After a great growth in home deliveries in the pandemic, delivery has been registering a gradual drop in orders, which reaches 50% in some cases.
According to Helena Andrade, project manager at Sebrae-SP, the phenomenon can be classified as a market accommodation.
“During the pandemic, we saw a boom. It is natural that, with the resumption of face-to-face service, people will leave their homes again, causing delivery to gradually return to its previous level. Therefore, companies 100% focused on delivery are already there. feeling the thud.”
This is the case of baker Patcha Pietrobelli, 37, founder of Pão da Patcha. August, according to her, was the weakest month of sales in 2021. The reduction was 20%. “My assiduous customers have returned to work and are no longer available to receive deliveries,” he explains.
The drop in the purchasing power of the clientele and the rise in the price of ingredients and fuels are also not helping. In October, the entrepreneur had to readjust by 15% the value of shipping and the prices of bread, which now cost between R$ 20 and R$ 31.
Faced with the new scenario, the entrepreneur began to rethink the business model. Among other initiatives, she intends to seek new consumers, such as event companies, to sell the two weekly batches, which add up to between 60 and 100 loaves.
“I’m going to create a profile on Linkedin to reach the corporate market, create new products, such as Panettone for Christmas, and increase communication to increase sales for the day-to-day. Many artisan bakers launched themselves in the pandemic, I need to emphasize the differentials of my buns.”
Reformulating communication with customers is also one of the strategies of chef Roberto Ravioli, 68. After closing three restaurants during the pandemic, he slowly started selling again through Instagram. He launched a sausage bun, expanded the line with Italian dishes and ended up discovering a new lode.
Today, Ravioli receives orders per application and dispatches them from two dark kitchens (delivery-oriented kitchens that do not receive customers), rented for R$4,200 a month each. While the salons were closed, the business prospered, he says.
“The competition was great, but there was a market for everyone. I even received an order of R$ 5,000 for a single person. Confined, customers ordered dishes for the week or fortnight. I even sent food to Paraná”, he recalls.
Then came the reopening of bars and restaurants, followed by a 50% drop in sales. “My biggest competitors today are the restaurants that have reopened. People are tired, they want to go out and, obviously, they are asking for less delivery.”
To get around the crisis, Ravioli says he will bet on the sale of frozen dishes to hotels, supermarkets and restaurants. It also hired a company to professionalize the management of its social networks and redesign the menu and packaging design.
If having a physical spot does not cross Ravioli’s mind, this is the plan of businessman Ipe Moraes, 55, for the Arroz Malandro delivery, launched in April 2021.
A partner in three restaurants – Adega Santiago, Taberna 474 and Casa Europa–, Moraes had already been experiencing the gradual growth of home deliveries since last year.
“Even at the reopening of the second half of 2020, there was no drop in demand, because no one was vaccinated and people were still afraid to leave,” he recalls.
When the government of São Paulo determined the new closing of bars and restaurants, in March 2021, Moraes thought it was time to launch the new brand, which immediately took off with rice-based recipes. Right away, it reached 600 monthly orders, with an average ticket of R$127.
The increase in attendance at reopened restaurants has already caused a 20% drop in the number of orders. The solution, in his opinion, is to go to a physical location and open the group’s fourth restaurant.
“The big issue with delivery-only food is the experience, which we can’t provide. It’s difficult to relate to the customer to ensure bonding and loyalty.”
The decision to open an establishment is the riskiest for those who are facing difficulties in maintaining sales in delivery, says Helena Andrade, from Sebrae-SP.
“At the physical point, the costs are much higher, that is, the entrepreneur is forced to open the doors already increasing prices. Before making this decision, it is essential to make a business plan.”
How to boost delivery
- Invest in digital marketing to capture new customers. Redesign your social media communication plan and run sponsored campaigns to increase your reach
- Create promotions for the weakest days in sales, offering combos at special prices or discounts
- Don’t rely solely on delivery applications, as they don’t allow you to work on customer relationships. Whenever possible, attract the public to the service itself
- Bet on treats that make the customer feel special, such as handwritten notes and small gifts. “Gestures like that generate free and spontaneous disclosure, because people photograph and post on social networks”, says Andrade
- Innovate in your product or service’s exposure channels. Partnerships with establishments from other sectors, which attract the same consumer profile, can be efficient. “Pampering stores specializing in food for children can advertise in children’s schools, for example. That way, everyone wins”, says the consultant