It goes without saying that many of us look at the word “Delivery” and hear choruses singing in the background. Food delivery has made life a lot easier for many people and increased one’s ability to eat what they want, where they want, and when they want (to a certain degree). Whether having your lunch delivered to the office on a day when it is too difficult to step away, or ordering pizza for a night in at home, many of us have experienced and enjoyed the ease and satisfaction of food delivery, and the restaurant industry has taken notice.
With many restaurants starting to utilize third-party delivery services such as Postmates, Seamless, and Uber Eats, it is becoming easier than ever to get your favorite dish from a multitude of restaurants delivered right to your front door. However, people are questioning whether or not the food maintains its same taste and integrity from the restaurant kitchen, through the delivery process, and finally to the consumer.
Swamped with high demand for delivery, restaurants are starting to experiment with “virtual restaurant concepts”. Restaurant Business Online highlighted how Red Robin, for example, developed Red Robin Express in Chicago; a virtual restaurant that processes delivery orders only. Whereas most delivery services dictate their delivery boundaries by miles, Red Robin Express delivers their food on foot or bike to consumers within eight to ten minutes from their kitchen. Red Robin Express has even developed a new bun that doesn’t get soggy during transit. Oh, and if you’re craving Red Robin’s signature steak fries, think twice about delivery: Red Robin Express switched out fries for chips in order to preserve texture and ensure a positive eating experience upon arrival.
Another concept that has jumped on the virtual bandwagon is Pizza Factory, a New York-based concept located in Long Island City. In an interview conducted for Fastcasual.com, Pizza Factory describes their all-digital concept and how consumers order their pizza via an app called Slice. This is an easy, all-digital way to order your favorite pizza and reduce time and person-to-person interaction when ordering.
With takeout and delivery becoming staples in American food culture, it is only a matter of time before more concepts expand their digital footprint. For some, the transition does not make sense, as delivery would change the taste and enjoyment of the food, while other restaurant concepts are fully embracing the trend and adjusting their menus accordingly. Only time will tell, but for now the future of delivery looks brighter than ever.