COVID-19 has changed almost every industry across the planet in one way or another and the food and restaurant industry is no different. The online food delivery industry has grown by 11.5% in revenue this year, with an increase of 9.8% in users in comparison to 2019. New and innovative delivery services and tools have become more successful than ever before. This includes companies such as Cuboh, an online ordering service that brings all delivery apps together in one system for easier access for restaurant owners and managers.
Undoubtedly, this shift in consumer behavior as a result of social distancing measures will have a knock-on effect on the food industry moving forward. So what can we expect to see for the future of the food industry, and will these changes stay with us permanently?
With the COVID-19 lockdown forcing people to stay at home and businesses and restaurants closing down everywhere in the first half of 2020, the only way that people could enjoy restaurant food was through online orders, often through a delivery app. Those working in a restaurant kitchen were forced to adapt quickly to the new online ordering platforms, becoming a virtual restaurant overnight.
Luckily, there were already responses and help in place to help traditional brick and mortar restaurants become virtual kitchens. Cuboh.com is an online ordering manager that brings all food delivery apps together in one place so that online orders and menus are easier to manage. Customers go about the takeout service in the same way as before, using apps like Uber Eats, Doordash, and Deliveroo, but the orders all come through to the virtual kitchen in one place. This makes life far easier for business owners and restauranteurs. Online ordering apps should be made easier for everyone involved, and Cuboh is making that dream a reality.
Smaller chains struggling
Another effect in the restaurant industry is that smaller independent and family-owned businesses, in particular, are struggling. In the US, it was predicted that 75% of the nation’s independent restaurants could close permanently as a result of the pandemic. Hospitality industries naturally rely on foot traffic and a customer base that is able to be out and about on the streets. Although there was a revenue increase for online orders, many smaller chains could not afford the cost of being on this bunch of solutions and didn’t have the opportunity to open an online storefront. For those who were restricted to staying as brick and mortar eateries, there weren’t many reliable ways to continue drumming up business.
Many took to social media to appeal to their loyal customers and offered vouchers that could be redeemed after lockdown. Creative ideas like this one mean that now restrictions are being loosened, hopefully, times will start to improve for these smaller chains and businesses.
Beginning the reopening process
Eateries everywhere are starting to open up their services to the public once again, but it’s clear that the overall experience has changed drastically. Hours of operation have been reduced so that workers have time to make sure all cleaning processes are up to the proper standard in the interest of public health and menu items have also been widely reduced to adhere to disease control best practices.
There has also been a widespread change in consumer habits. For instance, 26% of consumers report an increase in their alcohol consumption and 22% say they are looking forward to being able to order specialty drinks and cocktails once they can return to restaurants and bars. Restaurant owners should, therefore, make sure that their alcoholic beverages are fully stocked and ready to supply the uptake in demand for alcohol content. Prepare your bartender: it seems the amount of alcohol they’ll be pouring will be skyrocketing!