Before COVID-19, the ability to order food online and have it delivered to your home seemed to be just kicking off. The people who used the services adopted this as a new norm, and those who were just discovering it were thrilled to eat their favorite foods without having to leave their home.
Then came the COVID-19 quarantine/stay-at-home order. Those who were reluctant before to pay the extra couple-of-dollars or so delivery service fee were much more willing if it meant staying safe. Some delivery services offered free delivery, some restaurants formed partnerships with delivery services, and others even began offering curbside pickup or opening makeshift drivethru lines - anything to keep business running.
Now, imagine as a consumer, you Google "food near me" or "restaurants near me" and scroll through, searching for a place that looks tasty. After a minute or two, you find somewhere that makes your mouth water. You didn't know you were craving tacos until you saw a picture of their delicious-looking dishes and start to look for that item on the menu.
Only, there is no online menu... On to the next place.
This is a problem for so many locally-owned restaurants. If consumers can't find a menu or prices, they have no way of knowing (A) what food items are available, or (B) how much those items cost and if they can afford them. Businesses can even include allergens or diets for individuals who are influenced by this - and providing this transparency gain some loyal repeat customers! Do you run any specials on certain days of the week? All of this information is perfect, even necessary to include in your online presence! Five-dollar curbside margarita pickup on Tuesday? Don't mind if I do...
If image does not appear below, click here to be redirected to Google Trends.
Food delivery services like Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, and Postmates have been seeing a gradual increase in interest over the last 5 years, but have seen a huge spike since March, 2020 when President Trump declared a national emergency. Whenever COVID-19 does come to pass (and here's hoping that it's soon), this trend of consumers getting their favorite foods delivered to their doors or ordering ahead and picking up curbside seems unlikely to slow down. Businesses are seeing the benefits of employees working from home - some are even beginning to close offices and let employees work entirely remotely.
With growing demand for food delivery services and the ability to order ahead for curbside pickup, the restaurant industry is changing after COVID-19. Whether you're a coffee shop, cafe, deli, the town's go-to restaurant, or even a food truck or brewery - you need an online menu.
- Google Trends: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today%205-y&geo=US&q=%2Fg%2F11ckq_1t0s,%2Fg%2F11b7xlbf4l,%2Fm%2F03hc1f9,%2Fm%2F012j2p62
- The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-timeline.html
- Uber Eats: https://www.ubereats.com/
- DoorDash: https://www.doordash.com/en-US
- GrubHub: https://www.grubhub.com/
- Postmates: https://postmates.com/