When famed chef David Chang began taking an interest in nonrestaurant restaurants, including Maple and Ando, the industry took notice. But are these new-wave, delivery-only restaurants just a New York City novelty, or is there enough profit and consumer interest to drive concept and prototype exploration among leading restaurant chains?
Data from Technomic’s new 2016 Takeout & Off-Premise Dining Consumer Trend Report reveals that consumer use of delivery service is growing—even at the expense of carryout service—offering promising implications to the future of storefront-less foodservice. Here are three ways consumers’ changing behaviors and preferences, especially those of younger consumers, will support the growth of delivery-only prototypes.
Delivery steals share from carryout
Despite some chains holding back from offering delivery, for such concerns as comprising food integrity or losing the dine-in experience, consumers are still demanding more and more of this convenient restaurant-to-door service. A fifth of consumers overall (19%) and a third of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 (35%) say they are increasingly replacing carryout orders with delivery orders. Although carryout orders—including drive-thru and pick-up—outweigh delivery orders three to one, younger consumers in particular are fueling the shift away from carryout and toward delivery.
Moreover, nearly half of consumers aged 18 through 34 (46%) say they would use delivery for takeout orders at limited-service restaurants, and half of that age bracket says the same for full-service restaurants.
Cost is key
The Takeout & Off-Premise Dining Report states that carryout orders are still more common than delivery because many consumers are hesitant to pay an extra delivery fee. In fact, three-fifths of consumers who are cutting back on takeout say they are doing so due to cost reasons—the greatest of any takeout deterrent. However, if delivery-only concepts are able to reduce overhead costs with a smaller footprint and less staff compared to a traditional restaurant, they can then pass on those savings to consumers in the total price of the food, delivery and tip costs, like Maple has done.
Young consumers want tech-friendly takeout
The same younger consumers that are driving demand for delivery are also interested in the tech-based amenities often provided with these services. Three-fifths of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 (57%) say they would be likely to use mobile ordering for LSR takeout, compared to 32% of their older counterparts. In addition, a quarter of younger consumers (26%) say they are using third-party delivery more often now than a year ago.
Some of the more senior members of the team smile at the junior staff who are excited to uncover an interesting trend in “eatertainment” or the latest single-ingredient concept. We try not to be condescending when we suggest they do some research by looking at past issues of Restaurant Business or old Technomic top chain reports before calling it the next big thing.