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Delivery, click & collect and drive-thru surge during Covid

Spend on takeaway main meals for home delivery increased 50% during the 12 months to February 2021, while almost £3.5bn was spent on collected food and drink orders from restaurants, equivalent to 11% of total spend on out of home eating.

The figures from The NPD Group show that in the 12 months of Covid, delivery’s share of out of home eating has more than doubled, with many consumers using this method for the first time – particularly older and more affluent groups. The NPD Group’s consumer research suggests about half of these new users of delivery services will stay.

Meanwhile, of the £3.5bn spent on collected food and drink orders, £1.5bn is attributed to digital click and collect orders, which have grown 51% in the 12 months to February 2021.

Also during the pandemic, consumers have been digging out meal deals and money off incentives more than ever before. However, The NPD Group says the good news for restaurants is that over the last year per person spend on deal is 9% higher and has grown twice as fast as spend not on deal.

Drive-thru has benefitted from lockdowns and tiering, seeing a 50% increase in importance compared to the situation pre-COVID and representing 12% of total spend. In addition, treating occasions are also up from 18% of all spend to 26%. And while having a takeaway dinner remains a key part of many lockdown routines, people are increasingly looking for treats that include snacks at other times of the day. Breakfast, while still only representing 6% of treating spend, has seen average spend per person jump by 25%, almost twice the overall increase, as consumers have started indulging in a coffee or a snack via delivery. Other areas to see a boost during lockdown are vegetarian and vegan menu options, which represented almost 4% of total foodservice spending in the year to February 2021, up from around 2% pre-Coivd, as well as al fresco dining as operators looked to maximise their outdoor space.

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