Food delivery apps are expected to be among the potential winners of the coronavirus quarantine. The example of Hong Kong shows that in the first weeks of a lockdown, consumers tend to stock up groceries rather than order ready meals, but after a while the use of food delivery apps starts to rise.
In Europe, where the lockdown started to spread a few weeks ago, this trend has not yet become apparent. Several big fast food chains that offered delivery, including McDonald’s and KFC, chose to close down rather than maintain operations for fulfilling remote orders. At the same time, Uber Eats is anticipating a spike in consumer demand for online food delivery services, and is encouraging more restaurant sign ups in France, Spain and Italy by waiving the enrollment fee through the end of March. In the U.S., there has been an increase in contactless delivery, with ordered meals left at the customer’s doorstep. Furthermore, companies such as Domino’s are hiring additional workforce to keep up with demand spikes. The current and expected growth in demand for online food delivery services also drives the share prices of selected food delivery apps at double or even triple digit rates year-on-year.
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