e rise of gourmet takeaway

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Posh nosh and upmarket takeaways are booming in the UK as more people look to a classier alternative to fish and chips, kebabs, and pizza for their foodie fix. The arrival of “fast food 2.0” is due in part to a growing awareness among the public about eating more healthily, and a desire from online takeaway ordering enterprises such as Chef Online, Just Eat and Deliveroo to provide restaurant-quality meals and different options, as Michelin-starred establishments jump on board.

The UK is notoriously a takeaway nation, with a recent study by Mintel showing that almost a quarter of adults have a takeaway meal at least once a week, while a third order one or more each month. There is also now a willingness from people to pay more for better food, which is cooked from scratch and contains quality ingredients. Of those surveyed, 16% said they would pay more for a gourmet experience; this figure rises to 21% for high earners. Just East and Deliveroo have both benefitted from the posh nosh boom as orders and profits soar.

According to Mintel’s senior food analyst, Helena Childe, the growth is set to continue as franchises such as Starbucks look to add delivery options for their much-loved products. “I think it’s a few things. You’ve got longer-term trends, such as the casualisation of dining out, whereas going out for dinner used to be more formal. Now increasingly, people are grabbing a snack on the move. So it’s partly consumer-driven. Then from an operator’s perspective, it’s about looking at ways to grow their markets.”

Deliveroo was born from a similar desire to fulfil a niche not served by popular takeaways in the UK. Founder of Deliveroo, Will Shu, was used to takeouts from restaurants in New York but was disappointed by the selection and quality on offer when he travelled to London. The company was launched in 2013 and now operates in 19 cities across the country, with over 2,000 restaurants including Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Wagamama featured on the “to-eat” list. Orders grew by 500% during the six months of 2015 and the service is quickly rising in popularity among urban dwellers needing a quick fix of quality food.

Just Eat is a similar service that offers an even wider selection for takeaway enthusiasts. A quick postcode search on the site shows a dizzying array of options, ranging from Brazilian food, Bangladeshi, Jamaican and Japanese, to European, Lebanese, Vietnamese and Malaysian. The takeaway is no longer the realm of the local fish and chip or pizza shop, as online channels have opened up quicker ways to order fast, fresh food with ease. “I think we’ve become more discerning,” says Peter Georgiou, who launched Supper, a Michelin-starred takeaway service in London in December 2014. “You can see by the number of restaurants that are opening, the diverse range and the quality. We used to be the joke of Europe in terms of our food quality but now we stand as one of the places where people come for a gastronomic experience. We just wanted to give people that choice.”

Chef Online are a relatively new company that are revolutionising this niche industry sector, unlike the other companies listed above they don’t charge their partner restaurants a commission so you can get a better deal on your meal. Chef Online has seen and unprecedented level of growth over the last 6 months and are constantly increasing the number of partner restaurants they work with to improve the verity of different cuisines available to their customers. Over the next 12 months they will be adding more destinations to their portfolio and will be gaining a bigger share of the online food delivery sector. The Chef Online website and app allows you to search for restaurants in your area and order food to be delivered for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Experts predict that in 5 years’ time that over 60% of food delivery orders in the UK will be made with no human interaction and Chef Online are positioning themselves to become the place to go for the best quality food in your area, delivered to your door, in a hassle free and efficient way.

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