Online food ordering has changed the world. Lunch at the office used to be a low-tech undertaking. In a city center office, employees would go downstairs to grab a meal at a local restaurant. In a larger organization, they would frequent the lunchroom or cafeteria. However, as more food is ordered online, workplaces are joining the digital trend and giving employees the opportunity to get their meal using a web-based or mobile interface.

Modern lunch delivery services allow office employees to select from a wide variety of restaurants, and get a fresh, satisfying meal delivered to their door, or even cooked on-demand by a chef summoned to their office. Read on to learn more about the changing market, which type of service is right for your business, and what the future holds for food delivery in the workplace.

In this article:

The Changing Market for Food Delivery

According to a McKinsey report, food delivery is a $93 billion business. This may sound big, but it’s only currently 4% of total purchases at restaurants around the world. In fact globally 16% of food orders are made from workplaces, while the rest are made from homes.

There are three main types of food delivery services, all of which could be used by your office.

The traditional model
Most of us have used the traditional food order delivery model, in which the customer calls the restaurant and orders a meal, and the restaurant delivers it to their door. 90% of food orders are still made this way, with most orders being made by phone.

Food aggregators
You may also be familiar with an aggregator website, which lets customers order food from a large variety of restaurants. Different restaurant menus, prices and reviews, can be viewed and finally, customers can order from the restaurant their choice. Aggregator websites typically charge a commission from the restaurants with no additional cost for the customer. Delivery Hero, GrubHub, Foodpanda, and Just Eat are some of the world’s biggest websites.

Direct delivery
With the food delivery market growing, a new type of website is emerging that allows customers to order from restaurants that otherwise would not have provided delivery services. Direct delivery websites not only provide the web interface but also do the actual delivery for the restaurants. They charge a flat fee from customers ordering food, and also a commission from restaurants. Deliveroo and Foodora are examples that you may have already used.

Which type of service is right for your business?
It mainly depends on the number of employees you have, their preferences, and the availability of food options nearby:

Top Food Delivery Services For Offices

Here are a few examples of food delivery services you can consider:

Grubhub is one of the world’s biggest food delivery aggregators, operating across the USA. The service is office-friendly, allowing you to provide access to many employees, and benefit from central management and one monthly payment. They also provide detailed reporting that can help you plan your food budget and a personal account manager for each company account.

Platterz is available in several large cities in the USA and Canada, as well as in Stockholm, Sweden. They offer event catering, lunch, and snacks, and allow your employees to order lunch from multiple restaurants in your chosen city. An additional option is having the participating restaurants send a chef to cook fresh food at your office.

ezCater is offered in hundreds of cities in almost all US states. It allows users to order food from a variety of restaurants, via a modern app that makes ordering easy and convenient. The service offers a reward system that you can leverage to reduce costs or enable your employees to enjoy occasional gifts.  

ZeroCater is a business catering service offered in major USA cities. It provides an app and web portal with an advanced ability to customize menus and catering options to fit your office’s needs. It can help you manage and remember the dietary preferences of specific employees or departments, and set up a recurring meal schedule to streamline the food ordering process.

Starvin Merlin

Starvin Merlin is an online food ordering aggregator, which allows for food delivery from any restaurant across the world. It provides branded apps or the standard Starvin Merlin App. It leaves the delivery management up to the restaurant to manage, thus lowering delivery fees.

Future Food Delivery Trends

The following trends will define the future of the food delivery industry and are likely to affect company food ordering and office culture.

Millennials are driving online delivery
Millennials, who have a fast-paced lifestyle, are much more likely to order out or eat at restaurants than cook themselves. Online food ordering is their thing. At the office, millennials don’t have time for the traditional lunch and prefer quick and convenient ordering services. At the same time, they are more demanding when it comes to ordering, expecting instant delivery, a convenient experience, and a high-quality meal.

New delivery channels
Today, most food deliveries are ordered by phone, web portal or mobile application. All three of these channels will evolve and provide improved convenience—for example, phone ordering is improving by sending a link to a mobile ordering menu, while websites and apps are improving their user interface and streamlining the ordering process. 

In addition, new ordering options are emerging:

Alternative delivery options
Food delivery companies are looking for new ways to deliver, to bypass the problem of recruiting drivers and managing deliveries in congested city centers.

The Outlook for Food Delivery 

Like many other aspects of our digital life, food delivery is fast, convenient, and offers more options than ever before.

At the time of writing, all aspects of consumer behaviour are being affected by the current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), including food consumption. For the many individuals cautious to leave their workplaces or homes, or even quarantined, food delivery presents an attractive option enabling them to enjoy restaurant-quality meals without having to physically go out. 

Regardless of the current worldwide situation, it is certain that food delivery is a quickly evolving trend that is here to stay. For businesses, in particular, being able to provide employees and potential employees with convenient, high-quality meals, provides an attractive workplace incentive. 

Should you have any enquiry about online food ordering please feel free to get into contact.

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