Dining establishments in danger due to surge of online food delivery
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Dining establishments in danger due to surge of online food delivery

Online takeout services are threatening the likelihood of restaurant dining.

By Natasha Budhai

Since the pandemic, online food delivery has made significant growth, leaving little to no signs of slowing down anytime soon. 

According to a report by Statista, in 2021 alone, Canadians spent more than $7 billion on online food delivery, nearly double the amount spent in 2019. 

This number is to rise to $13 billion by 2025, according to the report. 

With the lift of restrictions, restaurants and indoor dining are finally re-opening their doors to the public. 

With some excited to return to pre-pandemic eating, others are hesitant to do the same. 

“I think in some way, it’s going to turn back around,” said David Hopkins, president of the Fifteen Group, a Toronto-based restaurant consulting firm, from a CBC article on takeout and dining rooms. 

“We’re just coming out of capacity restrictions in restaurants, and I think it will take some time for people to get back to a new normal. There’s still some hesitancy, there’s still some fear.” 

Hopkins is hopeful for a regular return to physical dining but offers slight caution concerning food delivery. 

“People, I think, were becoming more attuned to takeout delivery,” said Hopkins. “It will take some work to attract people back to dining rooms.”

The rise of online delivery services has impacted many restaurants. Here’s a video from Wall Street Journal that details the negative effect online takeout has on establishments. (YouTube/Wall Street Journal)

During the initial first wave, many restaurants had no choice but to offer takeout or delivery options to keep businesses going. 

Since then, it’s been a lot harder for those to revert to the traditional ways of dining. 

“I guess I’ve just been so used to ordering takeout, it’s all I ever do,” said Kyle Lopes, 21-year-old civil engineer graduate from George Brown College. 

Much like Lopes, others feel the same way, describing the convenience of ordering rather than going out. 

“It was so easy to order and have my food brought to the comfort of my home, even now I find me ordering at home rather than wanting to get ready and go out of my way.” 

“I still order in, but I am making an effort to go out a lot more since it was something I missed during the lockdown that we can now do again.”  

As restaurants prepare to serve the public, many are hoping for a full pre-pandemic like return, although that may take some time to achieve. 

Infographic by Caleb Lariviere

November 7, 2021

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