How The Food Delivery Industry Has Changed Over The Years

The food delivery industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the economy following the COVID-19 pandemic. While sectors such as tourism were going down, delivery businesses were making more and more profits as ordering food online had replaced restaurant visits. The most widely used means of making orders for food delivery is by downloading food delivery apps through smartphones as well as making phone calls directly to request food.

Looking back in history, let us look at how the food delivery industry has changed. Two Italian brothers started the food delivery journey by delivering a Pizza to King Umberto and Queen Margherita in 1889. In 1990, the Indians came up with the "Dabbawalla" system, where workers received lunch in their workplaces instead of going home to eat. For these two, deliveries were made in person, and in 1922, the game changed as a Chinese restaurant introduced telephone numbers where people could just call in, make orders and get deliveries for Chinese food. It was in the 1950s that food delivery services gained popularity, with Great Britain coming up with the Meals on Wheels project for the economically challenged. At the same time, families were now open to eating dinner in restaurants.

As times progressed, Domino's Pizza changed the game by delivering pizza within 30 minutes of making an order using vehicles. Until then, people were discovering the various ways to use the internet. Pizza Hut became the pioneer of digital delivery as they had a website (Pizzanet) where people living in Santa Cruz could make orders. Next was the launch of an online restaurant delivery service that served the people of the San Francisco bay area. With the advancement of technology in the 2000s, most people had smartphones and could simply download apps to their phones, register, make orders and get them in no time.

Currently, most food delivery is done via websites where some companies have their websites and take orders directly. In contrast, other restaurants have agreements with third-party organizations that deliver on their behalfs, such as Uber Eats and Glovo. This is all made possible by the adoption of technology.

Today, customers only need to go online and use search engines for restaurants that make deliveries near them. Due to the rise of online platforms offering the service, several promotions and discounts are available. Some restaurants offer free delivery, while others offer a discount for the first order.

Even as consumers make their orders, the food delivery industry keeps improving its products to cater to most needs. We have apps and websites that allow consumers to customize their order requests, such as extra cheese, which was unavailable at a time.

These restaurants with food delivery options have also changed their marketing skills to tap into more customers and retain those they have acquired. Once consumers download the app, they get push notifications about discounts and offers; some restaurants will also send emails.

Since consumers have accepted and embraced food delivery, it is good to note that restaurants have invested in excellent customer service, which is essential when handling large orders. Looking back at some third-party food delivery companies, they had poor customer service or existent at that. But recently, when consumers are aware of their rights as customers, most food delivery companies have improved on this by employing and training customer service professionals.

We can not ignore technology's role in the food delivery industry since some of the earlier delivery systems from the 1900s are still in place even in the 21st century. The Indians and other people residing in Mumbai can now comfortably order foods online or via text via their delivery system known as "Dabbawala," despite not blossoming as other recently launched delivery systems. Meals on wheels are also operational in this 21st century too.

Final Word

People may order food online since they cannot make meals at home or simply take a break from cooking. We all know cooking requires skills and effort; if one can afford to make an order online, it saves the day. It is up to those in the food delivery businesses to invest in apps that work and adjust their business models to meet those of the consumers since the consumers are growing daily, with the digital age accounting for the most percentage of consumers.