The Italian restaurant was actually a blur of activity. Chefs furiously cooked pizza and pasta at both ends of the store, waiters busily took phone orders along with a procession of food couriers picked up deliveries. There seemed to be one problem: few in-store dinners had food on his or her table.
By my count, at the very 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 a lack of food, overpriced menu and a flood of delivery orders that crushed your kitchen.
Almost every pizza cooked went in a home-delivery box and pastas were stacked high in plastic containers and delivery bags. I don’t determine the restaurant prioritised where to buy coleus forskohlii or maybe the orders just fell that well. Nevertheless in-store dining seemed a cheaper priority.
I have got seen the same problem several times this year. Popular restaurants are being swamped by online or phone orders and struggling to balance the requirements of in-store diners using their takeaway or home-delivery customers.
I suspect more family restaurants will fail to conform to growth in online food ordering and delivery – and unwittingly wreck their in-store experience and brand.
Could it be taking longer to obtain food ordered in restaurants?
Are more orders being made for pick-ups or home delivery?
Sometimes you may feel in-store dining has become less appealing as more restaurants gear up for online orders and deliveries.
It is actually fascinating to view smaller restaurants conform to the meal-ordering boom that Menulog and delivery companies like Foodora, Deliveroo and Uber are driving.
The suburban restaurant that catered to local residents as well as perhaps a small takeaway market now serves a bigger market via online food-ordering platforms. Some even promote their business to your wide radius of suburbs, making a potential customer base they cannot wish to serve properly.
Their kitchens will not be set up to handle a large number of online orders right away, they don’t have sufficient staff once they need them, in addition to their in-store dining and internet based components are frequently poorly co-ordinated.
Their cost base and business model is still built around in-store dining, though much more of their revenue is on its way from online orders. One local restaurant owner explained to me 80 percent of meals they cook are for home deliveries or pick-ups.
Granted, this is a good problem for smaller restaurants. Those that successfully market via food-ordering platforms are finding a bigger client base and surviving in the difficult, competitive market. Naturally, they want several online orders as is possible.
The possibilities of churning out meal after meal for any takeaway market, often at only a little discount to in-store dining, looks a lot more lucrative than counting on in-store diners.
The prospect of churning out meal after meal for a takeaway market, often at just a compact discount to in-store dining, looks a lot more lucrative than counting on in-store diners, waiters, and all sorts of the costs and hassle that accompany that. And less risky.
But smaller restaurants must consider how continued fast growth in online food ordering and deliveries can change their industry, and adapt. Those that respond by simply cooking a growing number of meals, with similar enterprise model and infrastructure, will ultimately damage their customer base.
My guess is because they will alienate in-store diners and push more and more people towards ordering deliveries or buying pre-cooked meals. It’s no surprise that David Jones plans a major push in this region: the marketplace is ripe for higher-quality, pre-prepared meals.
Overseas, food delivery giant Deliveroo, reportedly worth a lot more than $US1 billion, is opening kitchen spaces in places not well-served by restaurants – a method it calls “food delivery 4.”. It’s changing how takeaway foods are prepared.
Deliveroo and other food-technology innovators can see the possible: a lot more people will order food internet and already have it home delivered, and cook less, in coming years. However the marketplace is still geared mostly towards people ordering and consuming (or picking up) food in-store.
As I’ve written before in this particular column, smaller restaurants must rethink their strategy to the foodstuff-ordering boom: virtual brands, shared kitchens, industrial-style cooking facilities 46dexipky smaller menus (that happen to be faster cooking) for the online market.
Store layouts need to change: separate areas for food couriers away from in-store patrons, different kitchen configurations, and different staffing in busy periods. And more considered how in-store diners are served, or if the business should downscale in this field.
Yes, there will be interest in in-store dining and a lot of restaurants do a fantastic job. But as more with their revenue originates from online orders in coming years, the business will need to adapt faster to capitalise on a fantastic opportunity.
Up to now, really the only people being disrupted from the online food-ordering boom look like in-store diners – and also in time, the major supermarkets as people cook less.