The takeaway industry could generate an extra £81,000 ($102,000) in 2020 or £36,390 ($46,000) per month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, research suggests.
A survey of UK restaurants by delivery service City Pantry found nearly a fifth (19%) have started offering takeaway services during the pandemic, and 98% of all businesses are planning to continue offering takeout food once lockdown is eased.
Despite an initial slump in online orders at the start of lockdown, takeaway services have proved vital to restaurants who were forced to close following government guidelines and who have sought alternative revenue streams in order to stay afloat.
Although most respondents are hopeful the takeaway industry will continue growing post-lockdown, 44.4% of restaurants have struggled with a drop in sales during lockdown. Some restaurants also reported difficulties with setting up a takeaway service from scratch.
As well as the projected growth of the takeaway industry, many restaurants consider a sense of community to be a crucial factor in future operations, as businesses are 28% more likely to reopen as soon as possible if they’ve not felt supported by locals during lockdown.
The analysis also found that staff absence could have a negative impact on motivation and belonging, as 81% of businesses that reported feeling a lack of a sense of community had furloughed staff.
Ben Carter, managing director at City Pantry, said: “As Brits start to experience ‘cooking fatigue’ following months of their food options being limited and the stress of shopping in-store at the moment, it’s no surprise the takeaway industry is soaring during lockdown.
“As providers juggle staff absences and an increase in orders, we urge communities to rally behind local restaurants and shops to help as many businesses make it to the other side of the pandemic as intact as possible.”
Other key concerns shared by restaurants during the pandemic include staff absences, PPE shortages, competing with big-name brands, and issues with suppliers.