SXSW Panel Recap: The Future of Food Delivery

The future is here, and it’s mobile

If you’ve been hungry lately, you might have opened an app and scrolled through the menu options available for doorstep delivery. You are not alone. Food delivery has become the new norm and it spans the generations – although millennials order food three times as often as their parents.

Source: Getty Images

“We’re living in an on-demand economy today,” explained Patrik Hellstrand, the CEO of by CHLOE, a plant-based fast casual restaurant in New York. That means that the same way shopping for books, groceries, and shoes has morphed into a simple scroll-and-click sequence, eating food is not far behind. This transformation of restaurants from a social sit-down space to just a kitchen that takes orders beamed in from phones everywhere means these eateries are being forced to rethink their dishes. What was once a beautifully plated, intricate recipe must now fit into packaging that can be transported across town without losing its flavor. Aesthetic appeal now lands further down the line of importance after quality, taste, price, and delivery options, according to Hellstrand.

One of the more interesting trends that restaurateurs have noticed as a result of increased delivery demand is that “when people are ordering online or ordering delivery, generally the check size grows,” said Hellstrand. Of course, this includes delivery fees, but it is also restaurants and customers rebalancing the scales of market price in a world where delivery and tips are now expected to be wrapped into the price point.

Another perk of the rise in delivery is data. Thanks to the digital transaction of delivery, restaurants now have access to mountains of consumer data on taste and mealtime preference. The result, said Nikki Neuburger, global head of marketing at Uber Eats, is that Uber Eats menus can predict more accurately what you would like to eat than you could do yourself. “Obviously we want to get to a scenario where we can offer guests what they like,” she explained. At the same time, the question becomes, “People want to feel some control, so how do you walk that line?”

The Future of Food Delivery

Tuesday, March 12, JW Marriott Salon AB

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