Diners stuck to eating takeaways at home even as restaurants reopened following lockdowns, the boss of Deliveroo has said.
Will Shu said that his takeaway business had not noticed a significant drop in orders despite the gradual reopening of the hospitality sector.
The business had been boosted by more than a year of on-and-off lockdowns in the UK. Customers were unable to visit restaurants, so ordered their food online instead.
But when these were lifted little seemed to happen.
Outdoor dining was brought back in April, with two further sets of lockdown easing in later months.
“Once things reopened, we just didn’t see any material impact on the business,” Mr Shu told the PA news agency.
“The pre-reopening and the post-reopening behaviour was remarkably similar from across all three events.”
Deliveroo doubled the number of orders it received through its app in the first six months of the year.
The business said it took 148.8 million orders in the half, up from 74.5 million in the same period last year.
It also reported a doubling of gross transaction value, to nearly £3.4 billion.
Mr Shu said: “Demand has been high amongst consumers. We have widened our consumer base, seen people continuing to order frequently, and we now work with more food merchants than any other platform in the UK.”
But Deliveroo said it will not last forever and the lockdown bounce is likely to ease off in the second half of the year.
The company said it expects gross transaction value to grow between 50% and 60% this year, sticking to guidance it provided in July.
“As reflected in our guidance, whilst we expect that consumer behaviour may moderate later in the year, we remain excited about the opportunity ahead and our ability to capitalise on it,” Mr Shu said.
The business is still loss-making but cut pre-tax loss from £128.4 million to £104.8 million over the period, on revenue of £922.5 million – up 82%.
It is less than five months since Deliveroo came to market with a problematic float which saw its share price collapse.
The London-based firm had hoped to sell shares for 390p each when it listed, but the market had other ideas.
Within just a couple of weeks the share price hit a low of 225p. Since then it has recovered much of that ground, but still lags behind the initial optimism.
On the listing, Mr Shu said: “Was it a fun time for a few weeks? No, of course not.”
He added: “Do I sit around and try to assign blame to various parties? No, because I got to move on with life and I’ve got to deliver value for my shareholders.
“But no, it was kind of a crappy few weeks.”