The Italian restaurant was really a blur of activity. Chefs furiously cooked pizza and pasta at both ends of the store, waiters busily took phone orders as well as a procession of food couriers acquired deliveries. There seemed to be one problem: few in-store dinners had food on the table.
By my count, at least two-thirds of restaurant patrons were expecting food. Some had that, “please feed me before I faint” look. Others were “hangry” (hungry-angry) from not enough 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 loaded with plastic containers and delivery bags. I don’t determine if the restaurant prioritised buy forskolin or if perhaps the orders just fell that well. But in-store dining seemed a lesser priority.
I actually have seen the identical problem many times this coming year. Popular restaurants are now being swamped by online or phone orders and struggling to balance the needs of in-store diners with their takeaway or home-delivery customers.
I suspect more family restaurants will fail to adapt to rise in online food ordering and delivery – and unwittingly wreck their in-store experience and brand.
Would it be taking longer to get food ordered in restaurants?
Will be more orders being created for pick-ups or home delivery?
Do you experience feeling in-store dining is starting to become less appealing as more restaurants gear up for online orders and deliveries.
It really is fascinating to watch smaller restaurants adapt to the meals-ordering boom that Menulog and delivery companies such as Foodora, Deliveroo and Uber are driving.
The suburban restaurant that catered to local residents and maybe a little takeaway market now serves a greater market via online food-ordering platforms. Some even promote their business into a wide radius of suburbs, developing a possible client base they cannot wish to serve properly.
Their kitchens will not be set up to handle numerous online orders at the same time, they don’t have sufficient staff whenever they need them, along with their in-store dining and internet based components are frequently poorly co-ordinated.
Their cost base and business design remains to be built around in-store dining, although even more of their revenue is coming from online orders. One local restaurant owner explained 80 per cent of meals they cook are for home deliveries or pick-ups.
Granted, this is a good problem for smaller restaurants. Those who successfully market via food-ordering platforms are finding a larger client base and surviving within a difficult, competitive market. Of course, they need several online orders as possible.
The possibilities of churning out meal after meal to get a takeaway market, often at just a small discount to in-store dining, looks much more lucrative than counting on in-store diners.
The prospect of churning out meal after meal to get a takeaway market, often at only a tiny discount to in-store dining, looks a lot more lucrative than counting on in-store diners, waiters, and all the price and hassle that accompany that. And fewer risky.
But smaller restaurants have to consider how continued fast development in online food ordering and deliveries will alter their industry, and adapt. People who respond by simply cooking a growing number of meals, with the exact same business structure and infrastructure, will eventually damage their customer base.
My guess is that they will alienate in-store diners and push more people towards ordering deliveries or buying pre-cooked meals. It’s no surprise that David Jones plans a large push here: the current market 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 technique it calls “food delivery 4.”. It’s changing how takeaway meals is prepared.
Deliveroo and also other food-technology innovators can see the possible: a lot more people will order food on the web and already have it home delivered, and cook less, in future years. Nevertheless the sector is still geared mostly towards people ordering and consuming (or picking up) food in-store.
As I’ve written before within this column, smaller restaurants should rethink their procedure for the foodstuff-ordering boom: virtual brands, shared kitchens, industrial-style cooking facilities 46dexipky smaller menus (which can be faster in order to cook) for the online market.
Store layouts will need to change: separate areas for food couriers away from in-store patrons, different kitchen configurations, and other staffing in busy periods. And a lot more considered how in-store diners are served, or whether or not the business should downscale in this field.
Yes, there will almost always be demand for in-store dining and lots of restaurants do a great job. But as more of the revenue comes from online orders in coming years, the business should adapt faster to capitalise with a fantastic opportunity.
So far, the only real people being disrupted from the online food-ordering boom look like in-store diners – and in time, the large supermarkets as people cook less.