The On-Demand Delivery Trends and the Technology Driving Them

The future of on-demand ordering could be summed up to one simple statement– It’s just beginning.

According to Foodable Labs, over 30% of the U.S. Restaurant industry is offering some kind of on-demand third-party ordering solution. Over 80% of consumers under the age of 35 are using on-demand food ordering apps about two times a week, proving the delivery segment has exploded thanks to the new age consumer and their dining habits.

The Big 6 are the lion's share of the market, but our research now shows over 100 on-demand food delivery companies serving the 1.2MM restaurant and food companies in the US.

The breakdown of Engagement and Sentiment tells an underlying story of these companies and how consumers view them and eventually, how restaurant operators may view them as well.

Engagement is scored by an analysis of how often consumers mention the use of the app or service on social along with an analysis of the Sentiment of the service based on food delivery speed, quality, accuracy.

The Engagement and Sentiment Scores of the Leading Third-Party Delivery Companies

According to this data, the Best Quality goes to the company Caviar. As the leader in the Sentiment area of Quality, this may be based on great service, but the company also recently acquired by Square. Remember Square is also a POS company and is tied to transaction-based business models. Recently Caviar added a spotlight that says "who's making your food" and has labels like women-owned restaurants. The overwhelming support by their users has given their consumer Sentiment score a boost.

Best Accuracy: Caviar came through as the leader in this area as well with a unique Sentiment score that showed this as one of the most appreciated aspects of its user base. Caviar's, along with other delivery apps', performance is being measured by the Chicago-based delivery search engine Food Boss, which is being led by the former McDonald's CEO Don Thompson.

Best Speed: Uber Eats takes this slot with what was one of the best Sentiment scores based on the overall app Sentiment. This has little to do with the ordering process and making a restaurant selection, which for most users ties into the overall speed of the order. As they continue to use their technology to analyze user behavior, Uber continues to have the upper hand when it comes to speed that other companies may not be able to pace.

I had a chance to explore one of the technology companies that has created a solution to centralize the on-demand challenge of being listed on multiple platforms mainly for discovery.

Ordermark has created a solution to centralize the in-store technology to create a more seamless integration into food operations which over time has become one of the most challenging aspects of the on-demand food ordering explosion.

Every restaurant operator understands discovery is the key to success and the solution in today’s world is not Facebook or Twitter, instead, it's being on as many on-demand platforms that you can handle. Alex Canter, CEO and founder of Ordermark and I discuss the growth aspects of the company and the delivery sector, as well as technology and operational challenges of the future of on-demand food ordering and where it might be heading.

This Brand CMO Predicts the Technologies that Will Reign at Restaurants in 2019



Technology has changed everything and will only continue to do so. When it comes to food, there's so much potential for technology to help make a positive impact.

So what does the future hold for the restaurant industry? How will technology help to enhance operations or the guest experience?

Nabeel Alamgir, the chief marketing officer at Bareburger made some predictions in a recent opinion piece for "Forbes" where he said that augmented reality is expected to take the dining experience to the next level.

"If your customer finishes their drink, the technology recognizes this and prompts their server for a refill. Additionally, augmented reality allows your customers to see a 360-degree, digital rendition of each menu item right in front of them," writes Alamgir.

Although Alamgir predicts that augmented reality will become more mainstream, he also thinks that table-top kiosks will continue to pop-up at restaurants.

This technology can be a waiter's best friend. It enables guests to order or ask for a drink refill without being asked by a server. They can even pay on the tablet.

"Kiosks have the potential to improve your turnover rate and keep your company on trend, assuming the initial growing pains are overcome," writes Alamgir.

Plant-based proteins are rooted in science and technology. In 2019, these innovations are only going to become more popular, especially as consumers gravitate away from traditional meat.

"Meat alternatives often work for everyone’s diet, religion and beliefs, so there’s no reason not to offer them as options for your customers.," writes Alamgir.

What other technology and food trends does this marketer think will take over the restaurant industry come 2019? Read more at "Forbes" now.

On a recent episode of The Barron Report, Host Paul Barron gave his own predictions about what the future holds for the restaurant industry. Six out of his eight predictions were spot-on. Watch the video to see what Barron thinks will take off this year.

Restaurant Technology Must-Haves: Free WiFi, Data Management

Foodable’s 2016 Restaurant Technology Guide is expected to release in just a couple short weeks. In the meantime, we’re talking to Jack Abraham, CEO of Zenreach, to discuss some of the most recent technologies in restaurants today. One such technology was created by Abraham.

“I’ve always been focused on how the internet is influencing the offline world and offline sales in particular. The vast majority of people are spending their time online, but 95 percent of the commerce in the United States is being done offline, and there are a lot of bridges that need to be built between those two worlds,” he said.

Abraham’s interest in offline data loops began with his first company, a local shopping engine called Milo, which he sold to eBay in 2010. Now focused on his new venture, Zenreach shows operators how many times individual customers actually return to their restaurant. Using a piece of hardware that allows operators to create a customizable log-in portal to offer free WiFi for their patrons, Jack aimed to grow owner’s knowledge of their customers using their online activity. When visitors log in to a location’s WiFi, they share an email address that can then be monitored during later visits to track restaurant visits.

Foodable Labs Data shows that Consumer-Facing Technology Adoption is up by 87 percent over 2015 while Restaurant Native Mobile Apps are down 31 percent. Abraham notes the reason for this gap is that sometimes consumers don’t want to download an another app to their phone.

“Even if you can convince them — even if you can put all the effort into trying to get them to do that — they’re probably going to delete it,” he said.

That’s part of why Abraham created Zenreach. He wanted to give restaurants the ability to gather data from their consumers while simultaneously avoiding the issues normally faced when providing free WiFi like security and management.

Find out how technology is changing and where it’s headed within the industry on this episode of On Foodable Weekly!

Restaurant Apps with the Best LTOs

Restaurant Apps with the Best LTOs

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

To entice a customer to download an app, it’s not uncommon for a restaurant brand to present a limited time offer.

There are a few scenarios that could play out after a brand gets a guest to download the app.

1.     They initially downloaded the app for the offer, but they realize that they like using it.

2.     They redeem the offer, never open the app again and may even delete it.

Brands are clearly hoping that a majority of app downloaders experience the first scenario. But, the data real estate on a user’s smart phone is often limited, so apps are quick to be deleted.

Nonetheless, LTO encourage users to download the app and get it on their home screen in the first place.

So we decided to take a look at the restaurant brands with the best LTOs in exchange for app downloads.

Read More

On Foodable Insight Series: How Are Restaurants Using Technology Today?

Over the last few years, mobile technology has moved the industry to new heights. What was arguably a rather analog or traditional industry is now seeking to catch up, and even get ahead, of the latest devices to meet consumer needs more efficiently. With new options flooding the space, how do operators sift through and determine which technological advancements best suit their needs? And how are brands integrating technology with their day-to-day processes?

"We're seeing the advent of big data. I mean, big data and barbecue. Who saw that happening five years ago? But it's a reality." Chief Information Officer of Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., Laura Rea Dickey, said. "Never change the core of who we are that makes us Dickey's...and the handcrafted approach to food, but why not couple it with technology?"

Anticipatory Tech and Types of Analyses

Taking that big data and making it actionable — whether making it mobile-app based to making sure your store has the bandwidth to handle more tech — is a challenge when digitizing your operation, but technology is no longer a "you can," but a "you must."

One way restaurant can use technology is to determine ROI. The practice blurs the line between true data science and predictive analytics, connecting consumer behavior and purchasing tracking and overlaying it with various data points depending on the sentiment information brands are seeking.

"For us, it's looking at that sentiment analysis that used to be very broad and high-level...we can now track that down to the store-level," Dickey said. "We can definitely stay on the sentiment behavior analysis from a brand, but we can region, district, and store that. Get it down to the micro-level."

Technology for Training

Aside from predictive analytics, brands are now incorporating technology into employee training. How does tech facilitate this process? Through providing consistent and clear communication.

No one knows this better than Director of Training and Development at The Habit Burger, Michele Lange, as two years ago, the Habit Burger created a proprietary training system and moved away from paper-based to tablet-based training.

"We created that into an online system, so now we're able to train in stores, use the tablets, capture all of that documentation, and then what that does is actually [link to] training audits, as well. So, that's really helping us to speed up that process," Lange said. 

The system creates a single, consistent, solid training standard. Where instruction used to vary by location or manager, the system provides every location manager all the answers and the training process in one tablet, echoing the brand's training motto of "One Habit, One Sound." 

Dive deeper into the restaurant tech trends of 2016 by watching the full episode.