You don’t need us to tell you how tough this last year has been. What you may not know is that the pandemic and the various lockdowns have changed the way Brits eat and how we order food.
It builds on a survey performed last year after lockdown 1, where a piece on the National Federation of Fisheries’ website showed how eating habits had gradually changed.
Our own experience with Buzz-it customers seem to show these trends continuing 9 months later.
Here are some of the findings that are still as true in lockdown 3 as they were in the first lockdown.
Eating earlier in the day
As many of us are working from home, food ordering now happens earlier in the day. When we were all going out to work, peak food ordering times would be between 7pm and 9pm. Now it’s closer to 5pm.
Lunch is similar. Where previously the lunch peak would be around 1pm, it’s now between 11.30am and 12pm. A slight reduction but it’s still earlier than before.
Eating earlier in the week
Before lockdown, restaurants and pubs would tick over Monday to Wednesday with their main trading days being Thursday to Sunday. With delivery and home working, that has evened out.
We still see a surge on a Friday and Saturday night but the other nights are evening out to cover more activity in the early part of the week and slightly less on Thursdays and Sundays.
More family meal orders
Most food app orders were for singles or couples. Now it seems it’s more about family or groups. Household groups we hasten to add!
Buzz-it is seeing more family-sized orders coming through than ever before. Groups of three or more have accelerated beyond anything we had seen previously and while Buzz-it hasn’t been around long, we have worked in hospitality for years and owned pubs and restaurants for almost as long.
Another trend we initially saw in lockdown 1 that is still with us is more dessert orders. It seems we are less afraid to exercise our sweet tooth, or consider a dessert a just reward for the times we’re in or bribery for the kids behaving well while at home.
Whatever the reason, dessert orders are still up from last year. That original piece said we were ordering around 36% more desserts than before. From what we have seen, that is still true now.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed society. Whatever the human cost, the societal cost is also stark.
Not all of it is bad though.
If people are eating together more, spending more time together as a family and eating together around the table at a fixed time each day, this whole experience won’t be totally negative.