Timing and technology: today's takeaway takeaways

 
Takeaway-sign-1.jpg

“Your pizza is on the road.”

Well pick it up will you, we’re all watching…


Takeaways are always a guilty pleasure. I’m fairly sure it’s impossible to order a takeaway without a little guilt. Haven’t bothered shopping? Takeaway. Have food but can’t be bothered to cook? Takeaway. Hungover? Bacon sarnie… then a takeaway.

But, you’ll be pleased to know you don’t have to feel too guilty. Everyone dabbles in the odd takeaway here and there. And new research has shown that wherever you are and whatever the reason for your order, one thing is almost always the same. The time you order. In fact, time is everything for today’s takeaway-er.

A timely takeaway discovery

Nicolas Scrutton Alvarado and Tyler J. Stevenson, from the School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, have looked into takeaway-based Google searches. The searches show a “remarkably consistent rhythm of people wanting to find food online at about 7pm and again at 2am.” This is the same in the UK, US, Canada, India and Australia.

The two also commented on how unsurprising this really is, because of habits first seen a long, long time ago. These timings, attitudes and food-based behaviours match the foraging habits of our pre-historic ancestors – despite the takeaway industry really struggling back then. Hard to Deliveroo anything without the wheel…

Time matters when people order. But it’s also the one thing on people’s minds after they order.

Deliver on time (people are watching)

Zonal and CGA’s latest ‘Go Technology’ report has revealed that 33% of consumers want to know their exact delivery time as soon as they order.

In today’s ‘Just-Eat’ world, takeaways have more competition than ever before. Long gone are the days of digging out the pre-circled menu, dialling up and reciting your picks like lottery numbers. A meal arriving late, however great the taste, may not be good enough.

If a site can consistently deliver good food on time, it grabs attention. If not, reviews may plummet. And if reviews plummet, it will be very difficult to compete.

As with tricky photos and every risky joke ever told, timing is everything.

Technology’s growing role in takeaways

Technology and takeaways go hand-in-hand like that hungover pizza and a sense of regret. The Go Technology report also revealed that 22% of consumers think ordering through artificial intelligence (Alexa, Siri, etc.) will become more commonplace in the near future. The other 78% just felt embarrassed about screaming ‘Pizza’ at their Amazon Echo.

What this all shows is that while the takeaway market continues to grow – Just-Eat recently announced a 30% increase in orders in the 6 months leading up to June 2018 – the impact of technology within it is growing too. From GPS delivery tracking, to reviews and comments online, a takeaway site that doesn’t stay on track with the latest tech trends could see all its loyal customers taken away.