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How the South African Fast Food Industry Continues to Evolve

There is Lekker Food at my Door, does it Ring a bell?

Food has always been a social occasion, it brings people together irrespective of race colour or creed. Most cultures communicate love through food and South Africans fall within that margin. In that case, how do fast-food restaurants in South Africa ensure that food lovers' needs are well met?

Food plays a big role in our lives. Not only as a source of nutrients but as part of religions and a centre point of some cultures even. Food has been a symbol of respect and a way to show love and appreciation.

It’s no wonder we invest so heavily in what we eat. But how has our perception of food changed throughout time. Particularly with the introduction of fast food. Many traditionalists, culturalists and nutritionists have always seen food as freshly made in your home.

But how does the landscape of food look in 2020 where fast food and food delivery is growing at a rapid pace and there has been more demand than ever before.

The average person in 2020 has definitely either eaten food from a fast food chain or ordered food online. Why? Well we are busier than ever and always on the go.

YOUKNOW, using social intelligence collected consumer insights on how the South African online community talks about fast-food outlets and food delivery apps.

When we analyse the fast food industry in South Africa we have to look at the two aspects. Fast food chains and Food delivery.

Though growth is undeniable within the industry, economic issues like load shedding are a big challenge for most business owners. On the bright side though, food is a basic need which means fast food eaters will continue ordering their food even if it means doing that online, because when this generation wants something, they want it now.

Food Delivery: @lesedi_malete Tweet

With instant gratification came forth convenience which led to the invention of food delivery apps. These applications are prefered by consumers for their convenience mostly. Being able to order from numerous restaurants without having to rearrange schedules is one of the benefits. Other benefits include allowing for instant payment methods, real-time tracking, delivery scheduling and looking at the menu and price while reading reviews by previous customers before any order can be confirmed. This isn’t only convenient for customers, but for restaurant owners too.

Though the benefits may be numerous, the CoronaVirus pandemic is affecting this industry as well. Not only the customers are scared for their health, but the drivers too, and we see that through customer conversations on social media when a driver almost throws a customer's order over the gate.

Food Delivery: @arthyy_m Tweet

Besides catching flying food, customers are getting used to getting their food in a click and are becoming more and more demanding. What does this mean for the fast-food and food delivery industry?

Fast food delivery players backed up by modern technology can start looking into genius marketing and bizarre innovations so that they are able to withstand competition and can keep up with ever changing customer demands.

A few innovations that are being implemented to meet customer demands use new delivery channels like order by tweet, self-service ordering kiosks, order by smartwatch and order with a smart tv are already penetrating the industry.

Smarter technological advancements like robots and drones delivering your food will become normal as food delivery companies will no longer be limited by labour force.

Food Delivery: @Africa_PS Tweet

With today’s busy schedules and lifestyles, mobile devices will keep people out of the kitchen and send them straight to apps where they will order their food in one click. Will that stop fast-food restaurant owners from coming up with new concepts? We are yet to find out.

Want us to look at a specific sector? Let us know in the comments below.

By Machele Sedibane