We’ve managed to secure some great coverage over the past few weeks, most recently, Big Cat MD Anthony Tattum being featured in The Times Raconteur Future of Food and Beverage online and print publication. It’s a great time for Birmingham and we’re relishing the moment.  The coverage showcases Anthony’s 16 years in the business and offers his first hand insight into Birmingham’s blossoming food and drink scene: have a read.

The way we think about eating and how we buy food is changing. Convenience matters more than ever, but we’re getting fussier about what we eat and many of us are starting to miss the social element of a shared meal in relaxed company.

Thanks to technology, we can now have it all ways. Apps and social platforms are helping to connect the hungry with the kitchen creative, so we can eat a greater variety of freshly prepared food, on demand, at home, in the office or in someone else’s dining room.

For the traditional eat-in restaurant, this is having a disruptive effect. It is forcing even the fanciest restaurants to add a takeaway option, fulfilled by the likes of Just Eat, Deliveroo, Jinn and now UberEATS. As well as giving solo diners more options, it’s an alternative to private catering.

Driven by Competition 

Deliveroo, now three years old in the UK, has been expanding aggressively. It has seen a 25 per cent month-on-month growth since inception, and now serves more than 40 UK towns and cities, according to UK managing director Dan Warne. Is he worried about UberEATS’ recent entry to the UK market? Not especially: “Competition just further drives our focus to innovate,” he says.

One of Deliveroo’s latest signings and its largest restaurant partner to date is Pizza Express. Chief executive Richard Hodgson says it is a response to changing consumer behaviour. “There’s a real sense of increased spontaneity. A delivery service removes a lot of the inconvenience associated with eating out – travel time and costs, car parking, drinking and driving.”

Adding a delivery option is one way to protect revenues that might otherwise be lost. Since Simpsons, an award-winning fish and chip shop in Cheltenham, signed up with Deliveroo, this has come to represent 6 per cent of income. It extends Simpsons’ reach, to those with children in bed or who don’t drive, for example, and attracts more customers to the restaurant. “The selection available for delivery is just a sample from our menu,” co-owner Bonny Ritchie notes.

Simpsons has also had to think of new ways to keep customers interested now they have so many more options. It has renovated the restaurant to create more room and introduced gluten-free days, kids eat free on Sundays and topical offers.

On Merseyside, owner of Pinch in Liverpool Tony Burns has been watching the rise in innovative delivery options with interest. He isn’t especially worried as the main reason customers come to his establishment is to let their hair down with friends. Pinch, a bar with food, offers the Northern Spanish dining style of pinchos, which are similar to tapas, with an emphasis on the social element of dining.

“The delivery companies are filling a gap because people want restaurant-quality food at home, but the quality will never be as good as in a restaurant as most food does not travel well and you can’t recreate the social aspect of dining out at home,” he says.

With many of our clients coming from the hospitality sector we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for how the delivery innovation system continues to develop across the city.

Posted by: Greta Baker on