Meal delivery company Takeaway.com, the company behind the Dutch site Thuisbezorgd, had a dip in the number of orders in March. Many restaurants closed their doors and fewer lunches and meals were ordered from offices. The company also suffered from DDoS attacks, affecting hundreds of thousands of orders.
The number of orders scrambled at the end of the month, also because more and more restaurants have started delivering. “We are one of the few privileged companies affected only by the crisis,” said founder Jitse Groen.
Over the entire first quarter, 10 million meal orders arrived in the Netherlands, 11 percent more than a year ago.
2000 restaurants have registered in recent weeks. Because no more customers are allowed to be in the business because of the corona virus, they want to compensate for the decrease in turnover by having meals picked up and delivered.
According to catering consultancy Van Spronsen, catering companies collectively lose 2.9 billion euros in turnover because they have to be largely closed. If restaurants also have to remain closed in May, that amount doubles.
Delivery of meals does not take away all the pain, says Leonie van Spronsen of the consultancy. “This seems to be a solution, especially for snack bars, but the location is very decisive. If you are in the countryside, it is much more difficult to get your meals to the customer at the right temperature.”
For more luxurious restaurants it is even more difficult to absorb the loss of turnover. “At luxury restaurants you pay in addition to the food for the service and the ambiance. Restaurants that deliver meals now often do so for much lower prices than usual. For those restaurants, delivery is poor comfort.”
Takeaway.com, the largest in its market in Europe, expects the dip to be temporary in March and expects growth for the rest of the year. Things are going particularly fast in Germany. The number of orders has more than doubled this year so far. The company will publish the financial results later.