In a year of uncertainty, Kiwis found comfort in takeaways with a record surge in orders helping support the local hospitality industry which was hit hard by COVID.
Restaurants around the country turned to delivery to help combat the challenging conditions with food delivery platform, Menulog, reporting a 20 percent increase in restaurant sign-ups in New Zealand this year.
The increase in restaurants offering delivery helped boost order numbers this year despite restaurants being closed for five weeks during level 4 lockdown. The mighty Butter Chicken took out the prize for the most popular dish with more than 90,000 ordered this year. Rounding out the top five dishes on Menulog were Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Korma, Hawaiian Pizza, and Pepperoni Pizza.
“It was a difficult year for the industry. We are really proud to have been able to support restaurants that have faced restrictions with more orders through collection and delivery,” said Rory Murphy, Commercial Director Menulog New Zealand and Australia.
“Pre-COVID, many restaurants relied heavily on in-store dining and orders and so faced a challenge when the country went into lockdown. It was great to see so many restaurants quickly pivot and change to ensure their business could continue to operate and continue to serve up delicious food through a very difficult time.”
Takeaway orders surged when the country moved back to level 3. As New Zealand crept back down alert levels in May and early June, Menulog had it’s top 10 busiest days of the year as people reunited with family and friends and enjoyed their favourite dishes for the first time in more than a month.
It wasn’t just curry and pizza that was popular. Hungry Mates in the Hawkes Bay town of Wairoa served up more than 1000 signature chicken fillet burgers this year making it a true local favourite.
“Delivery and online ordering has been a key part of the business since we opened last year, helping us serve more delicious food to the people of Wairoa,” said Sam Singh, Hungry Mates Restaurant Manager, adding that locals love their burgers because they’re made fresh with Hungry Mate’s secret seasoning and Sam’s Special Sauce.
In Wellington, the Johnsonville Mall Fish Supply sold the most fish fillets on the Menulog platform in 2020.
“We always work to give our customers the best experience possible, using high-quality ingredients and cater for a wide range of dietary requirements including gluten-free,” commented Julia Zhu, owner of Johnsonville Mall Fish Supply, who noted that their crumbed fish fillets are a crowd favourite because they have a beautiful crispy crust with the freshest fish inside.
“We are proud to have become the go-to takeaway for many locals looking for a treat.”