Milkshakes are the surprise takeaway hit of lockdown

ireland
Milkshakes have become the comfort-food of choice for fed-up families during lockdown. Photo: PA
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By James Ward, PA

Milkshakes are bringing all the takeaway drivers to our yards, and all because the lockdown is hard.

A fast-food chain has been stunned by an 84 per cent increase in orders of the cold malted drink during the second lockdown in October and November.

While milkshake sales would ordinarily plummet during the colder months, they have become the comfort-food of choice for fed-up families during lockdown.

Bosses at Romayo’s chipper have been left shaken-up by the results of their analysis of more than 20,000 takeaway orders.

It is most likely a sign that people felt the need to treat themselves with comfort food, and who can blame them?

Operations director Dario Macari said: “It was completely unexpected. I needed to double check the numbers when I saw this.

“The milkshake showed an increase during the first lockdown in March, getting into the top five, but nothing like what we have seen in recent weeks.

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“Normally this is an item that sells less in colder months. It is most likely a sign that people felt the need to treat themselves with comfort food, and who can blame them?”

Although lockdown has hit many businesses hard, it has proven lucrative for the takeaway market, with sales skyrocketing.

Consumers’ favourite takeaway meal during the second lockdown, according to Romayo’s, was also the top seller during during the first lockdown – a large pizza with sides, sales of which rose by 52 per cent in October-November.

Kebabs made it into second place (up 37 per cent), followed by quarter pounders (up 20 per cent), beef burgers (up 61 per cent) and a battered sausage meal deal (up 37 per cent).

As schools reopened, there was also a major spike in demand for students’ favourite lunchtime snack – the chicken baguette.

The study of orders from October 25th to November 23rd also showed the second lockdown fuelled a surge in lunchtime orders with many taking proper breaks to refuel.

“People made sure they had their breaks and bring back a bit of normality to the working day,” said Mr Macari.

“During the first lockdown we reduced the operating hours as the lunch sales were quite bad and offices were closing.

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“As soon as the second lockdown was announced in October, it was like a switch, and lunch started doing really well so we stayed open.”

There was also a marked return to family mealtimes with orders between 4pm and 6pm increasing by 29% compared to the first lockdown in March.

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The chain also noticed a 20 per cent increase in customers ordering direct in what could be a reflection of the drive to shop local, rather than ordering through third-party apps.

Earlier this year, Romayo’s announced the creation of 45 jobs over the next 12 months with the opening of three new outlets in Dublin.

Romayo’s, formerly known as Macari’s, operates 19 restaurants in Dublin, Meath, Offaly and Kildare.

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