January’s delivery and takeaway sales at Britain’s leading restaurant groups were down 2% on the same month the previous year, new data from CGA by NielsenIQ’s latest Hospitality at Home Tracker shows.
It continues a plateauing of the ordering-in market that has seen year-on-year sales drop for 15 months in a succession. January’s delivery volumes fell by 12% as some consumers reduced the frequency of their orders but spent more when they did so, according to the data.
Despite the continued decline in delivery and takeaway ordering, sales remain substantially ahead of pre-Covid 19 levels, accounting for 17 pence in every pound spent with managed restaurant groups in January 2023, says CGA.
“The levelling out of delivery and takeaway sales since late 2021 has been a double-edged sword for restaurant operators. Positively, it shows that many consumers have returned to their pre-COVID-19 habits, replacing deliveries with the special experiences that only eating out can provide,” says Karl Chessell, CGA’s director for hospitality operators and food, EMEA.
“But it also indicates that other consumers are reining in their spending as household bills continue to soar. With business costs so high as well, and third-party delivery platforms taking a large slice of sales, protecting already thin profit margins will be a challenge throughout 2023.”
Rise in vegan and coffee delivery sales
Speaking at this month’s Hostech conference, Uber Eats said that vegan and coffee are the two categories that have seen the biggest growth on its delivery platform.
Between the end of 2019 and 2022, the number of vegan restaurants on the app grew by over 750%, according to Uber Eats UK GM Matthew Price.
The number of restaurants offering coffee was also up over 4,000%, it says.
Around 10% of all Uber deliveries happening across the sector are drinks, Price told the conference.