Of course we don’t think there’s any substitute for the atmosphere of a great cafe or restaurant where you can enjoy the full experience that goes with your food and drink. However, everything about the modern world and the constant growth of online shopping is centred around convenience, so it’s no surprise that food and alcohol delivery services are on the rise. More akin to online shopping than local takeaway services, many of these services can cater to the whole of the UK within 24 hours, and some of them can deliver within hours.
Small businesses that were quick off the mark have done well in this relatively new market, but even giants like Amazon have stepped into the fray now. Amazon Prime Now has been trialled across the UK over the past couple of years, starting off in London and now covering several major cities. Although reports vary about whether they’re actually able to stick to the advertised speed, in theory food and drink deliveries are arranged within less than an hour. The infrastructure is still being developed with this, so in the meantime we still don’t have a universal service that can deliver anything we want immediately, although it may only be a few years away. For now the market belongs to those businesses that have been able to take over a specific niche.
For example, with food delivery services the trend is mainly for desserts, such as high-end cakes, waffles, ice cream and so on. These are specialities that aren’t available in supermarkets and normally you’d expect to travel, at least to an expensive restaurant if not abroad. There are many impressive and unique options available, the only difficulty being where to find them if you’re not sure what’s on offer. Similarly with alcohol delivery services, in the UK currently the focus is more on the high-end products that aren’t available from standard retailers. This price point makes it a worthwhile venture for the business while also offering exclusive products to shoppers who might struggle to get them elsewhere.
But what about traditional cafes and restaurants, potentially struggling due to a rise in these delivery services? Well, we don’t really think it’s something to worry about, since people will always appreciate the value of visiting somewhere when they want that experience. It’s good to keep developing new ways of bringing people into your shop, and who’s to say online delivery services and traditional cafes have to be mutually exclusive? We look forward to seeing some enterprising owners making the most of this trend and incorporating it into their menu.