The Takeaway Sector – Delivering Jobs & Economic Benefits to Ireland
A new report on the Irish takeaway sector produced by DKM Economic Consultants, and commissioned by JUST EAT, Ireland’s leading takeaway app, has highlighted the huge and far-reaching economic contribution of the takeaway sector in Ireland. This is the first time that the takeaway sector has been considered as a sector in its own right with its key economic contribution previously being captured solely under the broader restaurant sector. The DKM analysis found that the takeaway industry is directly responsible for 24,900 direct jobs in 2,995 establishments selling takeaway food. With direct, indirect and induced employment considered there are 29,100 jobs supported by the takeaway sector in Ireland.
For the purposes of this study the Takeaway Sector is defined as any restaurant, café, takeaway or eating establishment offering food to consumers, either for home delivery or for collection to consume off the premises. Where establishments sell both eat-in and takeaway services, only the takeaway aspects of the business are considered.
The Report found that annual total expenditure on takeaway in Ireland is €1.48 billion. In addition, the takeaway sector sources almost €700 million from Irish suppliers annually. It found that the sector contributed €1.003bn to Irish GDP and delivered almost €450 million in tax revenue to the Exchequer in 2015.
The report is the first major research on the Irish takeaway sector and highlights the impact of the sector on the broader food service industry, accounting for 57.2% of the restaurant sector and 25.3% of the wider Food Services sector in terms of sales. The data shows that the takeaway sector – with its contribution to GDP of over €1bn – is comparable in economic size and importance to sectors like the Motor Sales Trade, Mobile Technology Services and Road Freight Transport.
The new research concludes that the overall takeaway market is set to grow by 17% by 2020, but the online takeaway sector could potentially grow by 40-60% over the same period. This takes into account overall household consumption growth, expected changes in population structure and also recognises the critical role that smartphone technology and mobile broadband will play in driving growth. Commenting on the report findings Amanda Roche Kelly said that this report highlights not only the significant contribution of the sector but also the role that technology can play in driving growth within a traditional industry.
Speaking at the launch she said: “The takeaway sector is a much loved and well-known sector with restaurants found in towns and villages nationwide. JUST EAT is in a privileged position – not only are we working with these businesses but more importantly, we are adding value to them by making their food more accessible to consumers online and through the JUST EAT app. We are proud of our role in enabling takeaway restaurant businesses to grow and develop and wanted to highlight the important role and contribution that they make to the economy as a whole. The numbers published today speak for themselves and reinforce the point that takeaway restaurants are critical to the lifeblood of towns and villages throughout the country. As the range of restaurants offering a takeaway or delivery service grows, we are meeting the diverse range of needs of consumers who select either a treat or a healthy option – depending on the time of day or day of the week.
“The report also reinforces what we have been aware of for a long time – the growth in smartphone penetration is impacting on consumer behaviour and in the case of the takeaway sector, is helping to drive growth. Smartphones are opening up a world of opportunity for individuals and businesses in the takeaway sector. Over 70% of JUST EAT’S customers now order via our app and on mobile devices. We believe that the role of technology in helping a traditional industry to innovate and grow has only just begun. This sector is a model for other parts of the economy where technology can play a positive and disruptive force – delivering growth that previously would only have been dreamt about.”
John Lawlor, Director, DKM Economic Consultants said:
“Despite the important role that takeaway restaurants play in the food and hospitality sector there was previously limited data and understanding of the contribution that the sector makes to the broader economy. This report confirms that the takeaway sector is a major employer and contributes to the economic lifeblood of towns and cities across the country.
“In terms of the future of the sector, we see that technology is a clear driver of innovation as embodied in the business model of JUST EAT. Technology is driving innovation and growth in the sector. 30% of adults have ordered takeaway food online and national smartphone usage is expected to continue to grow.”
Commenting on the opportunities that technology have brought to his growing business, Shane Crilly, Founder and Managing Director of BASE Pizza said: “The growth that we have experienced would not have been possible if customers did not have the opportunity to order our food online. Increasingly our orders are coming through JUST EAT mobile app and we would anticipate that this trend will continue. Not only does it give the consumer more control but they also relish the opportunity to leave reviews. We welcome the level of transparency this brings as a positive endorsement from a customer that can drives orders and any criticism or issue that might arise can immediately be addressed. It ensures that we strive to continuously improve quality and customer satisfaction. It works well for us and for our customers.”
In tandem with the economic research, research was undertaken to establish consumer patterns in terms of consumption. The research establishes that 25-34 years olds were found to order the most takeaway, spending an average of €56.33 per month. Men spend considerably more than women on takeaway, with an average spend of €48.86 per month compared to €31.93 per month. Regionally, Dublin represents 30% of the aggregate market value for the takeaway sector, the Rest of Munster and Leinster each represent just over a quarter, and Connacht/Ulster represents the remaining almost 20%. Urban dwellers account for 55% of the takeaway market, spending more on takeaway than the national average.