Around 43% of consumers are eating out less often now as a result of the growth of online delivery giants such as Deliveroo, Just Eat and UberEats, according to research from loyalty scheme Nectar.
The research found that almost two-thirds (64%) of consumers look first to these online delivery services when ordering takeout food, compared with just 16% who begin by looking on a restaurant’s website and 16% who use a search engine.
While consumers are discovering new restaurants through online platforms, nearly half (48%) say that they would rather order takeout than visit these establishments in person. This has fostered a new attitude towards restaurant meals, with 42% of people saying they prefer to entertain at home than eat out.
The research found that when people do choose to eat out, 65% do so for the experience, placing newfound pressure on restaurants to focus on ambience, service and an environment that is reflective of their brand.
The use of restaurant delivery apps has been shown to be driven not by income, but demographics. More than half (55%) of those aged 18-34 have used food delivery apps and websites in the last three months, compared with 20% of 45-54-year-olds and 12% of 55 to 64-year-olds. Families are most drawn to the convenience of these platforms, with 56% of respondents with children having used them, compared with 30% of those without children.
James Moir, managing director of Nectar, said: “The likes of Deliveroo and UberEats are clearly having an impact on dining habits. While working with online platforms can be a valuable means of income generation for restaurant brands, the threat to dine-in establishments is clear as consumer habits shift.
“Ultimately, diners now have more choice, so restaurants need to respond. They will be even more keenly judged on value, quality and service. With so much data from online and in-restaurant purchases now at their fingertips, restaurants can know their customers better than ever before. This means using that data to create a tailored online experience, complemented by a quality restaurant environment offering the value and experience diners want.”