57% of the participants of a newly-conducted survey of Irish restaurants by Irish digital food ordering solution Flipdish said that they believe that their businesses would not have survived if they had not started operating takeaway and delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2,500 members of the Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI) were canvassed in March for the Flipdish survey, which was commissioned to mark the anniversary of the first lockdown in Ireland and to bring attention to the challenges that the hospitality sector has experienced over the past 12 months.
According Flipdish, 67% of businesses that participated in the survey said that, as a result of operating takeaway and delivery services during the pandemic and related lockdowns and business restrictions, they were in a position to earn up to 20% of revenue compared to their income before the pandemic.
26% of participants said that they rely on aggregators such as Just Eat and Deliveroo, while 68% of participants said that they created their own takeaway or food delivery service in the aftermath of the first lockdown restrictions.
93% of participants said that they believe that the commission fees charged by aggregators during the pandemic are unfair.
61% of participants stated that offering takeaway is their only way to keep a revenue stream, and, as mentioned above, 57% of participants said that they believe that without doing so they would not have survived.
56% of participants said that they do not believe that government support has been adequate.
56% of participants said that they decided to start operating takeaway and delivery services during the pandemic because they wanted to provide employment to staff, 40% of participants said that they feel that such services keep them involved in the community, 31% of participants said that they believe that it is important for their mental health to stay open, and 16% of participants said that they feel obliged to support the community's vulnerable people.
62% of participants said that they have been able to keep between one and five staff members working by operating takeaway and delivery services.
98% of participants said that they do not believe that using aggregators to provide takeaway services is a long-term solution. 87% of participants said that they believe that they need to be in control of their data, customers and branding to rally and thrive after the pandemic, which is not adequately provided to them through aggregator platforms. 82% of participants that use aggregator platforms said that they would consider setting up their own websites or mobile apps to offer takeaway services.
68% of participants said that they will continue to offer takeaway and online food delivery services after the pandemic, as they feel it offers a long-term business model. 87% of participants said that they believe that for the long-term sustainability of their business it is important to be in control of their own data, branding and customers by encouraging sales to come directly to their own website/app.
Flipdish CEO And Co-Founder Statement
Flipdish CEO and co-founder Conor McCarthy stated, "This survey has shown that many independent restaurants in Ireland would not have had a chance to survive without pivoting to a takeaway model during the first lockdown. 21% of restaurant owners were able to pivot to offering online takeaway within a day of lockdown, but, conversely, it took 28% of restaurant owners over three months to get online.
"Flipdish can help restaurants get online with their own branded website and mobile app within days. As shown by the first lockdown, businesses that were able to get online faster were able to secure more revenue and continue to thrive. I think restaurateurs and others are embracing the advancement of technology within the sector. We believe that this will impact how we order from tables in restaurants in the future. At Flipdish, we integrate this technology with a simple QR code on the table that allows customers to order and pay directly from their mobile phone."
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.