How Food Delivery Platforms Are Revolutionizing the Market this Pandemic
One of the industries that experienced a sharp spike since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak is food delivery.
Data shows that online retail trade currently amounts to A$31.2 billion. A huge chunk of this market is online takeaway, which increased by 76% in the past 5 years. Its predicted income this year is at $872 million and by 2021, it is expected to surpass $1 billion.
According to Alister Clare, a financial expert from [Credit Capital](https://www.creditcapital.com.au/), says “The pandemic was driving new consumers to the online shopping experience, which in the future could potentially add to the existing pool of online shoppers as preferences change.”
Australia’s growing appetite for food delivery (in the form of meals and groceries) is fueled by home quarantine, office closures, and lockdowns.
**Is It Safe To Order Takeaway During COVID-19 Pandemic?**
Food and beverage services and delivery platforms must follow strict safety requirements set by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand. The [Food Standards Code Standard](https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/industry/Pages/COVID-19%20advice-for-food-businesses-%E2%80%93-Take-away-food,-donated-food-and-food-delivery-.aspx) 3.2.2 covers’ health and hygiene by those whose handle the food, food handling, food transport, and temperature control.
Because there’s no evidence linking food to coronavirus transmission, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers it safe to have food delivered to individuals—as long as food safety standards and social distancing is observed.
**Contactless Delivery For Takeaway Meals**
Food delivery companies are practicing the “[contact-free delivery](https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/safety/faqsafety/pages/foodsafetyfactsheets/receivingfoodsafely.aspx)” methods to ensure limited contact and optimal for both the customers and workers.
While there’s concern about the delivery workers’ risk of contracting the virus, delivery services have their own protocol in monitoring and strengthening the health and safety of their workforce.
**The Emergence of Ghost Restaurants**
The rise in food delivery demands has also inspired a new category of food providers: ghost restaurants.
Ghost restaurants are the type of restaurants that offer food only through delivery. They do not have a physical location where people can dine in or take out. The focus is with preparation and delivery, rather than dining experience.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, many dining places were closed to shut down because they can no longer sustain normal operations. This has inspired the creation of ghost restaurants.
Alistare Clare, a business management expert from Credit Capital, says “*Ghost restaurants need less space and less workforce because their staff is composed mainly of those assigned in food preparation. Since they don’t offer dine-experience, they don’t have to invest in decor, furniture, and air conditioning*.”
Experts believe that the pandemic is going to fuel the rise of more ghost kitchens across Australia. This will create a business model that can meet the rising demand for food takeout and delivery.
**5 Advantages of Food Delivery Service**
These are just some of the strong benefits of food delivery platforms.
**Wider reach.** Restaurants are experiencing a 20% increase from online orders vs dine-in orders.
**Compensate for the reduced traffic.** Although many cities are slowly reopening their economy, consumers are still hesitant to visit restaurants to minimize social interactions. Strict restrictions are also preventing heavy traffic. Food delivery platforms offer a convenient way to make up for the lost income.
**New market. **Some people prefer to dine within the comfort of their own homes to minimize contact or for other personal reasons. This means you can reach a wider range of customers if you offer delivery.
**Less overhead.** Whether you adapt the ghost kitchen model or just focus more on delivery, it’ll be possible to downsize on space, staff, and equipment.
**Less contact**. With delivery, customers and restaurant workers can minimize interaction.
Food delivery is not new. But in the past few months, we’ve seen its significant growth in popularity. In almost any town and city in the country, you’d pass by delivery workers outside restaurants all the time. It truly has revolutionized the market and we might have to rely on food delivery platforms for years, until the pandemic is totally controlled.
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