The closure of click & collect takeaway – as the government is rumoured to be considering as part of a further tightening of coronavirus restrictions – could wipe £300m a month from the UK eating out sector, it has been claimed.
Figures from the NPD group for the month of November show that the total market for click & collect takeaway, whether ordered by app, online or telephone, was worth £328m. It accounted for 13% of total spend on out of home eating in November.
App and online-only ordering in November 2020, meanwhile, was worth £131m, the equivalent to 5% of total spend on all out of home eating.
The £300m that could be lost due to a change in the rules is likely to be a worst case scenario and does not take into account that some of that figure could be diverted into other foodservice channels, such as delivery.
Scotland yesterday announced that customers will no longer be allowed to go inside to collect takeaway food or coffee.
Businesses will instead have to operate from a serving hatch or doorway to reduce the risk of customers coming into contact indoors with each other or with staff.
Dominic Allport, insights director (foodservice) at The NPD Group, said: “The impact of a government-imposed closure of click & collect takeaway meals would be devastating to the restaurant trade, especially the small independents that so many Brits frequent up and down the country.
“Many of these operators have invested heavily to continue to provide takeaway meals to their customers during an extremely challenging time, and the public has responded by increasing their use of click & collect. It’s no exaggeration to say that for the local restaurants particularly, click & collect is now the difference between survival and closure.”
In the 12 months to November 2020, click & collect for takeaways (ordered by app, online or telephone) was worth £2.9 billion, 7% of total spend on out of home eating.
Click & collect grew +45% in the three months to November 2020 period, to represent 9% of total spend, as consumers switched buyer behaviour, and operators became more reliant on this order channel for trade during lockdowns and tiering.