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There's a new investment trend on the horizon, and it's about everyone's favorite topic: food. People love to eat, but they also love convenience. Now imagine these two spaces combined.
It's the driving factor behind the rise of convenience commerce companies. Gourmet recipes and fresh ingredients delivered by companies like Plated and Blue Apron are logical extensions in our desire to eat better and do more, but Americans still spend 42 percent of their food budget at restaurants.
Investors are hungry (no pun intended) for food delivery services catering to a plugged-in and thinly stretched market. When run well, food delivery companies are profitable, sustainable businesses with wide appeal. Food delivery is the rising star in convenience commerce — after all, everybody's got to eat.
Why consumers are clamoring for delivery
People value the convenience of food delivery services — and not just when they're tired and prefer to veg out on the couch with a hot meal. Delivery services make life easier for people who are caring for children, have disabilities, lack transportation, or have busy lives with no time to shop and cook.
But those aren't the only reasons people flock to delivery services. Consumers love online delivery because it's:
Why restaurants jump on board
Delivery appeals to consumers because it makes their lives easier. It appeals to restaurants because it makes them money. Partnering with a quality delivery service frees up restaurant owners to focus on the food and the in-house experience while still expanding their customer base.
Through delivery, restaurant owners and managers can market their food to a much wider audience. Foot traffic expands beyond literal foot traffic, and the potential for positive word of mouth increases exponentially.
The future of delivery
While food delivery services are extremely advanced compared to just a few years ago, the delivery scene will still face considerable changes, including:
The ability to enjoy your favorite dishes whenever and wherever is irresistible. The delivery industry is only going to continue to grow, and consumers and restaurants both stand to benefit.
Consumers appreciate the convenience of using an app or website as a one-stop shop for ordering Chinese one night and burgers the next, while restaurants benefit from services that allow them to do more business and increase their exposure beyond their four walls.
With delivery companies acting as the bridge, it comes as no surprise that, for investors, this industry is mouthwatering.
Phil Dumontet is the founder and CEO of DASHED, a restaurant delivery service in the Northeast. In 2013, DASHED was recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., ranking No. 119 nationwide and No. 7 in Massachusetts on the Inc. 5000 list.
Cover photo provided by Dashed.