Dining outside of home was initially a practice that was designed for travelers who were on transit and needed to stop for a bite before they carried on with their journey. Today, eating out of home has somewhat become a culture where people gather for social or business purposes and make the best of conversations while enjoying a meal.
With any business that is looking towards growth or expansion, many restaurant owners have realized that beyond the queues of customers who dine in their establishments, there is another growing demand of customers who only have time to eat on the go, with some opting to have their meals delivered to their location. For these customers, the need for a readily cooked meal arises more from necessity, where working long hours is the norm and they hardly have the time or energy to prepare a meal from scratch. This is further demonstrated in a recent American government data, where the statistics showed that 60% of families have both parents working full time and this is said to be the highest figures they’ve recorded thus far. This loosely translates into minimal time at home to interact with the family over a meal.
Locally, many families may lean on domestic help to support in preparing meals for the family while they are out earning a living. And even still, there are a decent number of the young upcoming professionals, otherwise known as the ‘yuppies’ whose interest lies more in earning a quick buck than spending time in the kitchen.
For restaurant owners this target audience pauses as a great business opportunity. By expanding their kitchen capacity, restaurant owners can now look beyond catering for walk in customers and extend their services to food delivery. Beyond this clear advantage, another reason for restaurant owners to extend packed meals to those in need is that customers who order online tend to order more food as compared to when they dine in a restaurant. Part of the assumed reason for this is that there is less judgment when one orders a meal online and they are at liberty to order as much as they’d like to; and because they only intend to order for one meal at a go, there is a habit of ordering more food than would naturally be consumed if one ordered while dining in a restaurant.
This is an incremental trend for Nairobi restaurant owners and one that is proving to be a lucrative method to generating growth for the food business.