What’s Next for the Restaurant Delivery Trend?

As many industry professionals predicted, food delivery is here to stay in the post-pandemic restaurant industry. However, there are a few caveats that surprised the industry. Between third-party delivery services stalling, full-service restaurants dropping delivery service, and consumers spending more consciously, food delivery has become a more complicated trend to forecast. Here is where the restaurant delivery trend stands and what might come next:

Third Party Delivery Service Partnerships in Decline

The surge of delivery requests during COVID exposed multiple cracks in the facades of third-party food delivery apps.

  • Restaurants struggled to profit after delivery platforms took their cut.
  • Customers complained of inconsistencies in delivery quality and speed.
  • Lack of transparency in service fees turned off budget-conscious customers.

Because of this, we will see more restaurants handling delivery orders in-house. Many of the larger companies have already successfully developed their own proprietary ordering apps.

Fewer Concepts Delivering…

Even though delivery order sales volume still exceeds pre-COVID levels, the number of concepts offering the service has not. Yes, many upscale and full-service restaurants transitioned to offering delivery during the pandemic. However, this survival strategy came at a cost; operations were disrupted, and staff pulled in too many directions. Now that diners are back in full force, we will see those restaurants ditch delivery and return their focus to traditional sit-down service.

…While Other Brands Double Down on Delivery

Many have already created their own delivery and ordering apps, cutting out the cost of delivery partnerships and offering more perks and customization to guests. As delivery orders outweigh dine-in business at many concepts, some concepts have turned to ghost kitchens to handle the shift in business. This practice has come with mixed reactions from consumers, who might prefer their food to come from a recognizable brick-and-mortar location. Other brands have simply converted their existing spaces to handle the larger delivery volume, making a permanent shift away from dine-in.

Delivery Methods are Getting Futuristic

Future technological advancements will focus on providing consistently faster delivery times, without passing along additional costs to consumers. Until recently, delivery drones seemed to be more of a publicity stunt than an actual operational reality. But with so many restaurants beta testing drone delivery, chances are good that it will stick for many brands who want to continue with delivery but struggle to find drivers.

Restaurant Management Must Remain Flexible

Balancing consumer demands with strategic business decisions requires talented restaurant leadership. Our Restaurant Recruiters can bring experienced and innovative management professionals to your restaurant. Contact us to learn more.



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