Just Keep Eating

As online delivery platform Just Eat is poised to enter the FTSE 100, further food innovation is never off the menu

When it comes to the essence of takeaway delivery, nothing much has changed.

Years ago, in those dark pre-internet days, life wasn’t really that different in this sense. If you fancied a takeaway on a Friday night, you plucked your favourite menu off the fridge, rang the restaurant and half an hour later, there was the delivery person with the moped and your hot, delicious food.

So, what’s changed since then? For the consumer, not actually that much. Okay, so now you can order online instead of calling the takeaway. You have a much greater choice of restaurants and all their menus are available online, so you’re not restricted to who’s chosen to publish theirs in the Yellow Pages. And you can pay digitally, which means a lack of ready cash at the door is no longer a problem. 

All big conveniences in themselves, which have contributed to the UK takeaway delivery market now being worth nearly £10 billion. But all these leaps forward haven’t changed the core of the experience – food being delivered to your door, instead of having to cook it yourself.

For the restaurant industry though, the internet has literally revolutionised the delivery market in more ways than anyone can have envisaged 20 years ago. If you’re not convinced, just take a look at Just Eat, which as we write is on the brink of entering the FTSE 100. Not only that, the online delivery platform is now worth £5.6 billion and has seen its share value soar past that food Goliath, Sainsbury’s.

 To say the boom in online delivery options has taken the food industry by storm is an understatement, as the ripples are continuing to be felt. Not only is there greater competition among local businesses to be the one that stands out the most to fickle Friday night feasters, but the revolution has brought with it other challenges. How do small restaurants cope with the added costs of fulfilling all these deliveries? Do existing packaging methods still do the job or do we need new solutions? How can a business keep their emissions down while sending delivery people buzzing around town all night?

Every new innovation brings with it new opportunities and challenges to consider, so what will be the next big thing in food? Progress surely can’t stop with Just Eat and the like – just as we thought the delivery market was all bagged up years ago, there are bound to be more surprises on the menu.

Are you bringing a fresh flavour to food tech? Drop the FoodTalk Show team a line on hello@foodtalk.co.uk - we’d love to hear your story.

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