It seems like only a few years ago that ordering food online was one of the key technological advances of our time. First introduced to the market in 1995, with the online ordering company World Wide Waiter, the industry has surged exponentially in recent years, as technology has become the household norm. As technology software continues to develop, leaders in the field predict that ordering in is bound to advance even further. So how do things stand just now and where is this takeaway nation headed? Below, we take a look at the status quo and consider the changes in the short- to long-term pipelines.
The market at present
The UK currently has one of the largest food delivery markets in Europe, with an estimated worth of £6.2 billion and companies like Deliveroo offering online food ordering services. These companies operate primarily through mobile apps or websites and their services are available to the majority of the nation and that level of convenience is what allows them to garner such healthy levels of popularity.
In the US, this market is also increasing in worth, which is directly reflected in the fact that online orders make up $9 billion of the $70 billion takeaway and food delivery industry. That means nearly 13% of food orders are being conducted online.
Online ordering software
The growth in food ordering software not only benefits the food industry, but also the software development industry. Developers have created software for mobile apps and online platforms that act as the middleman to connect the customer to the restaurant. Users can even track the entire process from order through to dispatch. Even Facebook has introduced a food order function to the home page. These methods allow for ease of use in ordering and payment, so it is no surprise that the market has soared.
Future technology in the pipeline
Two pieces of software set to change the online ordering dynamic are voice technology and AI. Blaine Hurst, the CEO of bread company Panera, recently revealed they have been testing the combination of ordering food online with Google voice technology as a means of reinventing the entire process. The time frame for the implementation of these concepts could be up to ten years, if not more.
But at the rate the tech age is growing, it won’t simply stop here. Between concepts like these and the integration of AI functions into most aspects of daily life, the prospects of the industry’s further revolution are endless. AI is also likely to influence drive-thru procedures and the physical ordering of food within global franchise restaurants like McDonald’s.
The future is entirely dependent on the outcomes of these ventures and whether or not they will cater efficiently for the everyday consumer. Thus far, it’s no secret that technology does a relatively splendid job of this and if it were to get easier, customers would be nothing less than impressed. After all, customer service is the essence of a successful business, especially in this automated digital age.