The coronavirus has now been present for almost a year, and long-term effects are starting to become apparent as we move closer to 2021. In this short article, we’ll have a look at how the office food delivery industry has been affected in covid-19 times, and compare the numbers with the restaurant and grocery store industries.
Many people are afraid of going to restaurants and bars because of how crowded such places get. There’s a lot of talking, the waiters and bartenders are touching a lot of objects which may spread disease, and it’s very hard to completely avoid any contact with people. The situation has taken a huge toll on these industries. We’ll look at some of the numbers below.
But first: when it comes to the office food delivery industry, large profits are made on people’s fear of getting infected. Food delivery apps are on the rise, and for good reason. More and more people and businesses are exploring safer ways to buy food during the coronacrisis, and when it comes to reducing human contact, getting food delivered at the door is a much safer way than getting it where there are lots of people.
The apps that seem to succeed the most are those that offer to deliver food on people’s doorstep, whether or not they are inside the home or office. There are a lot of people who buy excessive amounts of toilet paper and flour in grocery stores, but there are even more who use food delivery apps instead to get all the “fuel” they need. These deliveries can contain every meal of the day. The apps are proving so successful that many of them are having more downloads than ever. For example, Instacart had over 200% as many downloads in March as in February. As people and businesses in highly populated areas are now asked to stay inside as much as they can, these numbers will probably rise even more.
As mentioned above, restaurants and bars are not experiencing the same success. The leading lunch delivery company in Oslo, Toolbox made the statement “They’re having a much harder time”. A research group has discovered that almost 50,000 restaurants and almost 5,000 bars had a revenue which was 20% lower in 2020 than in 2019 up to that point. As countless numbers of restaurants and bars have shut down their businesses or only stay open for take-outs, the revenues will most likely be even lower in the coming months, perhaps even years. The interest in eating at restaurants is simply not as high anymore, now that it proves a significant health risk because of all the people who are gathered there. For instance, how long has it been since you went to your favorite restaurant? Do you find that you go there less often or not at all? It may have happened consciously or unconsciously, but it’s quite natural to start staying away from such places, no matter how much you love them!
It’s interesting to note, however, that grocery stores have seen a stunning upward surge in their revenues, which has been caused by all of the people who are panic-buying large amounts of food. Consumers have been spending a staggering 80% more money to buy food in 2020 than in 2019! It’s difficult to say whether this trend will continue, and for how long.
These big changes in the food market as a whole makes it natural to ask: May food delivery apps be able to not only help us stay safe and nourished, but also to rescue the national economy in the times of covid-19?