And even then, industry players don’t see their stores filled up just like in the pre-COVID days, as customers are expected to prefer deliveries than dine-in.
That is, if they could still afford it.
A Babbler said these were the expectation made by a top fast food firm during a recent analysts’ briefing, to explain why the industry players have been slow to recover even after the lifting of the lockdown since June.
FF cited the curfew, consumer uncertainty, and the hassle of observing all COVID precautions just to go to a deserted mall and eat fried chicken and burger.
It’s less depressing and less trouble to eat at home and just pay extra for delivery.
FF believes that these off-site dining habits – delivery, drive-through, and take-out – will persist even after sales have recovered by 2022 and dine-out customers could shrink to as low as 20 percent of sales.
FF said the tectonic shift in eating habits would force fastfood firms to put their store expansion plans in the freezer or in the waste bin and focus on beefing up their delivery infrastructure.
Since the lockdown was imposed in March, FF said fastfood firms have leaned on food aggregators like Food Panda and GrabFood to boost their sales.
But they can’t rely on this business model for long because these delivery firms have gobbled up a big chunk of their margins as commissions have soared to 18 percent and were expected to rise further to 20 percent by 2021.
This is why fastfood firms need to beef up their delivery network.
While delivery has its pluses (customers’ orders are three times bigger when they eat at home rather than in store), it also has its drawbacks.
Fastfood giants have lost their location advantage and are facing more fierce competition as third party aggregators have enabled more restaurants to give Jollibee and McDonald’s more varied and cheaper alternatives.
Beyond deliveries, FFF said players have to contend with the economic recession which has forced jobless Pinoys to shift to carinderias or return to their kitchens for their food.
It’s really hard to be in the shoes of the bee and the clown these. days.