Food as a Service (FaaS)

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has undoubtedly brought about change, some good and some not so good. Restaurants, independent and some chains, are closing down forever but others are opening up and thriving. The current situation presents the food industry with an opportunity to meet customer's changing habits and like the software industry decades before it, adapting and evolving new business models that will separate those that do and don't survive.

The software industry started off with a model of centralised hosting of business applications dating back to the 1960s. In that decade, IBM and other mainframe providers conducted a service bureau business, often referred to as time-sharing or utility computing.

The expansion of the Internet during the 1990s brought about a new class of centralised computing called application service providers (ASP). ASPs provided businesses with the service of hosting and managing specialised business applications, with the goal of reducing costs.

Software as a Service essentially extends the idea of the ASP model. Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud-based service where instead of downloading software onto your device you access an application via your internet browser.

For the food industry looking to evolve during the current pandemic, Food as a Service (FaaS) seems to be taking root as an impressionable wave of digital consumers are more and more ordering online to eat at home. Delivery surges during the pandemic has seen third-party delivery companies (service providers) such as Grubhub and UberEats increases in sales.

However, according to new research in the US consumers say ordering from third-party providers is their least-preferred off-premise ordering method. That dynamic has created a major opportunity for restaurants to promote their own channels and capture some of the many consumers who are ordering delivery regularly.

As consumer demand in takeout/delivery orders continues to rise, restaurants need to evolve to provide faster delivery orders with the same delicious quality that’s served in house and if consumers continue to show a preference for placing their orders directly with restaurants then that capability needs to be there through the restaurant's own web and social media sites.


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