How do the third-party delivery players stack up?

Average spend and market penetration show differences across the provider options.

There’s no denying the growing importance of delivery for the restaurant industry. Off-premise sales make up 44% of all restaurant sales, according to Technomic—and 25% of all off-premise orders are for delivery. As operators add as well as fine-tune their delivery programs, they’re evaluating which partners (if any) their brand should work with. While some chains cast a wide net to get as many consumers as possible, others focus on building one or two strategic partnerships. One critical component of the debate: consumers’ spend with these deliverers. Technomic, through its Transaction Insights program, dug into the various companies, looking at consumer spend within the past 90 days, as well as long-term trends. 

While the average consumer spend for all six third-party deliverers studied is above the $25 mark, there’s a significant difference between the low and high ends. Caviar customers, for example, have an average spend of $42.74, and DoorDash customers spend $40.20. On the opposite end, Uber Eats users average $25.17 per transaction, and Postmates customers spend an average of $28.80. Rounding out the middle, Grubhub Seamless customers average $32.72 per order, and Eat24 users spend an average of $34.73. 

Average spend per transaction

Despite some of the smaller per-transaction averages, Grubhub Seamless customers actually spend the most over a 90-day period, averaging $204.06. On the other hand, DoorDash, even with the second-highest transaction averages, sees guests spend an average of $154.36 over that same period. 

Total average spend over the last 90 days

As more third-party companies enter different markets—and more operators trial their own in-house delivery—spend with the different third-party companies has changed slightly over time. The differences since last June, however, are within a few dollars. Caviar customers, for example, have increased their average spend from $39.83 to $42.74, and Postmates users’ spend increased from $27.01 to $28.80. DoorDash is the only one of the six to have a slightly lower average now ($40.20) than its average last June, $41.13.

For the most part, average transactions have increased slightly. Across the board, though—including subscription meal kit services such as Blue Apron—long-term consumer retention tends to decline. Delivery services, however, do not experience the same initial drop-off rate as meal kits, managing to keep a good portion of their clientele. 

Part of the reason for the slight drop could be the availability of more options. While some markets show a clear preference for one third-party company over others—Uber Eats has nearly 55% of the share of sales in Atlanta, for example—other markets, such as San Francisco, are more spread out.

YTD share of sales

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Reassessing McDonald's tech deals from 2019

The Bottom Line: The fast-food giant’s decision to end its drive-thru AI test with IBM is the latest pullback away from a pair of technology acquisitions it made five years ago.


Trend or fad? These restaurant currents could go either way

Reality Check: A number of ripples were evident in the business during the first half of the year. The question is, do they have staying power?


Starbucks' value offer is a bad idea

The Bottom Line: It’s not entirely clear that price is the reason Starbucks is losing traffic. If it isn’t, the company’s new value offer could backfire.


More from our partners