This is the 2nd insights digest of Segmanta’s Life During COVID-19 study. We conducted research in the US and the UK to understand how the recent pandemic has impacted consumerism, personal relationships, the job market, along with general beliefs and opinions during this unusual time. More than 2,000 respondents completed the survey.
The unexpected COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted everyone’s lives, across the globe. Inevitably, eating habits have changed due to the new norms in grocery shopping, restaurant closures, social distancing, and more. As mentioned in our previous blog post, people are cooking at home more frequently than before COVID-19. In this article, we take a closer look at the consumers who’ve turned to takeout food delivery in order to feed themselves during the quarantine.
The Tables Have Turned, But Not In Favor Of Consumers
Although more households are relying on cooking at home, most find it difficult to maintain the schedule of frequent home-cooked meals. Although 74% of consumers in the U.S. and U.K. say that they spend family time during the quarantine cooking or baking, the process of grocery planning, shopping, cooking, and cleaning up can become burdensome, especially during the mental stress of social isolation. Worse, the rapid spread of the Coronavirus makes everyday tasks risky, such as grocery shopping, especially during the current crowded conditions of the pandemic.
Government social distance guidelines have heavily impacted the dining-out market during COVID-19. The mandated shutdown of restaurants and bars in the U.K. and the U.S. has driven a surge in takeout delivery.
Our survey asked a series of questions about food delivery services and below are some major findings.
- 29% of respondents somewhat or strongly agree that the food delivery service they received during COVID-19 was good or better than before.
- U.S. respondents claim that they tip food delivery couriers more generously than before the pandemic, while most UK respondents said their tipping habits remained unchanged.
- During home quarantine, U.K. consumers are more likely to use food delivery apps, compared to U.S. consumers. According to external research by Statista, the most popular food delivery apps in the U.K. for 2020 are Just Eat and Dominos.
- U.S. consumers are more likely to order takeout directly from the restaurant itself rather than from a delivery app, in order to avoid incurring third party costs for the restaurant.
- Both U.K. and U.S. consumers agree that food delivery staff takes serious safety measures (wearing a mask, gloves, leaving the meals outside of the door, etc.) to protect themselves and the customers while delivering the orders.
“Knock N’ Run” Is No Joke Now
How can businesses like restaurants and bars recover from the financial losses of COVID-19?
Since consumers have major concerns about being exposed to the virus from ordering takeout, the “knock and run” style of no-contact food delivery options may reassure these concerns. Making sure the food quality and delivery experience is pleasant can help boost the reputation of restaurants and earn the trust of more customers. Additionally, gaining support from local diners by offering delicious food, special deals, affordable services, flexible delivery hours, and more can significantly improve restaurant businesses during the “hunger games” of this unfortunate time.