On-Demand Delivery: 13 Trends That Will Dominate the Market in 2021

On-demand delivery is a niche that has faced serious changes in just one year. The reason is COVID-19, which has jolted our lives in 2020. People worldwide are struggling to flatten the curve of this virus and recover their economies. In 2020, more than 170 countries experienced adverse per capita income. Restaurant, grocery, and on-demand industry did not remain aside; it suffered like most other fields.

On Demand Delivery 13 Trends That Will Dominate the Market in 2021

To reduce the negative impact and bring the industry back to life, businesses are searching for innovative tech solutions for 2021. The restaurant and on-demand sector adopt options to help save time without sacrificing quality. On-demand services, in turn, should increase productivity and help earn good money even during the pandemic.

In this post, find 2021 tech trends that have an impact on the on-demand delivery industry and may impact your company. OpenGeeksLab will share some cases that will serve as an inspiration for your own business decisions. We have focused on the food sector as this category of the on-demand delivery market reflects critical changes better than other fields.

What Are the Consequences of COVID-19 for On-Demand Delivery Business?

How did COVID-19 and pandemic influence the global on-demand product delivery industry? Brief overview and facts

There are two sides when it comes to on-demand delivery trends and the effects of COVID-19 on grocery stores. On one hand, it affected the sizes of most restaurant businesses; on the other hand, it has accelerated overall revenues. For most on-demand delivery firms, it takes up to six months to recover from losses. Here is why on-demand delivery services suffered the least from COVID-19:

  • Adoption of a new normal as clients agree on keeping social distance
  • Range of features available to cater to various requirements, preferences, and budgets
  • Opportunity to obtain whatever a client wants without stepping out of their apartments
  • New business opportunities because of updated strategies and innovative software
  • Prompt on-demand solutions (in less than an hour)

As credible sources report, the global lockdown has more than doubled the on-demand food delivery software business. Some challenges still exist, and restaurants are trying to find new solutions. Numerous statistics prove that the on-demand industry still suffers as many people are obsessed with the idea of getting infected in multiple ways while others prefer shopping themselves as it saves money.

On-Demand Delivery Business in Numbers: Curious Statistics

On-demand food delivery market in 2020-2021 in statistics. Find out how the industry has changed in just one year.

On-demand companies are now associated with specialized business software. People do not have to call and waste time holding on for hours while the operators will accept and process other calls. Find some interesting facts associated with the on-demand market below:

These statistics prove the growing popularity of on-demand apps and the market in general. While it keeps on expanding, hurry up to join (or upgrade your on-demand business if you have one). For that, you should keep in mind some basic trends.

Trends in On-Demand Delivery Businesses for 2021

Major trends in the on-demand food delivery industry. How will this sector change in 2021 (with examples).

Takeout and on-demand delivery have become an integral part of our lives. In 2021, the industry will keep on expanding as COVID-19 is still in place. The tendencies for restaurant business and on-demand food delivery services are shaping, and here are the main outtakes.

1. Contactless Ordering, Restaurant Payment Systems, and Pickup Technology

Even before COVID-19 started, businesses were moving towards contactless payment as the mobile app market was booming. You should have noticed on-premises dining shrinking and online orders sky-high. This trend in on-demand delivery business will remain in 2021. Millennials alone launch mobile applications more than fifty times per day (at least 21 percent of them). The world going cashless is an excellent solution to many existing problems in the cooking sector. It is an opportunity to protect families from getting exposed to the virus.

While you use your gadget to study a menu and pay for your order, you exclude any physical contact. It’s possible to ask the company to leave your order next-door to minimize risks.

In 2020, most restaurants used third-party providers to deliver orders to their clients. In 2021, more and more cafes switch to in-house delivery by hiring corresponding staff full-time. Except for the reduced costs, this business strategy allows for greater visibility and control over the stock levels.

Restaurants should be ready that customers are more worried about the ingredients and the way everything is cooked when they choose on-demand services. They care more about hygiene and quality of products that operators deliver.

Anyway, third-party on-demand meal providers remain at the top. The most successful examples of such applications include Deliveroo, Uber Eats, and Just Eat. Their advantage is the delivery speed. Thus, restaurants will face four challenges: native on-demand delivery software development, recruitment, extra sanitization measures, and transportation.

2. Online Table Bookings

Once the restaurants open during the quarantine, many people line up to have a seat and spend another lovely evening. However, it is not easy to arrive and find a place without any obstacles. It’s hard to imagine a restaurant that guarantees free seats without booking.

Restaurants that have an opportunity to operate during COVID-19 have to gather more client data and set up new safety measures. As the number of seats is limited, booking is the only way to make sure that you’ll get in. Customers should avoid procrastination and book a table ASAP.

This approach allows for the on-demand delivery tracking of restaurant capacity without having it overwhelmed when social distancing matters. Booking excludes the need for support agents to work extra shifts to handle the phone lines. Eat App, OpenTable, Yelp, Table Agent, Resy, Wisely, Eveve, and Tablein are some of the renowned online reservation systems. These on-demand delivery apps guarantee hassle-free bookings: users may either call and reserve a seat, contact support, or fill out shorts forms.

3. Auto Kitchen Operations and Processes

Before the lockdown, many restaurants used to break sanitization standards by allowing crowds of people in the kitchen. No room to swing a cat, and the need for social distancing has changed it all. The health of both company employees and clients matters, so the on-demand delivery companies must ensure safe working environments.

Here is when the point-of-sale (POS) system comes to the rescue as a promising solution. It allows communicating with kitchen display systems to auto-show orders. This system prevents the front of the house from entering the cooking area to take away prepared meals.

Another modernized option is using cooking robots/machines instead of human beings. On one hand, it increases unemployment rates, but, at an age when safety matters more than anything else, it is a brilliant idea. For example, robots serve food in places like Spyce (a great example of automated restaurants, agree). Most of them are available in Asia, but the trend is expanding fast everywhere. Some of these places combine robot labor with human labor.

4. Technology That Reduces Waste

This tendency is not new. It has started with the growing popularity of our planet going green. Eco movement reps were the first ones who suggested this approach.

One way to minimize waste for an on-demand delivery platform is by automating inventory management procedures. Two other benefits include a decrease in expenses and a revenue boost. These processes almost exclude any severe errors and accidents.

Some instruments show which product stock is running low, considering the delivery times in their estimations. Restaurants see what they lack and order necessary goods ahead. Winnow and LeanPath are just a couple of examples of effective food-waste-prevention systems.

5. Technology That Simplifies Complex Loyalty Programs

It is about time to involve bonus and loyalty programs to attract new clients and retain the old ones. Every on-demand delivery company needs to think about it. To get customers back to on-premise dining, companies can offer coupons/promo codes for every delivery to be used when quarantine is over. It is one example. Other perks may include:

  • Everyday drive-thru
  • Free delivery
  • Value-meal
  • Family promos
  • Two units for one price
  • Festival-based offers

These are effective strategies for attracting customers and bringing them back. Loyalty programs are crucial for the industry at any time. They make every client feel special, knowing that they will get something in return for ordering more and staying loyal to the specific food distributor. Subway’s native application is a good example of software focused on bonuses and loyalty programs. Attach a coupon or gift to the meal that you deliver and make them choose your service again!

6. Smartphone Bill Splitting and Payment Software

As our world is going cashless, this trend is hot. Imagine five people, each wishing to pay for their order separately. It’s a headache for both customers and the restaurant. An effective way is installing special mobile software that makes viewing, splitting, paying, and tracking orders simple. Such apps reduce both time and nerves by excluding errors in estimates. Divvy, Billr, and Venmo are some well-known examples from this category of applications.

Every client would be happy to obtain more independence. They will stay assured that no one has tricked them as they can access all orders via these apps.

If you have no desire to come up with your native application for clients, recruit known providers that will help you sell goods and services. The main pitfall is that it will be the provider’s client base instead of yours. As a result, you may risk losing some customers. What’s more, the cost of collaboration will vary for various vendors.

A great idea is hiring a team of software developers that will create an app for your business from scratch. You’ll get full control over all operations without fearing that some data can be stolen.

7. Enhanced Hygiene and Safety Practices

The food industry should always follow sanitation and hygiene norms. Now, it is twice as important. That is why the human factor alone is not enough; restaurant businesses are actively investing in technologies that ensure strict compliance with hygiene standards and practices. They control how staff fulfills each requirement.

One example could be ultraviolet (UV) lights fixtures. They clean surfaces and prevent air pollution. Customers usually trust restaurants that apply such tech when they cook and deliver a meal.

Others benefit from using HACCP plans and/or HACCP-based Food Safety Management Systems that check and contain details of transported products. Another example is a reusable container to sleep well knowing that restaurant staff does not touch customer’s equipment. Finally, wearing a mask in combination with gloves is a must for any courier these days.

8. QR Code Technology

If you come to any restaurant now, you won’t get a print-out menu. They recommend scanning QR codes to access complete menus fast. It is convenient, and clients can be sure that they are the only ones who touch their devices. This trend started in the United Kingdom and has quickly spread globally. COVID-19 only boosts its popularity. The main requirement is having an up-to-date gadget with a QR code as a feature. Different QR codes are also useful for checking-in and reviewing bills. The result of this business innovation is enhanced customer experience.

9. Bluetooth and Wireless Sensors

By shifting online, restaurants get access to technologies that control quality and adherence to safety measures. These tech solutions include Bluetooth and wireless sensors, for example. In 2021, these technologies will boost. Temperature measurement and control allow preventing adverse consequences of sudden temperature changes, saving the quality of products.

Bluetooth assists with controlling storage equipment and cooking tools. Personnel will get notifications/alerts in case something goes wrong (for instance, an unexpected refrigerator malfunction).

10. Multiple Orders from Different Stores in One Delivery

This feature is relatively new to on-demand services. Not so long ago, it seemed complicated or impossible to collect meals from different restaurants and stores for the same delivery unit. It might save money and time.

Through Uber, it’s possible to place an order with a single restaurant service and start a new one to get items from another place. Earlier, the only way to obtain products from numerous vendors was to order numerous times.

Another cause of this trend is the fact that people prefer purchasing light bites and snacks online. The problem is that they want to taste offers from various places before being able to pick top-preferred services. Restaurants promote tiny meals more than large ones as customers have to order more to be full.

Many delivery businesses have announced that they plan to include an opportunity to place several orders from various vendors in a single delivery. That’s like Instacart does. The delivery companies did not specify whether it will cost extra money.

11. On-Demand Delivery Subscriptions

It is another hint to expand the customer base and enhance loyalty. Delivery subscription is becoming rather popular in 2021. These services are slightly different from loyalty programs but are as effective. It is a go-to feature for many delivery companies.

For clients, it’s a chance to pay less for their favorite meal and benefit from free delivery service. They obtain other, minor perks. Companies increase sales and revenues.

DoorDash is an example of a successfully implemented on-demand delivery business model. This service imposes a single fee per monthly delivery; a customer can place as many orders on-demand as they want without a need to pay for every new delivery within one month. Vendors like Wendy’s, White Castle, and Cheesecake Factory do similar things.

12. A Shift in Spends from Restaurants to Grocery Stores

No matter how popular a restaurant is, it will never surpass sales of a supermarket or grocery store. The current situation worldwide is great proof. People are less worried about attending stores than restaurants. Governments allow the work of supermarkets while restaurant business should stay closed.

To generate greater income, cafes may think about adding such features as B2B catering on-demand or personal brand markets. Such reps of on-demand meal applications as Seamless, Postmates, and GoPuff have all chances to survive the crisis as they implemented these business options successfully.

13. Boosted On-Demand Parcel Delivery

COVID-19 has a positive impact on this service. In 2021, on-demand parcel delivery services will go far beyond, opening new horizons for the involved parties. This term means making it possible to send/get packages on-demand within a couple of hours or less. It led to greater demand for transport and distribution sector job openings, helping to fulfill an employment gap.

Imagine this scenario: you come to your office and discover that you have forgotten something that you need for work at home or another place. Parcel delivery service is a way out. On-demand package delivery will be there in a matter of hours or minutes, depending on your office location and provider. On top of that, such on-demand services guarantee comfort and security. Several remarkable courier apps involve On Fleet, OnnAway, Axon, and Key Software Systems.

This list is not complete, but it gives an overall idea of how to survive COVID-19. It proves that the on-demand delivery industry is at its peak. Joining it is beneficial for both consumers and businesses.

Join or Expand Delivery Business Right Away!

Those who wish to enter the field of on-demand delivery services should not give up as new ideas are always welcome. This sector might be overloaded, but demand for it has increased sharply. It will keep on growing in 2021 while the COVID-19 pandemic is in place. What you can do to come up with a successful on-demand delivery service is:

  1. Evaluate your opportunities.
  2. Assess competitors’ services.
  3. Pick your preferred penetration strategy.
  4. Offer some innovations.

To make things right, you will need a trustworthy software vendor. For more expert recommendations, contact us. On top of that, you can schedule a free online consultation. In just a few minutes, you’ll get inspired by some great ideas for your delivery business!

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