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How technology is changing an entire industry—again

· technology,restaurant,delivery,growth,small business

By Emily LaDrig

Is there anything better than a Friday night at home, after a long week of work, with your Chinese takeout and a glass of wine?

Sounds amazing!

But really, Chinese takeout is old school when it comes to ordering-in these days. With your smartphone in hand, you can order takeout from any of your favorite local restaurants utilizing the growing GrubHub or UberEats.

 

That's right, while always a good call, pizza and Chinese aren’t the only options for delivery anymore.

Technology in the restaurant business is all about making things more convenient and easier to access. And these apps have done just that, for both the restaurant owner and the consumer.

Delivery service for the win!

Technology is the prime mover of change in almost every industry—and the restaurant industry is no exception.

Growth in the restaurant industry is coming from those who are dining at home, and technology is directly providing the vehicle for this growth. If GrubHub and UberEats never came along, restaurants would never be able to cater to this increasingly interested group of at-home diners.

These services/apps are providing a service that small restaurants don’t have the capacity or experience to handle.

Restaurant owners now have to think outside the four walls of their business. Their menus and spaces need to be optimized to accommodate for delivery and customers all over the city. Many restaurants are having to modify their offerings to include foods that travel better and are more aligned to takeout.

In the last five years revenue from deliveries jumped 20%, and the overall number of deliveries increased 10%, according to The NPD Group.

"Convenience is among the chief reasons why consumers visit restaurants and delivery brings a heightened level of it,” Warren Solochek, NPD's senior vice president, said in a statement. “Restaurants need delivery in today’s environment in order to gain and maintain share. It has become a consumer expectation.”

A lot of restaurants were trying to figure out how to increase revenue without physically expanding their business. The apps provide restaurants a way to do so, by offering delivery without having to hire their own delivery staff.

The National Restaurant Association says the availability of technology options is an important factor when choosing a restaurant for nearly one-third of all adults and more than 40% of millennials.

A whole new group of customers

In addition to ordering from your favorite restaurant, you can also use the technology to discover new places to eat, turning consumers into fans of restaurants they’ve never set foot in.

A recent study commissioned by GrubHub found restaurants using the online-ordering service were able to grow their takeout revenue by an average of 30%. In fact, one in five doubled their takeout revenue even.

And consumers are willing to spend a lot more money on the same food, all for the ease of someone else delivering it for them.

Another illuminating fact from the National Restaurant Association states that 60% of adults say they'd likely take advantage of delivery to their homes or offices if limited-service restaurants offered it.

Which industry is next?

In addition to the restaurant industry, technology has drastically changed the movie rental business (Ah Netflix! Kinda the O.G. here), travel, newspapers, books, and magazines. Regardless of whether you think technology has changed these industries for the better or worse, you have to understand that technology will affect your business and industry eventually if it hasn't already.

The best approach is to learn how to apply technological advancements to your industry and play them to your advantage.

As I said at the outset, technology is the prime mover of change in almost every industry. Which one is next?

Emily LaDrig is the Chief Execution Officer at Excelerate America, the ultimate resource for modern entrepreneurs. So which industry do you think is next on the tech hit list? Share your thoughts with Emily at emily.ladrig@excelerateamerica.com.

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