Food delivery is a delivery service where a food retailer, restaurant, or privately owned food-delivery business deliver food directly to a consumer. An order may be made either via an online application or through a grocer’s website or phone app. Food is usually delivered within a few hours. The food is generally shipped frozen or fresh. Most deliveries include all ingredients and are prepared by the retailer or restaurant.
Delivery of meals is made in almost all restaurants, takeaways, cafes, coffee shops, bakeries, pizza joints, snack bars, fast food centers and vending machines. Some larger restaurants or chain restaurants may also deliver to homes or offices. Delivery is typically either frozen or fresh. Frozen meal delivery may be scheduled for specific times or the entire meal may be delivered daily, weekly or monthly.
Platform-to-consumer delivery includes food delivery services that ship foods directly from the farm to the consumer. This type of service depends on consistent, reliable transportation. The platform-to-consumer delivery method includes most but not all packaged food retailers. The farm to store or farm to table delivery method includes mainly fresh produce. Other packaged food delivery methods include frozen, dehydrated and canned food. Many of these methods are made available by the major food retailers.
Delivery fees apply to some but not all restaurants and other food delivery service providers. Some delivery fees are inclusive of tax, while others are charged separately. Delivery fees depend on the size and volume of the food delivery service order. Certain restaurants and delivery services have no delivery fee; others charge a delivery fee for small orders. Delivery fees are based on weight and size of food ordered and are usually based on per pound weight.
Restaurant industry groups are often critical of restaurant suppliers that use an online ordering system rather than a storefront. Restaurant groups claim this poses a threat to the restaurant industry due to lost sales and labor. Online ordering systems allow food delivery service providers to serve restaurant customers at various locations through wireless networks. Through an online ordering system, a food delivery service provider can offer restaurant customers their foods on-demand, eliminating the need for store employees or part-time workers. Some restaurant industry groups have threatened to boycott restaurants that do not use these systems, though recent reports indicate that many restaurants are using online ordering systems in response to customer feedback that they enjoy these new features and convenience.
Delivery systems are typically tied to either an on-site, in-store fleet of vehicle or an off-site, mobile kitchen service fleet. The restaurant-to-consumer delivery model is often referred to as a mobile takeout model, as food deliveries can be made directly to consumers. This type of model gives consumers the opportunity to sit down at a table with friends and family and order from an on-demand, virtual menu. Mobile food delivery service has been found to be especially appealing to college students who may spend several hours per day at a campus eatery. For this reason, it is very popular among college students.