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10 Top Food Delivery Innovations That Arose During the Pandemic

Highlighting innovative food delivery concepts and promotions restaurants have adopted post-pandemic to boost their bottom lines.

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Many restaurants were forced to get innovative in order to keep customers coming in during the Coronavirus outbreak. Here are a few of the most inventive food delivery concepts and promotions we’ve seen restaurants use to increase their bottom lines.

Coronavirus Specials with a Twist

Use deals and promotions suited to the lockdown to speak to your clients’ current experiences. Quarantine Kits, Lockdown Lunches, Social Distancing Desserts, and Stay Home Hors D’oeuvres are just a few of the extras that will help set your food delivery apart. Some restaurants have even gone so far as to include toilet paper and other necessities with their meals.

Unusual Takeout Cuisines

When evaluating your potential takeout selections, don’t be afraid to explore outside the box. Most goods that would normally perish in your restaurant’s pantry—eggs, bulk meats, cheeses, condiments, and so on—can be repurposed into unique food delivery choices like charcuterie boards, omelettes, dough, a la carte sides, specialty sauces, and more.

Dishes That can be Heated and Then Eaten

Not every food is suitable for takeout. Some meals are difficult to package, and some dishes lose their heat or texture while in transportation. Restaurants have responded by developing heat-and-eat menu items. These recipes can be prepared ahead of time, frozen or refrigerated, and delivered or carried out. They’re a terrific workaround for eateries that haven’t addressed takeout in their menu planning.

Meal Prep Kits

Other eateries have gone a step farther with the heat-and-eat concept. They’re taking their favorite dishes apart, packing the ingredients with instructions, and sending them to eager customers as meal kits. Meal kits are not only a pleasant change from traditional takeout, but they’re also more cost-effective for the average family feeding four to five people.

Read how Illuminate Food uses EasyRoutes for their meal kit delivery.

Wholesale Ingredients

Many establishments are pondering what to do with surplus goods after only a few hours have passed after the shutdown orders were handed out. Several restaurants have begun selling their products in bulk, either to other businesses or directly to consumers, often immediately from the store, in order to move their inventory before it spoils.

Food Subscriptions

While meal kit services have become commonplace in recent years, the food delivery subscription service concept is uncharted territory for eateries. Purchasing a meal subscription from your favourite restaurant did not even exist as a notion prior to COVID-19. It’s now the latest innovation in a multi-year trend away from traditional restaurant sales and toward takeout. Customers sign up for a meal delivery or pick-up plan with their preferred restaurant, and their meals are delivered or picked up at a certain time. In the midst of all the uncertainty, subscriptions provide businesses with a constant, reliable source of income.

Meal Donations

As consumers consider how to best support local communities and their favourite eateries, meal donations are growing more popular. Meal donations are an excellent method to meet both of these goals. Some kitchens have gone entirely to a donation model, with every meal purchased going to medical first responders, unemployed food service workers in at-risk communities, and anyone else combating COVID-19 on the front lines. Other restaurants have employed a “Buy two meals, we donate one” marketing to help give back while still making a profit.


You’ve probably seen #TakeoutTuesday #TakeoutTakeover #CarryoutWednesday #TheGreatAmericanTakeout on social media by now. Participating in national hashtag campaigns can help you spread the word about your company and reach new audiences. Make sure to include your location (city or district, not a real address) so that local clients may find you simply while searching.

Takeout Alcohol and Cocktails

Alcoholic beverages are a high-margin menu item that typically account for 20–30% of a restaurant’s sales. As a result, many cities, provinces and states have relaxed their alcohol delivery regulations, enabling restaurants to provide packaged drinks to go. Restaurants have responded with Cocktail Kits, Take-Home Margarita Mix, Whiskey Tasters, and Blood Mary Makings, among other things.

Use EasyRoutes by Roundtrip to Power your Food Deliveries

EasyRoutes is a local delivery route planner tool that makes planning a route a breeze. After that, you can either share your routes with drivers or deliver them yourself using our mobile-friendly driver mode.

Shopify and EasyRoutes work together effortlessly. You will no longer need to waste time exporting and importing spreadsheets. Simply select the orders you’d want to deliver, and EasyRoutes will figure out the most cost-effective delivery route for you.

Try EasyRoutes by Roundtrip free for 14 days!

Get EasyRoutes on the Shopify App Store
Get EasyRoutes on the Shopify App Store

About Roundtrip

Roundtrip's mission is to equip every business with the software tools they need to deliver products to their customers in a delightful way. Thousands of worldwide choose EasyRoutes to power their local deliveries across dozens of product categories, from meal kits and groceries to coffee, cupcakes, kibble, and so much more. Our easy-to-use route planning and delivery optimization app is certified Built for Shopify, a two-time Shopify staff pick, and the top rated local delivery app on the Shopify App Store.

"I needed a routing app to save me hours of route planning for my drivers. This app came to the rescue and did the routing automatically for me, giving me back hours."
Lit Canteen
Vietnamese food delivery in Australia 🇦🇺
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