- Just Eat, an online food delivery company, has published hygiene ratings for restaurants that offer food through its platform, according to an email sent to Restaurant Dive, claiming to be the first delivery company to offer diners this information.
- The app and online service displays updated Food Standard Agency information regarding hygiene for over 30,000 restaurants in the U.K.
- The service previously trialed hygiene rating disclosures in Northern Ireland where it displayed 600 restaurants' stats.
No matter how good the food is or how friendly the waitstaff may be, consumers can't stand unhygienic restaurants. In a survey of over 2,000 British adults, 93% said revealing hygiene records should be a mandatory requirement for restaurants to provide online, according to research commissioned by Just Eat. About 80% said they thought it was important to know these rating before they purchased food.
In addition to adding ratings, Just Eat has been focusing on hygiene in other ways. It invested $1.3 million in an initiative to help train restaurants with health ratings of three out of five or lower on improving hygiene. It also said it would drop all U.K. restaurants with a zero hygiene rating.
The only drawback to offering online ratings could be restaurants' unwillingness to list their menus through Just Eat for fear that one bad score could send diners elsewhere. The app doesn't require a restaurant to reveal its hygiene information but failing to provide it could be interpreted by some diners as an omission of guilt. There are plenty of other food delivery apps on the market, so a restaurant may choose to list elsewhere to avoid having consumers scrutinize its hygiene history.
While delivery providers in the U.S. have yet to offer this kind of information, they also have been expanding their features to differentiate in the competitive segment. Uber Eats is testing a dine-in option that allows customers to place their order through the app and then pick it up as carryout or dine-in while also boosting its delivery tracker transparency capabilities with colorful animations. Postmates is making itself unique by offering free group delivery called Postmates Party.
The stakes are high for delivery apps considering that an estimated 23% of smartphone users will use a food delivery app by 2023, but 86% of delivery app users stop engaging with that app within two weeks of downloading it. These figures mean that the food delivery realm is an eater's market and that its up to the apps to duke it out.