goodbye Domino’s Pizza Italy, and probably forever. The famous fast food brand has announced that it will close its last restaurant in La Botte, seven years after its attempt to establish itself in 2015. To beat the local competition, the giant bet on its ultra-fast home delivery system. . Problem, the health crisis has been there, and in the face of numerous lockdowns and other curfews, local pizza makers have also developed their own takeaway system so as not to run out of business.
“We attribute this failure to the significant increase in the level of competition in the food delivery market,” Domino’s Italian subsidiary stated in a report to investors for the fourth quarter of 2021. Marie-Eve Laporte, professor-researcher at the IAE Paris -Sorbonne and specialist in eating behavior, has verified since the health crisis “the appearance of a new hybrid restaurant segment, between fast food and the traditional table”.
Democratized and extended deliveries
With the explosion of delivery services, click and collect, UberEats and other Deliveroo since this dark spring of 2020, “it is now possible to receive food delivered that is considered much more qualitative than fast food. So why deprive yourself of it? “, continues the expert. Before the coronavirus, only a third of French restaurants delivered, compared to three-quarters now, the professor-researcher notes. Between 2018 and 2020, home delivery of food jumped 47% in the country, according to the expert firm Food Service Vision: home delivery represented 15% of restaurant turnover in 2020, and is expected to weigh a 19% by 2024.
“As with teleworking, sanitary measures have shown that home delivery was much simpler and more accessible than people imagined,” says Luc Gwiazdzinski, geographer and specialist in urban space at Ensa Toulouse. . If before, delivery was limited in people’s heads to pizzas and large chicken strips from KFC, “the townspeople have discovered that you can also order Korean, duck breast, Caesar salad. Urban mobility of less than two kilometers has changed considerably: it is no longer worth traveling to eat well”, says the expert.
Eat healthy and eat at home
The health crisis has also caused a new trend around eating healthy and eating better. So, of course, we stopped making our homemade bread since May 2020 and the lack of confidence, but certain vestiges of this period resist: “More attention is paid to what we eat, says Marie-Eve Laporte. For example, half of French people seek to reduce their meat consumption. »
Above all, the French consume more at home, especially with the arrival of teleworking. “The homemade continues to be one of the main novelties linked to the health crisis. We learned again to take the time to do a lot of activities, including cooking, ”says Jérémie Peltier, director of studies at the Jean Jaurès foundation.
Teleworking and food delivery that allow, on the few days of face-to-face in the office, “bring your own food, leftovers from the previous day or the week”, says Marie-Pierre Julien, a sociologist at the University of Lorraine and specialist in dietary practices. Bowl of food that has the same advantages as the local fast food restaurant: fast and efficient food, and therefore replaces it.
fast food is not dead
A magnificent story of the victory of the little Italian cook who inherited his great-great-grandfather’s wood-fired oven against the American capitalist giant of junk food… Hop hop, not so fast. Fast food is far from finite. McDonald’s sales were still on the rise in France in the first quarter of 2022 according to the group, Subway announced in 2021 that it wanted to open 200 more restaurants by 2025 in France, to go from 400 to 600, and the tricolor version of KFC did 9%. with more turnover in 2021 compared to 2019, the last year before the health crisis. We are going to make it even simpler globally: the turnover of all these brands is increasing.
“Although all social classes rub shoulders with fast food, the two main targets are young people in school or university and workers and other manual trades. These populations are once again 100% face-to-face, which guarantees that fast food restaurants do not lose them”, says Marie-Pierre Julien. And as much as we brag about our Nice homemade salads, “fast food has a feeling of satiety in relation to the price and the time invested that is difficult to beat” continues the expert, and very practical between two lessons or a Lunch at the site of building.
A little pleasure from time to time
Marie-Eve Laporte reminds us that along with these famous homemade breads during the first confinement (yes, we are traumatized), April and May 2020 were marked by endless queues at McDonald’s drive-thru or incessant activities of delivery men bringing back your favorite whoopers and nuggets. Jérémie Peltier expresses it in poetry: “Deprived during the confinement of their cupcake that the time of a Big Mac offers them a return to childhood, people were delighted to return to real life, symbolized by the free return in a McDo. »
Fast food is strong and also knows how to adapt to trends, continues the expert. Notice how each brand flaunts its products made in France, how much salads have become alternatives in each fast-food, not to mention the explosion of pokebowls and other healthy delusions that have exploded in recent years, and that there is less of another kind. fast food, recalls Marie-Eve Laporte.
Not to mention, while the French have become more concerned with what’s on their plate, we haven’t become food puritans either. Jérémie Peltier: “You have to be careful with these judgments that are sometimes too ‘moral’: fast food also symbolizes the little pleasure we give ourselves after a movie or a football game, the extra that is given to children after an outing to the alley bowling, a part of recklessness and lightheartedness that we see disappearing more and more in a society that is sometimes too serious. So yes to eating the homemade Neapolitan pizza made by Luigi, cooked in the ashes of Vesuvius, but an alligator at Mcdo’s is still an alligator at Mcdo’s.
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