As we step into the new year, the food delivery landscape continues to evolve. Here’s a few trends that I believe will shape the food delivery landscape in 2024, presenting significant opportunities for the industry.
Projected to reach an astounding £247bn by 2040, meal kits are witnessing a significant resurgence. An increasing number of our partners including the likes of Kricket are expanding their services to include nationwide delivery, offering not just meal kits but a variety of items ideal for gifting. We anticipate this demand will continue to grow as restaurants broaden their horizons beyond last-mile delivery. This is particularly relevant for key gifting occasions like Valentine’s Day. Research indicates that 8 in 10 people prefer celebrating at home, presenting an ideal opportunity for customers to indulge in unique dining experiences delivered right to their doorstep.
We’re seeing more and more businesses encouraging employees to come into the office regularly and they’re using great food as a tool to do this. Be it free Doughnuts on a Friday or a team lunch once a week, office catering is a booming sector. In 2023, Just Eat reported a 56% growth in this type of ordering and many of our partners, like B Bagel and Dom’s Subs, are benefiting from this trend. Corporate clients want to order directly from restaurants in bulk, but the people making the orders don’t want to deal with endless back and forth on email or holding on the phone, so digital solutions, like Slerp, are key to this growing trend.
Over 90% of restaurateurs consider marketplace pricing to be unfair. But we’re still seeing many restaurants link to Deliveroo or Uber Eats from their own website rather than offer a direct delivery solution. Why is this? Because doing last mile delivery is often too hard when you try to do it all yourself. It involves several different elements that need to work together seamlessly. Balancing customer delivery enquiries alongside in-house diners whilst managing couriers or hiring your own drivers is a lot to think about.
Restaurants don’t avoid direct delivery because it’s hard to get the customers. We know that the average customer only orders from a small number of restaurants on any platform, so moving them to order directly isn’t that hard, it’s managing those deliveries and offering a high quality experience that is.
This is where we stand out, and where other Direct Platforms need to step up. In 2024, we need to show that offering a direct delivery channel is just as simple as being on a marketplace, and then it will really become a no-brainer for every restaurant out there.
One way we did this in 2023 is with our live customer service team managing partner deliveries, but also communicating with their customers. We handle everything from courier assignments to customer refunds, and we’re proud to have 97% positive feedback. Since launching this, we’ve actually reduced the number of refunds issued by our partner restaurants by 30%, saving them thousands of pounds each month and we are just getting started.