Restaurants created a monster by emphasizing to-go and online orders during the pandemic, and now they can't control it

Asia's Tech News Daily

Restaurants created a monster by emphasizing to-go and online orders during the pandemic, and now they can't control it
© Provided by Business Insider Many restaurants turned to carry out and delivery during the coronavirus pandemic. Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

  • Restaurant chains are starting to grapple with the growing demand for to-go orders.
  • Workers have been saying things were untenable since early in the pandemic.
  • Americans are consuming much more food than before the pandemic, data shows.

Restaurant chains have enjoyed huge boosts in delivery and to-go orders over the last year and a half, but now they’re facing a demand that they can’t handle.

Off-premise orders were key to keeping these restaurants afloat in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic closed many dining rooms, and online orders subsequently exploded. Mobile orders drove Starbucks’ recovery and grew to an “all-time high” in 2021, making up over 25% of all orders, and at Chipotle they now make up nearly half of all orders. Even restaurants that traditionally concentrated more on dine-in business have emphasized online orders, and Cheesecake Factory doubled them in 2021 to $3 million in sales per restaurant.

Consumers are spending way more on delivery, and restaurants in general, than they have in the past. They’ve shown a growing preference for ordering digitally, Kalinowski Equity Research founder Mark Kalinowski told Insider. At least 10% of US restaurants, around 100,000 businesses or more by most estimates, closed since the onset of the pandemic, so a smaller number of restaurants are responding to this growing demand as the restaurant industry has one of its best years in recent memory. 

Part of the higher demand is that people are simply consuming more, Kalinowski told Insider. Combined food service and grocery sales, which are a close proxy for overall food purchases, are up more than double digits over 2019 levels, Kalinowski told Insider based on US census data. For example, in October 2021 US consumers spent 14.3% more on restaurant and grocery purchases than in October 2019.

The desire for to-go and delivery orders continues to grow, but now chains are realizing that they’ve created more demand than they can fulfill with current staffing and ingredient levels. IHOP and Applebees have begun to shut down delivery orders during the busy evening and weekend morning periods, CEO John Peyton said. 

Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse, both owned by Darden Restaurants, are throttling online orders because of “excess demand,” CEO Gene Lee said in a recent earnings call. Cheesecake Factory managers now have the ability to temporarily close digital orders if needed. 

While management is just starting to grapple with the tolls of excessive delivery demand, workers have been well aware. Restaurants are chronically understaffed, without enough workers to meet even average demand, without the additional orders this year. Some business owners say they’re unable to find staff and in some cases even cite a lack of desire to work, while workers say they can demand better pay and benefits in the tight labor market. This mismatch has led to restaurants decreasing hours and closing dining rooms, and a third of restaurant workers say they want to leave the industry. 

These problems are coming to a head across the country. In mid-November, a group of five employees at an Austin Chipotle quit their jobs, led by their general manager. They reached their breaking point as digital orders kept coming in, and the manager closed the dining room in an attempt to keep up with the online orders.

Across the industry, workers told Insider that they agree these orders have gotten out of hand.

“Digital ordering was the worst thing that ever happened to fast food,” a Taco Bell worker of 20 years who recently quit told Insider. These online orders can be “so ridiculously customized,” he said, that they’re highly difficult to make, coming in much faster than they can be made. 

Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Club chief confirms Newcastle target ‘will stay' prompting shift of PIF transfer focus

© Provided by Teamtalk Sven Botman celebrates with Burak Yilmaz as Lille score against Lyon in April 2021 Sven Botman will not be joining Newcastle United – at least not ... Read more »

AGDQ 2022 has smashed its previous record by raising over $3.4 million

© Provided by GamePur Speedruns, massive amounts of money raised, and gaming feats we’ve never witnessed before were all part of Awesome Games Done Quick in 2022. The speedrunning focused ... Read more »

Xavi feels 'cheated' by Ousmane Dembele and blames agent for forcing transfer

Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez is said to ‘feel cheated’ by the club’s forward Ousmane Dembele who is increasingly likely to leave the club this year. The Frenchman is out of ... Read more »

Shelbourne sign Wales U21 goalkeeper Lewis Webb on loan

SHELBOURNE HAVE SIGNED goalkeeper Lewis Webb on loan from Championship side Swansea City. Webb, who has been capped at U21 level for Wales, will join Shels for the 2022 campaign with ... Read more »

SWPL1: Hibs and Spartans show incredible fighting spirit

© Elis Notley celebrates a 92nd minute equaliser to give Hibernian a deserved 1-1 draw against Celtic … Notley scrambled home from a corner in the 92nd minute to salvage ... Read more »

Only 3 percent of Ludhiana's eligible teens vaccinated against Covid so far

© Provided by Hindustan Times A medic administers Covid vaccine to a teen in Ludhiana at the civil surgeon’s office. The vaccination drive for this group began on January 3. ... Read more »

Delhi govt intensifies Covid enforcement, 466 teams on ground

© Provided by Hindustan Times On Saturday, the enforcement teams imposed fines worth over ₹1.02 crore. (Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times) New Delhi: The Delhi government has intensified enforcement against violations of ... Read more »

Australia news live update: Novak Djokovic leaves country; surveillance flight to assess tsunami damage in Tonga

LIVE – Updated at 21:08 Follow all the day’s news.   21:08 Morrison says he’s made it “very clear the rules are rules”. For our government, ensuring the integrity of ... Read more »

Unilever faces £14bn fundraising and asset sales to sweeten GSK bid

Unilever will be forced to raise £14bn from investors or sell assets to fund any sweetened offer for GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer healthcare business as the City cast doubt on the Marmite ... Read more »

Tennis stars support Novak Djokovic over Australia deportation saga: ‘Isn't right'

No one will mistake Novak Djokovic for the most popular player among his counterparts on the ATP Tour. But following his visa cancellation and deportation ahead of the Australian Open, ... Read more »

Real gewinnt den Supercup +++ Liverpool mit Pflichtsieg +++ Shaqiri darf wieder mal mittun

© CAROLINE BLUMBERG/keystone-sda.ch Für Vladimir Petkovic wird die Luft dünner und dünner. Bundesliga Augsburg – Eintracht Frankfurt 1:1 Eintracht Frankfurt wartet weiter auf den ersten Sieg im neuen Jahr. Nach ... Read more »

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg admits he's had ‘challenging 2 weeks' in office

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg spoke at Abyssinian Baptist Church Kevin C. Downs for The New York Post New Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg admitted Sunday that his first two weeks ... Read more »

Paper Talk; Man Utd dithering may cost them as Rangnick ‘verbally agrees' £33m midfielder deal

Manchester United could still miss out on Amadou Haidara despite Ralf Rangnick verbally agreeing a deal to sign the Leipzig midfielder, while Sunday’s transfer gossip claims Chelsea have made an ... Read more »

Fresh development shared as Sunderland consider high-profile transfer

© Provided by Football League World Sunderland’s Jermain Defoe Jermain Defoe is open to a return to Sunderland, although there is Championship interest in the striker. The 39-year-old is a ... Read more »

"I do expect": Waugh makes exciting NUFC transfer claim that'll leave Howe delighted - opinion

© Provided by Football FanCast newcastle-premier-league-howe-waugh An exciting Newcastle United transfer claim has been made regarding their plans for the rest of the January window… What’s the talk? Magpies reporter ... Read more »

UN's W.Sahara envoy meets with Polisario chief in Algeria

© RYAD KRAMDI A Sahrawi family in a refugee camp on the outskirts of the southwestern Algerian city of Tindouf, seen here in this February 27, 2021 photograph The UN’s ... Read more »

Around the World in 80 Days: viewers all saying same thing after episode six

Around the World in 80 Days continued on Sunday night and viewers are all saying the same thing following the heartwarming sixth episode.  MORE: Around the World in 80 Days: viewers ... Read more »

Athletic Club 0-2 Real Madrid: Luka Modric and Karim Benzema secure Supercopa triumph

© REUTERS lukamodric.jpg Real Madrid lifted the first piece of silverware on offer to them this season after beating Athletic Club 2-0 in the Supercopa de Espana final. Luka Modric ... Read more »

Spurs could land big Alli upgrade in "special" £18m-rated gem, he gave Dier nightmares - opinion

© Provided by Football FanCast England midfielder Jesse Lingard during warm up vs Andorra Tottenham Hotspur are lining up a shock move for Jesse Lingard, according to reports. The ever-reliable ... Read more »

Tonga tsunami – Brit last seen clinging to rocks is ‘missing' after being swept her away from husband by wall of water

FEARS were mounting last night for a British animal charity worker said to be missing after the Tongan tsunami. Angela Glover, 50, was parted from husband James when a wall ... Read more »

I'm a size 22 & met my fella on a plus size dating app – people ask why he's with a ‘fatty' but he loves my curves

AFTER dating a string of slender women, singer Zayn Malik is swiping in a different direction. The Sun on Sunday revealed yesterday the 29-year-old former One Direction star bedded curvy ... Read more »

'Hope Arteta was watching' - Arsenal fans love what Nicolas Pepe did for Ivory Coast at AFCON

Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe was back in the goals today as he scored in Ivory Coast’s 2-2 draw with Sierra Leone in the Africa Cup of Nations. The 26-year-old is ... Read more »

Battle on the cards... Amazon to stop accepting Visa credit card payments THIS WEEK

© PA amazon visa credit card payments Customers will still be able to use debit cards issued by banks and building societies that use the Visa network, as well as ... Read more »

Becky Hill wants to put on a FESTIVAL when she marries long-term partner Charlie Gardner

BECKY HILL has performed at festivals all over the world, so she will be putting everything she has learned into throwing her own when she marries. The Remember singer got ... Read more »

Celebrated Greek painter Alekos Fassianos dies at 86

ATHENS, Greece — Alekos Fassianos, one of the most important modern Greek painters, died Sunday at his home after a long illness, the state news agency ANA reported. He was ... Read more »

13 simple hacks to break up with your phone – from rubber band trick to rejigging your home screen

NEVER mind Veganuary and Dry January . . . it’s time for a digital detox. We are more addicted to our phones than ever, new figures show, spending an average of FOUR HOURS a ... Read more »

Under-19 cricket World Cup: Chandigarh's Rajangad Bawa off to blistering start

© Provided by Hindustan Times Chandigarh’s Rajangad Bawa is a medium pacer and middle-order batsman. (HT Photo) Giving away 17 runs in the first over that he bowled for India against ... Read more »

CHB flats: Chandigarh mayor promises to take up RWAs' issues with admn

© Provided by Hindustan Times CHB officials and mayor Sarabjit Kaur during a meeting with representatives of RWAs at the Sector 40 community centre in Chandigarh on Sunday. (HT Photo) The ... Read more »

Six killed, five injured in three road accidents in Chamba, Mandi and Shimla districts

© Provided by Hindustan Times People gather at the accident spot near near Bhalei Mata Temple in the Salooni subdivision of Chamba on Sunday. Two more road accidents took place ... Read more »

Thousands protest against Dutch COVID restrictions

Thousands of protesters have packed Amsterdam’s streets in opposition to the government-imposed COVID-19 restrictions and vaccination campaign as virus infections hit a new record. Authorities were granted stop and search ... Read more »

Suhana Khan looks jaw-droppingly stunning in a black dress as she poses with cousin Alia Chhiba; PICS

Suhana Khan has yet again set social media on fire with her latest pictures. Bollywood power-couple Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan’s daughter Suhana has not made her big debut ... Read more »

Himachal sees over three-fold increase in Covid infections in a week; highest cases in Kangra

© Provided by Hindustan Times A view of the deserted Mall Road after the administration imposed restrictions amid spike in Covid infections, in Shimla on Sunday. Kangra reported the highest ... Read more »

Gardaí begin investigation as man dies in Limerick motorcycle collision

© Shutterstock A MAN HAS been killed in a motorcycle collision in the Southill area of Limerick city.  Gardaí in Roxboro Road have begun an investigation into the death which ... Read more »

Benitez: 'We didn't only have to get results, but we also had to win over people's hearts'

© Alamy Stock Photo Benitez was sacked following Saturday’s defeat to struggling Norwich. WAYNE ROONEY HAS emerged among the early favourites to replace Rafael Benitez at Everton. Benitez was sacked ... Read more »

Long COVID may be causing 1.6 million Americans to miss work amid the labor shortage

© Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis/Getty Images A COVID-19 patient recovers at home in Brooklyn, New York on November 21, 2020. Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis/Getty Images One in seven working-age Americans may experience lingering COVID-19 ... Read more »

Winter storm Izzy: Worst ice and snow of season as ‘Saskatchewan Screamer' barrels across US

A major winter storm brought heavy snow and damaging ice to the southeastern US, knocking out power for thousands of homes and forcing cancellations of hundreds of flights on the ... Read more »

Jai Ram Thakur to inaugurate Dharamshala-McLeodganj ropeway on January 19

© Provided by Hindustan Times Apart from the Dharamshala-McLeodganj ropeway, chief minister Jai Ram Thakur will also inaugurate a war museum and a new building of the Regional Forensic Science ... Read more »

Stones pelted at Shatabdi in Jalandhar

© Provided by Hindustan Times The railway protection office has said that the damage to the train was a result of a gang rivalry that spilled on to the tracks. ... Read more »

Kourtney Kardashian, Travis Barker want an 'intimate, special' and 'really exclusive' wedding?

© Provided by Pinkvilla After getting engaged in October, Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker want to tie the knot with each other “sooner or later.” According to Entertainment Tonight’s report, ... Read more »

Tiffany Haddish arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence

© Provided by Cover Media Tiffany Haddish Tiffany Haddish has been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence (DUI). According to editors at TMZ, the Girls Trip actress was arrested ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic