Roads…? Where We’re Going, We Don’t NEED Roads!

August 14, 2015

10:00 pm

Read some of my articles and you’ll know that I like to write about a market segment I’ve dubbed “food aggregators“. Before we get started, I would like to publicly state my claim to this terminology, via this public forum! I believe it was I who came up with this term, but if anyone would like to challenge me then please be my guest. I welcome any feedback or proof of prior uses of the term.

I’ve been thinking about the restaurant and takeaway industry…(unsurprisingly) and about how far it’s come and how it’s changed over the years and grown into the multi billion pound industry it is today. I then started to think about what the industry might look like in the future and have come up with some predictions around food aggregators, restaurants, and the way people order and consume their favorite takeaway food. Some are serious…and some, not so serious. We’ll leave it to you to decide which are which!

1.  Drone delivery of fast food and takeaway orders directly to your doorstep!

Just imagine that for a moment. Drones delivering your food, probably quicker than it takes to complete via road. Don’t get too excited though; I doubt we’ll see this one for a good few years yet!  

To give you a bit of background on this idea, not so long ago there was a press release made by Amazon about their plans to deliver their products via DRONE! The press release coincided with the launch of their Amazon Prime service and stated that it planned to deliver all Amazon Prime orders via drone in no longer than 30 minutes. The press release even included detailed applications to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) regarding safety and legalities of launching such a service.

The press release accomplished a couple of things: Promotion of the Amazon Prime service and the supposed spin off of this called “Amazon Prime Air” It also got people talking about Amazon, no less than 2 days prior to THE busiest day for online shopping in the U.S (about 2 weeks before Christmas). The cynics out there (including myself) may say that this was 100% intentional and an extremely clever marketing strategy to get Amazon plastered over multiple news channels and media outlets before one of their prime periods of online shopping revenue generation. Well, the 2015 deadline imposed on the FAA via US congress to complete guidelines for drone usage is nearly up, so I guess we’ll find out soon!?

2. Boeing patent for drones that can charge in mid-air

Speaking of drone delivery, take a look at this explanation of a Boeing patent to charge drones in mid air allowing them to fly for longer and thus making more deliveries possible.

This would mean a never ending stream of Pizza, Curry, Chinese, and pretty much anything else that can be carried by drone!

3. The increase of apps within the restaurant and takeaway industry

This one is a no brainer as far as I’m concerned. Apps are being increasingly used in every aspect of our lives, not the least of which when it comes to the summoning of takeaway food. However, it seems as though this fact is still being overlooked by some in the takeaway and restaurant industry. Last year there were 211 million app downloads in the UK alone with this figure set to soar to 267.31 billion in 2016. Yes, it’s pretty safe to say the app market is booming, and most of the takeaway and restaurant industry are cottoning on. The food aggregator (there’s MY terminology again 😉 who seems to be leading the way with this has to be Just Eat with a reported 1.3 million downloads, and that was back in 2013!  

According to Just Eat, their app usage had a huge part to play in increasing their amount of orders by 51% in the first quarter of 2015. Let me put it another way; if you’re a takeaway provider operating in this day and age, you NEED to have an app with online food ordering capabilities otherwise you’re almost certainly missing out! There are loads of companies that can help, Kukd Partner being just one of them, but look into it yourself and let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

4. Shrinking and re-hydrating our favourite food.

Pizza comes out of packet small. Into the “re-hydrator”… Wait 3 seconds… And then out it comes resembling the more traditionally freshly baked pizza! How amazing would this be?  So, if you haven’t seen this film er….where have you been…what did you even?!  no, just NO!  The classic scene from Back to the future where Marty McFly’s mother re-hydrates a pizza from a packet by using a Black and Decker (Can anyone say “product placement”!?) Re-Hydrator!  But what if this was actually possible?  What would this mean for pizza delivery and ordering, food shopping or food storage?!

Small Pizza (back2future)Finished_Pizza(Back2Future)

 The implications that this sort of technology could have on the industry are huge.  Would this mean pizza delivery by post?  Taking into account the massively reduced weight factors we might be able to more realistically re-visit the amazon vision from above and deliver Pizza via drone.  

5. The rise of online ordering making the telephone almost defunct.

For some time now due to the increased popularity and ease of use of online food aggregators such as, Just Eat, and Hungry House etc, more and more people have been opting to reject the good old “Graham Bell” and order food online instead. The benefits of ordering this way are clear: not having to have direct contact with the restaurateur or takeaway owner themselves. Some may feel an element of sorrow at this prospect and state that slowly due to technology such as this, we’re losing the “art of conversation” and how to relate to our fellow human beings? I’d see this benefit from another angle and say that online food ordering is preferable for both customer and merchant and eliminates potential errors in the ordering process. Or at least, it should?!  

Another clear benefit to online ordering as opposed to via telephone comes in the form of the deaf and hard of hearing. Ordering via a website or app now gives this demographic the same convenience that people who are not hard of hearing might otherwise take for granted.

So, once again I come to a close. There’s only so much waffling even I can put up with! I promise the next piece I write won’t be related to “Food Aggregators” or online ordering…well, not unless something amazing happens within the industry that is?! You never know, it might just be one of the above!

If you work in the same industry and have ideas about where it’s heading, then feel free to get in touch or leave me some comments.

Image Credit: Flickr/Don McCullough

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Everyone has a mate called "Dave"! I'm a tech blogger and self confessed gadget addict! Father of 2, friend to many. I love fixing things, and have a tendency to express my humour via internet's becoming a bit of a problem actually!

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