The history of food delivery services in the UK has evolved since it first started. The concept began sixty years ago during the war and had improved over the years with the help of new technologies and vehicles. However, the principle of food delivery has always been simple which is delivering ready-made meals to people’s houses. We’ve provided the following timeline on how the food delivery service changed over the years.
The first delivery services occurred during the Second World War where Germany bombed London in the 1940s. After the bomb, many Londoners were left homeless with no food to eat. A group called the Women’s Volunteer Service came up with an idea to prepare hot meals and get them delivered to people who have lost their homes during the Blitz. Food delivery services were also carried out across the UK to servicemen who were injured during the war.
After the war
After the war, food delivery services carried on and made its very first true entry in 1947 were hot meals were being delivered to the same servicemen who were no longer capable of cooking their own food due to severe injuries. Back then, they were using prams with lined felt and straw to ensure meals are delivered hot.
In this modern age, the food delivery service has expanded and improved massively as there are now different kinds of food deliveries and how they are delivered. For instance, there are new emerging private companies who offer frozen ready meal to be delivered to your doorstep. Another example is preparing fresh meals before delivering so that meals are delivered hot and fresh. Furthermore, hot foods are now delivered using a van or a bicycle.
Food delivery services cater to different cuisines and different kinds of diets. Cuisines like Indian, Chinese or Mexican food and many others are now available. There are also various companies who provide ready meals for different diets for weight loss or even muscle building.
The food delivery is booming as the years goes past. There are even more variety of cuisines available as it becomes more and more popular. For instance, you can now order cuisines including Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Spanish, Thai and much more.
Back then you can only order from a takeaway menu. However, it’s only been recently where a biking delivery service called ‘Deliveroo’ made it possible to order from fast food restaurants and other high street restaurants too. With Deliveroo, we have even more choices available to us. But before diving into the bandwagon, you might want to consider looking at the pros and cons of ordering food from home.
Pros of Food Delivery
Save Time – Some of us are just very busy, so instead of taking some time to cook a meal in the kitchen, you will save more time by simply ordering your food online or on the phone. It’s perfect for people who can’t cook or have busy schedules.
Variety – If you’re not a good cook or you simply want to eat something new, then this is an excellent choice as you can order absolutely anything from starters, mains and desserts. You will be surprised at what food you can order. The options are endless! You can even order some traditional foods such as Mexican or Thai foods and many others.
Healthy – Healthy foods are also available for deliveries. You can find some restaurants which specifically offers a broad range of healthy foods.
Cons of Food Delivery
Costly – Although most of the food deliveries are affordable, some restaurants are more expensive than others. It can also be costly in the long run if you often get your food delivered.
Can Be Unhealthy – Some restaurants prepare their meal with harmful additives such as trans fats or artificial sweeteners.
Overall, it’s up to the individual whether the benefits outweigh the drawback or if it’s the other way around.
Both dining out and using a food delivery service can both have their benefits. Going out for a meal means you won’t need to cook or clean up after yourself. But then again you can now have the dining food experience all in your comfortable home just by getting your food delivered to your doorstep. There are even more benefits from eating a nice meal in your own house. Let’s take a look at them below.
Food delivery is way cheaper than dining out in a luxury restaurant. Restaurants have more expenses to cover more than a food delivery service. When comparing the prices on the menu, you will see a huge difference in price. They will usually increase the price for their meals to cover a small portion of their staff’s wages and bills. A takeaway service is covering fewer people meaning less wages and bill to pay.
You can enjoy a nice meal in your own home without having to cook anything. It is much more comfortable and relaxing eating a well-made dish on your sofa while watching a movie on TV.
No need to dress up
When going out for a meal, often you will find that most people will be dressed up for the occasion. You can expect people to be dressed up in a smart attire when attending a fancy restaurant. Even when eating at a more casual restaurant, you will still need to dress in a certain way. But at home, there are no rules. You can dress up any way you like. You can wear your most comfortable clothes and have your favourite dish at the same time. There is nothing better than this.
If you have children, eating out can be a hassle, and you won’t be able to enjoy your food as you are more likely to be spending your time trying to entertain them or keeping an eye on them. At home, you won’t have to make too much of an effort on entertaining them as they will be busy with their toys and you won’t need to keep looking after them in your own home.
The market for food delivery services really is changing quickly, and a number of key differences have been noticeable over the past few years. In fact, the industry is changing faster than it has for a long time. So what exactly are the main factors brining about these changes?
Global expansion of brands
Several major brands have been growing faster at the same time, moving into new territories. The next big thing is now more likely to come from overseas than a home-grown business, until British innovators catch up and introduce their own new ideas successfully. People are starting to expect successful brands to take their operations overseas, even if they never intended to be international services.
The industry is still growing
Overall, the industry has definitely reached a mature stage in many countries around the world, but it hasn’t yet peaked. The predicted figure is just over 3% by 2019, which may sound like slow progress, but it’s only based on current trends and still represents positive growth.
Technology has made all the difference
Following the boom in online shopping, which took over ten years to reach the saturation point it is now approaching, the food delivery market is currently going through a similar revolution. Individual businesses in the business of delivering fast food are typically smaller than their retail equivalents, which perhaps explains why this has taken longer. Mobile internet and app use have also been major factors. Technology has now made online ordering easier than ever for customers, but perhaps more importantly, businesses.
There are two competing formats
For the past few years, the biggest online delivery providers in the food industry have fallen into two main categories. One is for the likes of Just Eat, Hungry House and so on, which are simply comparison sites for takeaways who act as a middle-man between customers and local restaurants who handle the deliveries themselves. The newer Deliveroo-style businesses take it one step further and have their own drivers and bicycle riders to deliver orders. It remains to be seen what the next step in the evolution of the industry will be.
Takeaways are as popular as ever, and the range available is constantly growing. It’s understandable that as we get busier, we run out of time for cooking at home, and younger generations are getting more and more tech savvy when it comes to ordering food online. That’s why apps and dedicated websites that specialise in delivering food straight to your door are still taking off, with new entrants coming into the market regularly. Here are some of the best we know of, but take note – some of these aren’t in the UK yet! Watch out for them, unless someone gets there first.
One of the most famous US takeaway apps is GrubHub. It works pretty much the same way as Just Eat in the UK, and a huge number of restaurants have signed up to it. You can browse according to your location and easily place your order, plus the app lets you save your favourite places and meals to easily order again next time.
This option is more focused on letting you know what the absolute best options are in your area. They have a featured section called “What’s Good” which will display popular places and dishes near you, plus it supports users uploading their own pictures of food to give you a realistic idea of what to expect. Its reviews are fed through from Yelp. Read More “Best Food Delivery Apps to Watch”→
If you run any business that delivers food or other items to people within a local area, of course the delivery service itself is going to be a major aspect of how your business functions and you need to optimise it as much as possible. In London, this is even trickier due to the high concentration of businesses (and potential customers) all in one place, not to mention the difficulty of getting across the city by road.
Needless to say, for London food delivery businesses and those in similar trades, things get complicated quickly. This is true whether you handle all of the logistics in-house or you hire a third party to help you. Getting external professionals involved can cut costs in the short term, but are you making the right decision? Let’s weigh up your options.
Hire an existing van delivery service
For small delivery companies in London, cheap man and van hire services may be the answer. To transport your food or other goods quickly by road, a van is often the preferable option, especially when making a large number of deliveries in a concentrated area. What you may choose to do is effectively keep a professional delivery driver on retainer and use their services whenever you need them, even if it’s just at peak times.