Amid heightened COVID-19 control measures, food delivery service has become the primary income channel for restaurants. Marketing via online food delivery platforms, including promotional discounts and delivery fee waivers for restaurateurs, has also helped to attract new customers and increase order frequency among existing customers.
KResearch projects that the volume of food delivery will reach at least 120 million orders, or triple the number of orders during the pre-pandemic period in 2019, which was in the range of 35-45 million. Meanwhile, market turnover of online food delivery business in 2021 will likely total around THB 53.1-55.8 billion, or growth of 18.4-24.4 percent compared to the previous year. The new way of life amid the COVID-19 outbreaks has greatly affected consumer behaviors, prompting the increased use of food delivery services. Notable changes to food ordering patterns include: 1. An average 20-25 percent year-on-year drop in spending per order, due to weaker purchasing power and restaurants' promotional campaigns; 2. A surge in food delivery from street food stalls, expected to rise from an estimated 29 percent in 2020 to more than 40 percent of total market share in food delivery this year; and 3. Delivery areas have been expanded to Greater Bangkok and the suburbs of Bangkok, consistent with the shift to work-from-home and hybrid working models among many businesses.
To conclude, the COVID-19 situation continues to generate high levels of uncertainty, affecting on-premise dining at all restaurants. As a result, food delivery remains an important service channel for both consumers and restaurateurs. The value of food delivery business in 2021 should thus enjoy continued growth. Nonetheless, several major challenges exist, especially the competition among food delivery platforms which has attracted both restaurants that are new to such platforms and related businesses to invest in the food delivery market. For this reason, all parties involved should quickly adapt themselves to cope with the impact from fiercer competition in order to preserve their market share.