Posted by Patrick Maness
Last year, The Washington Post reported on the how common it has become for Americans to eat alone at a restaurant. A few decades ago, there may have been a certain stigma associated with eating out alone, but now it’s common and acceptable.
In addition to visiting their favorite restaurants alone, more people are eating food from their favorite restaurants in their own homes and apartments. There was a time, if you can recall, when only pizza places and Chinese restaurants delivered food or offered take-out, but now it’s almost expected that restaurants will give patrons the option to pick up their meal or have their food delivered.
This has given rise to a number of services such as Bitesquad, GrubHub and others that pick up food from virtually any restaurant and deliver it to people’s homes.
In previous blogs, we have written about the rise in third-party delivery services, and we have discussed how take-out has become one of the essential foodservice trends to watch. The restaurant-delivery industry has even attracted some giant names.
Amazon restaurant delivery
Over the past year, Amazon has gradually expanded its Amazon’s Prime Now Restaurant Delivery service to a include number of major cites throughout the country.
It works much like other third-party delivery services, except that it’s only available to Amazon Prime members, has a smaller range and offers fewer restaurant options. The huge perk, however, at least for Prime members, is that there is no fee for delivery.
Google and others
As if one tech giant in the food-delivery business weren’t enough, Google has also thrown its hat into the ring.
The model they use is slightly different, however, as it relies on a number of third-party delivery services to complete the transaction.
It works by providing a “place an order” option within the search results that show up for the restaurant. In this way, Google serves as a third party to a third party (yes, it does get a little confusing). With its more direct efforts aimed at providing home grocery delivery, though, it’s likely Google will play a role in restaurant food delivery in the future.
So how much has this tendency to eat at home changed the restaurant business? Well, if you look at the number of huge players in the restaurant-delivery game, and if you consider Uber’s recent launch of UberEATS, there should be little doubt that people will expect a delivery option from your restaurant as well.
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