Average order volume in all areas across the country increased by 48.3% when outdoor service resumed in June according to data compiled by restaurant ordering app Unify.
However, volumes remained relatively static in Dublin City Centre with the major increases coming from outside the city.
Orders from Dublin suburbs continued to increase by 12.6% since June, with particular standouts being Howth which saw an increase in activity by 13.2% and Dun Laoghaire that saw an increase by 14.6%, as consumers choose to remain local even after COVID 10 restrictions were eased.
Outside of Dublin order volumes and basket sizes grew nationally by 23.6% after indoor dining resumed on the 26th of July.
Irish staycationers have sparked an increase in activity in the south east. Major growth was registered in the south east of Ireland with overall growth in restaurant, cafe and retail performance from July 2020 to July 2021. The average number of items per basket increased by 137.5% in the region, with large increases registering in Wexford of 188.2%. The average total order value increased by 57.8% in the south east with Wexford once again outperforming other areas with a 71.7% increase.
Commenting on these trends, CEO and co-founder of Unify Ordering, Barry McNerney, said: “Perhaps one of the longer-term trends seen is that of the movement and re-distribution of people from centralised areas to non-centralised, from urban to rural and urban to suburban. Subsequently feeding into a rise of localism and local spending as populations shift away from larger areas and congregate closer to home. As a result, establishments on the outskirts of Dublin city, in smaller towns and suburbs have seen an increase in customers and sales.
Over the last 18 months, two types of businesses have been registering with Unify in a way not previously seen – mobile outlets (25.6% of new registrations have been from this segment) and ghost kitchens (4.9% of registrations).
The Unify platform has identified that over the last six months, 58.3% of establishments have either outsourced production of goods traditionally made in house or have moved production to Centralised Production Units (CPUs). A CPU is a centralised production unit set up by a business to supply all its branches with their own product offerings.
Items such as bread, pastries, bars, desserts and lunch offerings such as sandwiches and salad bowls are now being heavily outsourced. This has resulted in an increase of new commercial kitchens stocking restaurants, cafes and new mobile micro eateries.
According to Unify data restaurants are operating with reduced hours in comparison to pre-pandemic times with a 38% decrease in orders from establishments at the beginning of the week. A 24% reduction in items per basket also suggests that restaurants are reducing the number of items on their menus.
A growth in home cooking since the lockdowns began has also resulted in an increase in the number of independent condiment businesses, as consumers look for ready to use bold new flavours. 15.5% of new suppliers on Unify over the last 18 months have been condiment focused.