Consumers now expect everything on demand, whether it's a pizza, burger, cheesecake, milkshake or even an ice cream, and restaurants have increasingly turned to third-party services to launch or expand their delivery network.
The result is a food delivery market currently worth an estimated $43bn with an ever expanding list of intermediary and delivery platforms (Just Eat, Deliveroo, UberEats, DoorDash, GrubHub to name a few) peddling the market to an estimated $76bn value in five years' time.
But as the field becomes more crowded, the key to success will be differentiation and service quality, rather than purely price. The providers which are excelling are adding value by holding consultations with partners, going as far as advising on preparation methodology, packaging and customer reassembly.
They have also invested heavily in their logistics technology: cutting-edge mapping and algorithms are used to match drivers with orders based on live conditions, as well as tracking restaurant preparation times for different food types so drivers arrive at the optimal time. That sort of technology is unrealistic for all but the largest restaurant operators, which is why the market is set for a bright future and is currently one of the most attractive spaces for investment.
Food delivery is already a $43 billion business -- and will be worth $76 billion by 2022