Anthony likes helping people reach their true potential. Being the victim of his own fears and insecurities in his own business, he has decided to help others create more opportunities.
An empty fridge. That used to be a valid excuse to go out for dinner. But now, fewer and fewer people want to leave the comfort of their homes to grab something to eat. They prefer ordering their food with a few clicks and having it delivered while watching TV. This is why online ordering and food delivery have become vital for many restaurants. Unsurprisingly, delivery is proving to be a highly innovative industry. Where is it going? What should restaurant owners keep their eyes on? Let’s see what trends we can expect to see in the future.
The evolution of food delivery in recent years
A fairly recent innovation has been Uber-like delivery systems. Deliveroo is probably the best known company offering that kind of service. For restaurants, their solution has made it easier to offer a food delivery service without hiring a full-time driver. That doesn’t mean they have completely replaced the old ways though.
If delivering food is more than fifty percent of your business, it’s probably still better to hire someone full time. This way you can set up a reliable system and ensure your clients get their delivery on time. It’s also worth noting that the longer your food takes to be delivered, the more it deteriorates. Some companies are working hard on more efficient systems using new technologies. Some solutions might be better for the planet as well.
Environmentally friendly food delivery
Let’s face it, delivering food has its environmental cost. At the same time, it’s hard to find runners willing to do everything on a bicycle. With the electric assistance, however, new possibilities have opened up. Companies like Urban Arrow have created cargo bicycles with an electric pedal-assist to limit the physical strain on the cyclist. It is also easier to make your way in traffic with a cargo bike than with a car.
The future for vehicles seems to be electricity. People are turning away from anything powered by fossil fuels. Another environmentally friendly solution is drones. Domino’s Pizza has been experimenting with them. After all, they can easily beat traffic and do the job. The reason why the solution is not mainstream yet is that the technology needs to mature a little bit. The air is normally a highly regulated area but the status of drones remains ambiguous.
Ever since the first Tesla and its famous auto-pilot mode, a new hope has risen. Driving is expensive. As a driver, you never make back the time you spend at the wheel. When you have to hire people to drive your vehicles, it becomes even more costly. Driverless cars delivering food to your customers are probably the future of food delivery.
Introducing the first Pizza Hut fully autonomous delivery concept vehicle. Excited for our future with @Toyota #CES2018 pic.twitter.com/YGNQUgijha
— Pizza Hut (@pizzahut) January 8, 2018
Pizza Hut has built a partnership with Toyota to come up with a prototype of vehicle which can deliver a pizza, but also make it as it goes from one place to the next. That means the pizza can arrive on the customer’s doorstep even fresher. Naturally, there is still a problem of safety and regulation, but the project looks promising.
New questions and new challenges
Of course, the new food delivery methods will have their share of challenges. That’s why changes will probably happen progressively. People are going to complain about delivery boys losing their jobs. The process of delivering food may also lose its human aspect. There are more positive ways of looking at this transformation though.
If cars and trucks can be driverless and run on electricity, you can basically have your own mobile restaurant and hire chefs to cook food inside the vehicle as it moves. Not all human interactors need disappear. Cooking remains an art. It may be easy to automate pizza making, but when it comes to more complex dishes, the human hand will still rule.
As a restaurant owner it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all these new technologies. You don’t need to try everything though. The big brands will always be a step or two ahead because they have money to invest. That doesn’t mean their investments always pay off. When something does work, however, it’s better to be a pioneer than having to catch up with the competition. The demand for food delivery is bound to increase some more, and the way to deliver food is likely to evolve quickly. Savvy restaurant owners should save a portion of their budget and use it to either provide delivery services or improve those they already have, even if the system they use becomes obsolete in a couple of years.