New figures have shown how customers are increasingly looking towards online services to order food.

Just Eat, who now provide a delivery service from around 20 outlets in both Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, announced last week their share prices have risen by 4 per cent.

The rise of takeaway apps was also highlighted when Deliveroo recently announced a 400 per cent growth in Tunbridge Wells in a 12-month period. The company tripled its regional workforce in that time and is valued at £1.5billion.
A Just Eat spokesman said: “In recent years we’ve seen a transformation in how we eat, enabled by technology, and this is a trend that has fuelled Just Eat’s phenomenal growth.

“The busy nature of modern life means that, with competing priorities for time, people are using technology to ensure they can get quality products and services quickly and conveniently.”

The continued growth of takeaway delivery services has come at a time when several restaurants have closed in Tunbridge Wells, including Strada and Jamie’s Italian.

But on whether the takeaway service could replace eating out, restaurateurs told the Times that they were not concerned, and focused on offering customers ‘something unique’.

Magdalena Szczerbova, Manager of The Warren in Tunbridge Wells, said: “We are quite an upmarket restaurant and [the growth of delivery services] does not really affect us.

“We have been open for two years and people have become more aware of the quality of our food.

“The customers are now looking for something unique. We have our own produce and we are getting more specialist food as people become more sophisticated in their tastes.”

She added: “The big issue in Tunbridge Wells is there are too many chains. Independent restaurants cannot compete with them on money.

“But we have got clever customers who appreciate independent places.

“I think because of the post-Brexit economy people have been scared to spend money.”

Fran Gillat-Smith, Co-Manager of The Greyhound in Charcott, near Tonbridge, said the quality of her pub’s food would tempt customers to leave their homes for a meal.

“We have had very positive feedback about our locally-sourced produce – but we offer that as our personal goal rather than a business decision.

“I think it is an important role of a pub to give customers a good experience and make them feel welcome.”