Czechs are ordering more take-out than ever before and helping restaurants avoid fees

Over sixty percent of Czechs now order to-go meals but prefer window pick up to delivery; new apps and maps let you find a window near you.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 25.01.2021 15:10 (updated on 25.01.2021)

Some 62 percent of Czechs now order food from restaurants. People most often choose their food in person at the window and want it quickly, according to a survey by corporate benefit company Up Česká republika.

About one-fifth of people order by telephone for food delivery, and the same amount place an order over the phone and then pick it up at the window. Restaurant operators prefer orders that are picked up, as fees charged by delivery services eat into profits.

Speed is important in ordering food for 78 percent of Czechs. Only 15 percent of people are willing to wait more than an hour for their food.

A quarter of people want to take refreshments at the service windows. When ordering at the window, two-thirds of people are willing to wait a maximum of 10 minutes.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, according to the analysis of the firm Edenred, which provides meal voucher cards, Czechs have started to eat lunch an hour later, or around 12:30 pm on average. In addition, many people eat less regularly when working from home for a long time than when commuting to work on a daily basis, the analysis showed.

Data from the firm Dotykačka, whose cash register system is used by about a quarter of Czech culinary establishments, show that in January, about two-fifths of culinary establishments were open. Their sales in the week from Jan. 11 reached 43 percent compared to last February, a period not marked by a pandemic.

According to the survey by Up Česká republika, 66 percent of Czechs miss the opportunity to go to a restaurant with family or friends. Younger people miss the opportunity to sit down for lunch or dinner; In the age group up to 35 years, 80 percent of Czechs miss a full visit to catering establishments. Women miss the opportunity to got restaurants more than men.

Visiting culinary establishments is not important only in the case of personal meetings; 47 percent of people miss meeting colleagues or business partners for food. Some 35 percent of Czech diners complain about losing the opportunity to go to a restaurant during a lunch break and clear their head of work tasks.

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The survey also showed that the restaurant environment is important for food consumption itself.

According to 56 percent of people, food served in the catering facility immediately after cooking is fresher and tastier, and thus of better quality. Therefore, most Czechs will enjoy lunch or dinner at a table in a restaurant better.

Catering facilities were closed during the second wave of the pandemic from Oct. 14 to Dec. 2. They were briefly open again until having to close on Dec. 18. It is not clear when they will be allowed to reopen for seating. Refreshments can only be sold through the dispensing windows, which may only operate outside the curfew period, from 5 a.m. to 8:59 p.m.

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There are several ways to find restaurants online to order food to be picked up. Maps and search engines of places offering takeout include an unnamed map by Edenred, Mojeokenko by digital firm AAHI, and Jidlonawebu by Up Česká republika.

Both pickup and delivery can be arranged a relatively new called online service called OneMenu, which has a map and search engine. The service charges restaurants a flat rate for delivery rather than a percentage. This means restaurants can keep more money especially from large orders compared to the major delivery services, which take 30 to 40 percent of the total order amount.