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From Website to Mobile: How the Online Food Ordering and Delivery Industry will Evolve in the Next Year

Lilya Khimchenko

CMO

Online food delivery platforms are moving in sync with major societal changes and trends. Born to cater to the needs of ever-moving, always busy millennials and Gen Z, the market is buzzing with innovative platforms, actively absorbing the impact of shared economy trends, and evolving in huge leaps.

What lies ahead for the food delivery field? Here’s a rundown of where the market’s at right now, as well as the trends that will affect it the most in the future.

“By keeping tabs on the present and getting ready for the changes in the future, your food delivery business will be among the industry frontrunners.”
Table of Contents:

State of the Food Delivery Market

The food delivery market is at its peak right now, with a total market value of $83 million. By 2025, the industry is expected to reach a growth rate of 3.5%. 

The standard delivery model is still the most common one on the market — a consumer orders a meal, the restaurant dispatches a delivery manager who will deliver the order to the doorstep. Despite the boom of digital technologies, phone orders are still the most common, making up 3/4 of all ordered meals, according to McKinsey

In 2019, digital innovation is not commonplace in food delivery — however, businesses look for and test new ways to connect with clients using mobile apps, wearable devices, and other forms of advanced technology. It was found that 86% of food delivery customers in US use these services at least once per month. 

Mobile apps for food delivery seem the most appealing for 18-24 year olds, with millennials coming in second by a small margin. Restaurant managers benefit from investing in food delivery since the customers that order deliveries are three times more likely to come back than walk-in customers. 

Top 7 Food Delivery Trends for 2020

In the next 5-7 years, the modern market is likely to see a yet higher penetration of delivery models — single- and multi-fleet, in-house and crowdsourced delivery, from-store deliveries, curbside pickups, and many others. 

As the demand for delivery services of all calibers grow, the competition on the market becomes much more fierce. Business managers have to work on new ways to differentiate from competitors and appeal to customers. 

Adjusting your delivery management strategy with these seven trends in mind is a way to stay one step ahead of other companies in the sector. 

Trend #1. Third-party delivery

Collaborating with third-party flees helps restaurant managers expand the range of reachable locations. By hiring a delivery team, a food company manager doesn’t have to build an in-house department and can focus on marketing and increasing the quality of on-site meals. 

Trend #2. Delivery-tracking software

As onboarding a third-party vendor deprives restaurant managers of a chunk of control, food company owners use delivery management software to oversee the process remotely. Recently, food delivery service providers have come to fully understand the importance of data for successful planning and preventing delivery-related risks. 

In March 2019, McDonald’s acquired a big data company for $300 million. The potential benefits the fast-food giant is hoping to reach include queue management, predicting customer food tastes and buying habits, and increasing the efficiency of deliveries.

Trend #3. Growth of grocery delivery services

Scaling delivery operations is most challenging for grocery businesses, as they are the laggards of the alimentary industry in terms of automation and digital transformation. Brick-and-mortar stores found a way to expand the delivery range by cooperating with supermarkets and using them as fulfillment centers. Online grocery delivery is growing as well, although slowly. On-demand grocery delivery will offer customers more control and transparency, and increase the convenience of daily shopping.  The most popular online grocery delivery projects are AmazonFresh and Walmart Grocery

Trend #4. In-house fleets

While some companies see onboarding vendors as a better way to streamline food delivery, others choose to build in-house fleets. Back in 2016, Panera started its in-house delivery department, creating a trend other companies chose to follow. These days, there’s no lack of innovative companies like Chick-fil-A that manage the food supply chain in-house

Trend #5. Order-by-tweet delivery

As Twitter is a way to share thoughts and opinions in the fastest way possible, global food chains realize the platform is perfect for building a deeper connection with prospective clientele. Domino’s Pizza was the first and the most prominent example of Twitterverse integration.  The chain fans could order a pizza simply by tweeting a pizza emoji. The company’s data processing tools would then connect the social media profile to a user account in the mobile app and deliver a pizza to the user listed in the ‘Easy order’ tab. 

Trend #6. Food rescue movements

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN has recently published jaw-dropping findings on food waste — it appears humans fail to consume one-third of the food we produce. To raise environmental awareness and promote responsibility, food waste apps stormed at the delivery scene and established there as one of the most promising and groundbreaking trends.  Such platforms help restaurant and grocery store managers deal with leftovers and supply people who don’t get enough alimentary resources all over the world. Food for All and Food Rescue US are the trendsetters in the niche right now — there will likely be more famous food rescue apps by 2025. 

Trend #7. Mobile apps for food delivery

Delivery apps are growing at an impressive pace that’s likely to speed up in the future. Restaurant Dive estimates that 44 million Americans will be active delivery app users by next year. By 2023, 23% of all US citizens will use a delivery app to no longer have to go grocery shopping or eating out.  The demand for delivery is so striking that customers are aware of delivery fees and still willing to pay them. The latest research showed that an average American is willing to pay up to $5 in fees for a single delivery. 

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Mobile Food Delivery Benefits

The range of benefits mobile food delivery offers customers is evident — it’s fast, convenient, and hassle-free. Food companies, on the other hand, are cautious to shift the focus from catering to walk-in customers to embracing and investing in innovative delivery models. Most fear that delivery-related risks — food spoilage, changing weather conditions, and others, will put the business’ stability in jeopardy.  The good news is the benefits of designing and promoting delivery apps far outweigh all potential risks. Here are the advantages restaurant owners get by embracing mobile food delivery. 

  • Higher customer satisfaction. In-app food delivery is faster and more controllable than placing a phone order. A customer can track the delivery process, get to know the reviews about every dish on the menu, save their most common orders in order not to browse the menu again. Being constantly updated on the delivery status, choosing a payment method, and not having to deal with calling the place increases customer satisfaction and results in higher return rates than those of phone deliveries. 

  • Faster transactions. If an app has location permission, a user doesn’t have to enter the address for the delivery. Basically, an app visitors will only have to create and confirm an order — that is much faster than visiting the restaurant or ordering by phone. 

  • Reducing the guesswork. Delivery apps provide restaurant managers with detailed insights on which dishes are the most popular, when the user flow is higher than usual, and how much time it takes to prep and deliver a meal to a particular area. This way, food business managers can offer customers precise estimates, eliminating the wait time and plan product restocking with skyrocketing precision, reducing food spoilage. 

  • More engagement opportunities. Since most people are regular smartphone users, restaurant managers can take advantage of being able to track delivery app users — send them notifications as they are close to the company’s restaurant, encourage fast meal reviews that would help build connections with new coming visitors, and provide AR-based experiences that offer new ways to share meals. 

Top Food Delivery Apps

Food delivery apps are a dominant trend in the market right now. As a food business manager, you might want to create a platform for delivery placement and management as well. If building an app from scratch seems confusing, consider giving top platforms a try to get a better understanding of what is trending in the industry at the moment. 

1. UberEats

UberEats is a worldwide food delivery tool that allows ordering a meal from a nearby restaurant and having it delivered straight to your doorstep. 

Delivery fee: $4.99 or more, based on the distance.  Main features:

  • Intelligent personalized meal reels;

  • Pre-orders;

  • An analytics platform for restaurant managers;

  • Public places delivery support;

  • Full driver profiles;

  • Push-notification-based delivery tracking. 

2. Postmates

Postmates is a third-party deliver app that offers meals from over 100,000 restaurants, grocery stores, and retail shops. 

Delivery fee: there’s a $9.99/month subscription fee that allows app users to get $20+ orders with no delivery fees.  Main features:

  • 1-hour delivery;

  • 24/7 availability;

  • Delivery tracking;

  • ‘Special’ tab that publishes featured meal offers;

  • ‘Party’ features — find out what people from your neighborhood are ordering. 

3. Delivery.com

This app is a one-stop-shop for handling major delivery tasks — it helps users manage grocery shopping and laundry. It has a killer loyalty program, allowing users to collect points and exchange them for discounts and gifts. 

Delivery fee: varies based on the venue Main features

  • Order tracking;

  • Secure payment;

  • Filtering the offers;

  • Lists with favorite meals;

  • Social media login integrations. 

4. Eat24

This app works with all the most popular chain restaurants in the US and is powered by another giant in the delivery industry — Grubhub. 

Delivery fee: varies by offers.  Main features:

  • Exclusive deals;

  • Meal pre-order;

  • Real-time delivery updates;

  • Express Reorder feature for faster meal ordering;

Final thoughts

As the number of food delivery projects grows, customers are becoming increasingly more demanding. That’s why companies should implement innovative solutions into their delivery operations, including consumer- and business-facing apps.  If you want to build a software solution in the food industry, contact Arounda.agency. Our development team has fully built and designed dozens of management and delivery apps for food startups and SMEs. We are familiar with the latest domain trends and best practices and have all the tools to help businesses stand out among competitors. Take a look at the portfolio to see the projects our skilled development team has built. To get personalized tips and suggestions for your future products — leave a message. Our reps will get in touch and offer our tech knowledge to help build a high-performing delivery app for your business.

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