry, and adapt. Those who respond by just cooking more and more meals, with the exact same enterprise model and infrastructure, will ultimately damage their subscriber base.
My guess is they will alienate in-store diners and push more and more people towards ordering deliveries or buying pre-cooked meals. It’s no great surprise that David Jones plans a big push in this area: the marketplace is ripe for higher-quality, pre-prepared meals.
Overseas, food delivery giant Deliveroo, reportedly worth more than $US1 billion, is opening kitchen spaces in places not well-served by restaurants – a strategy it calls “food delivery 4.”. It’s changing how takeaway food is prepared.
Deliveroo as well as other food-technology innovators are able to see the opportunity: more people will order food on the internet and have it home delivered, and cook less, in coming years. But the market is still geared mostly towards people ordering and consuming (or obtaining) food in-store.
As I’ve written before in this column, smaller restaurants should rethink their method of the foodstuff-ordering boom: virtual brands, shared kitchens, industrial-style cooking facilities 46dexipky smaller menus (that happen to be faster to cook) to the online market.
Store layouts need to change: separate areas for food couriers clear of in-store patrons, different kitchen configurations, and other staffing in busy periods. And much more seriously considered how in-store diners are served, or regardless of if the business should downscale in this field.
Yes, there will be requirement for in-store dining and lots of restaurants do a fantastic job. But as more in their revenue emanates from online orders in coming years, the market must adapt faster to capitalise over a fantastic opportunity.
Thus far, really the only people being disrupted through the online food-ordering boom look like in-store diners – and in time, the big supermarkets as people cook less.