The food and grocery home delivery industry has become one of the hottest sectors in the market. The massive increase in popularity among people preferring to have their groceries home delivered has seen some major players try to secure their places within a highly competitive industry.

While the home delivery market has been largely offline in the past, the rapid transition to online ordering or ordering via smartphone apps is creating a range of exciting new opportunities.

London-based company Deliveroo operates in 12 countries and has raised almost half a billion dollars in investment funds to ensure its place within the food and grocery delivery industry.

However, they face some stiff competition as some big players enter the market alongside them.  Rideshare company Uber has since launched its food delivery arm UberEats across some European and Australian cities, as well as Singapore.

Then there are the restaurant delivery services, such as JustEat, GrubHub, or Delivery Hero that operate as courier services between restaurants and consumers.

Delivery detail 

The interesting part about this flourishing industry is that the majority are based purely on delivery services. They don’t buy, provide, cook, or prepare food, focusing instead on ensuring the product is delivered to the end user.

Existing restaurant, café, bistro, or fast food outlets still operate as usual with the added benefit of having a contract driver available to deliver meals directly to customers.

However, there are some meal delivery companies, such as Maple or Spoonrocket, that provide a limited selection of meals that are designed to be reheated easily within their cars as each individual order arrives. The order is able to be delivered quickly, reducing kitchen preparation time and cutting waiting times for customers.

Boosting business profits

Restaurant and café owners are especially keen to take advantage of the ready availability of delivery services. Restaurant owners are big winners, as on-demand delivery services offer a value-added proposition for them.

After all, the restaurant or eatery owner is already paying staff and overhead costs to operate the business for customers who go into the establishment to eat.

The restaurant only needs to make additional meals, which are then being sent out with a courier driver to be delivered directly to the customer. The additional revenue generated by delivered meals simply adds to overall profitability.

Drivers cashing in on demand

As demand for food and grocery delivery services increases, companies require more drivers to ensure orders are fulfilled. In Europe, delivery companies rely on contract drivers using bicycles or scooters to ensure meals arrive at their destinations.

In America, there are already thousands of people using services such as Uber to earn additional income by driving their own cars. The opportunity to supplement driving incomes by delivering meals as well makes it an appealing value-added service for entrepreneurial drivers.

Of course, there are some drivers who may prefer to stick to purely food deliveries. They may not want the risk or added insurance costs of driving passengers around, opting to stick with on-demand food delivery and avoid dealing with strangers in the car with them while they’re working. As a contract driver for local restaurants, the primary focus is ensuring meals arrive at their destination on time.

Working as a contract driver for an app-based meal delivery service is also a safer option for drivers as compared to the old pizza delivery days. Customers use an automated cashless payment system that allows them to pay for their meals using the online app, reducing the need for drivers to carry cash.

Delivering meals may also eliminate the problem of knowing what to do in the event you are injured in a car accident while there are paying passengers in the car.

A good lawyer may also be necessary in the event that you are involved in an accident while working as a driver. As delivery couriers and drivers are hired as contractors, the company isn’t responsible for any medical costs or ongoing sick pay while the driver is unable to work.

Growing into the Future

With so many individual sectors of the market set to benefit from the emergence of food and grocery delivery companies, it’s obvious to see why the bigger companies in the marketplace are vying for position.

Many of the larger players have raised billions of dollars from investors to secure their positions in existing markets and continue their growth into new markets. As popularity of on-demand services increases, it will be interesting to see which companies emerge as leaders of the pack.

This post was written by Chelsea Herbert. Chelsea has experience working in the transport industry and uses this area as a starting point for her articles. Though not directly involved in the industry any more, having started her own business, she still enjoys keeping up with industry events.