The boom in dining in has been fuelled in part by smart-phone apps making it easy to have world cuisine couriered to your doorstep according to industry analysts The NPD Group.
Whereas mid-market high street chains such as Jamie’s Italian, Byron, Prezzo and Strada have been forced to close outlets, digital firms Deliveroo, Just Eat, Hungryhouse and UberEats are thriving and opening new possibilities for restaurants.
The firms have been credited with levelling the playing field, allowing smaller independents to compete more effectively with the bigger chains.
NPD predict that takeaway delivery will grow a further 17 per cent in value over the next two years to a possible £5 billion.
Customers spend around half as much on takeaways as when they visit in person and typically cut out starters, desserts and drinks, making a delivery order potentially less profitable.
The restaurant also has to pay commission to the delivery operator.
Cyril Lavenant of NPD said: “Whatever way you look at it, takeaway delivery is definitely changing the shape of Britain’s food service industry.
“Delivery is a big hit with consumers – thanks to the apps they now have a very large choice of restaurants at their fingertips.
“It is also a great marketing platform, especially for independent restaurants that can’t afford to spend on advertising.
“Phone apps and websites also make it easier for consumers to order full meals from a variety of cuisines. Just one app could offer a choice from either burgers, or chicken, or Indian, or Chinese, and much more.
“It’s all there at the click of a button.”
There were around 673 million deliveries in the past year with Chinese coming out on top followed by pizza, burgers and curry.
But figures from Deliveroo reveal interesting trends in Britain’s fickle eating habits.
A snapshot of the last three months found a London craze for the Hawaiian poke bowl, a raw fish salad usually of tuna tossed over rice and vegetables. The dish is tipped as the next generation of sushi.
Brighton was big on KFC while Manchester went mad for burgers and Birmingham had a craving for cod and chips.
Though pizza delivery is still in second place, it is not growing as quickly as rival foods and in 2017 dropped three percentage points on 2016, according to NPD data.
Joe Groves at Deliveroo said “We’ve delivered millions of meals in the UK over last five years and have learned a thing a two about what Brits love to eat. Its so interesting to see how diverse tastes are across the country.”
TOP ORDERING CITIES AND THEIR FAVOURITE DISHES, ACCORDING TO DELIVEROO:
1. London – poke bowl
2. Brighton – KFC
3. Manchester – gourmet burgers
4. Bristol – chicken katsu curry
5. Leeds – pizza
6. Birmingham – cod and chips
7. Liverpool – BBQ chicken
8. Edinburgh – steamed chicken gyoza
9. Nottingham – grilled chicken burrito
10. Reading – chicken katsu curry