Assessment of Impacts and Resilience of Online Food Services in the Post-COVID-19 Era

In Sustainability
Volume (Issue): 15 (17)
Peer-reviewed Article

The expansion of the online food services (collectively referred to as ‘OFS’) sector has been accelerating at high rates worldwide over the last few years. This sector is widely acknowledged, especially by urban consumers, for making life more convenient. During the strict lockdown following the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OFS sector saw major growth, as many restaurants and grocery stores turned to the delivery format. Conversely, the sector has also been facing many challenges, which have lasting social, economic, and environmental impacts. Considering this situation, this study carried out a review of existing literature on the social, environmental, and economic impacts of OFS and explored the resilience gaps of this fast-growing food service business. To achieve this, relevant literature was collected through Elsevier’s SCOPUS database and other sources. The authors have documented specific social, environmental, and economic impacts of OFS on consumers and providers. Furthermore, various changes in this sector following the pandemic have also been underlined in this study. A combination of policy actions at the national, local, private sector, and individual levels is crucial to mitigate the adverse impact of OFS; hence, greater resilience will be ensured.