ISLAMABAD: Restaurants' online food delivery orders through mobile phones and Internet has become very popular all over the country including in the federal capital as leaving the house to buy food from shops becomes even harder for lazy youngsters.
The trend of online food delivery orders has changed the mindset of customers specially teenagers. Different food chains are trying to push their services through social media sites by offering special meals with affordable prices.
According to citizens, online food services have mealtime deals in the offering especially to gratifying students and the working class. These discounted midday, lunch time, brunch-time, afternoon deals grab their attention and satisfy their appetite at workplace or in universities.
Abeer Fatima said, a number of food ordering apps are guiding the foodies to the best restaurants of the city with their database. Like Google, these apps find restaurants around you with the price range you indicate giving you a fair idea for making a choice.
Zeba Noman said people are always tempted by discount offers and look for maximum savings and online food services are always curating discounted food deals from top restaurants in the town.
It makes quality food from famous restaurants affordable and budget friendly for all and sundry, she added.
An owner of fast food restaurant Nadeem Baber said, "The food order with discounted rates are more convenient , reliable, hassle free and cheaper comparatively as it gives them a wide range of expediency and options to choose from. "We offer the best deals on our Facebook page and other social media sites.”
"My kids and I love online food service as food on click providing best opportunity to get food on our door steps" said a working mother Misha Ali commented.
During the last four years, industry sources say there has been an amazing growth in restaurants and food businesses dealing exclusively in take-away and home delivery. Operating a kitchen-based business with an online presence seems to be the latest trend in the food business, they say.
Some very successful food-delivery firms are only kitchen-based businesses dealing in take-away and home delivery only, said a CEO of an online food delivery and restaurant reservation service had reportedly said in an interview.
“Operating a kitchen-driven business is relatively easy to manage,” he said. “It gives you a leverage to focus exclusively on building a great product without having to worry about the ambience of your restaurant.”
The demand for home delivery is not only giving a boost to the restaurant business but is also helping in the growth of home-based establishments providing personalised cakes and health foods, he said.
Moreover, this trend has also spurred the growth of food-delivery websites.
All of these food portals are vying for a slice of the food-ordering space as none has achieved the position of market leader so far.All the cities showed the similar increasing trend, but the statistical results showed that Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad are on the top of the list. In the year 2017-18, he added.
Another online seller said citizen are now using services to order food even in birthday parties they ordered theme based cakes and cupcakes on discount offers.
“In short, the Internet has penetrated into our lives and everything is at our fingertips now. As a result, we as consumers are benefiting and the e-commerce business is thriving,” he highlighted.
Pakistan’s digital economy has been growing for the past few years but many e-commerce websites and online businesses including websites focused on ordering food, making restaurant reservations and food deals have shown a significant growth in the last 12 months on the back of growing mobile internet penetration.
Though there is no official data available to estimate the size of online food-ordering market, industry sources value this segment at Rs15 billion or $150 million a year.
While the progress is impressive, the food-ordering market has a long way to go for it represents a very small chunk of the overall restaurant business.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2018.