Pub and bar delivery availability has increased by 115% since the pandemic, with operators in the sector launching virtual brands to complement bricks-and-mortar sites, according to Lumina Intelligence.

The Foodservice Delivery Market Report 2023 points to brands such as Mitchells & Butlers capitalising on growing trends such as specialist products and healthier eating, with All Bar One launching virtual brand Halo Kitchen.

While pub delivery services still under-index compared to other channels, delivery-focused brands have had to innovate to drive revenue. Operators including Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s have faced challenges in a difficult trading environment, owing to traditionally higher price points compared with lower ticket new arrivals.

Health perceptions of pizza and the lack of wider day-part propositions have also been a challenge, with aggressive discounting increasingly used as a tactic. Domino’s has upped its value messaging – especially for collection, a more profitable revenue stream – and Pizza Hut has launched a solo dining meal deal.

Additionally, McDonald’s and KFC have increased their share of the delivery market since pre-pandemic, with delivery-focused pizza specialists seeing their market shares decline correspondingly. Delivery is expected to account for 37% of KFC and 21% of McDonald’s sales in the UK in 2023.

Café, bakery, and sandwich shops have also expanded delivery services, with over four in five of the leading 50 brands by outlet now offering a delivery service and driving the availability of coffee delivery.

As delivery turnover shares stabilise, brands have invested in physical expansion as well, with eight of the top 10 foodservice delivery brands expected to expand in 2023.