Will home delivery make or break the restaurant trade?

Millennials seem to have a lot to answer for. Time-poor, convenience-seeking we now show an even greater appetite for having food delivered at home.

So, whilst the future of home-cooked meals is looking less favourable we wonder whether home delivery could make, or break the restaurant trade. 

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UBS published a recent report for investors that shows a new future ahead - one where kitchens are abandoned for takeout food made by robots and delivered by drones. Whilst it feels far-fetched to some, the growth of delivery platforms like Grubhub, Just Eat and Delivery Hero could be the winners of the future. With delivery platforms like Amazon.com poised to play a role in this growing delivery market, online food delivery could command 10 percent of the total food services market, by 2030. (That translates to $365 billion in market share, up from $35 billion today.) And, if you read The Wall Street Journal, you will know that “people don’t want to cook anymore.”

“The total cost of production of a professionally cooked and delivered meal could approach the cost of home-cooked food, or beat it when time is factored in,” the report proposes, making food delivery part of a “megatrend” that simply can’t be ignored. UBS sees robots working in “dark kitchens,” with different types of takeaway meals prepared in group kitchens. With millennials three times more likely to order food than their parents, who would lose out in this brave new world?

Well, plenty of businesses might.  Food retailers, producers, as well as property markets, home appliances, and other manufacturers. 

We all recognise the growth of Deliveroo and the ubiquitous Uber Eats but we should also note that meal kit delivery services like HelloFresh might help to fill in the 'home-cooking' gap.

We mustn’t ignore the fact that we are at the first stage of industrialising meal production and delivery and it’s an exciting opportunity that we need to embrace. But the kitchen is far from dead. It’s evolving. By targeting the parts of the cooking process that are time-consuming (ingredient sourcing, food prep,) and improving the skills and confidence to cook, we'll see the 'survival of the kitchen'. Through better use of technology, smart appliances and cooking apps the industry is already developing a better way of working through both formats to create more choice, more value and better experiences all round. 



Fraser Bradshaw