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What consumers want from off-premise

Photograph: Shutterstock

There’s no denying that the off-premise evolution has upended how restaurants do business. It’s one of the strongest growth areas for the industry—but it’s also made the business even more competitive. 

Twenty-two percent of consumers now say that ordering food for carryout or delivery is more a part of their routine than it was two years ago, according to Technomic. They say it’s in part because more restaurants are offering food for carryout and delivery. But as delivery, catering and carryout have become more accessible, consumers’ standards, preferences and priorities have shifted. And for operators to capitalize on the growing interest, they need to understand, as well as deliver on, those evolving needs.


BUSINESS BREAKDOWN

Share of foodservice orders



But it's shifting... 

21% of consumers say they are increasingly replacing carryout orders with delivery orders. That’s even higher—30%—for those 18-34 years old.

Why? Nearly two in five say it’s more convenient to order food for delivery than carryout.

35% of consumers are ordering a wider variety of food for delivery, compared to two years ago.

22% are using third-party delivery more than they used to.

...and they're ordering more

Increasing delivery usage on top of a net increase in in restaurant orders means an incremental gain for restaurants. 




THIRD-PARTY VS. IN-HOUSE ORDERING

Seventy-eight percent of delivery orders are placed through the restaurant, versus 22% via third-party delivery companies.

Why? Trust. Seventy-four percent of delivery customers say they would prefer to order delivery directly from a restaurant as opposed to a third party.

Why customers prefer restaurant-direct delivery 




SO WHAT DO CONSUMERS WANT NOW? 

Homebodies: The No. 1 reason consumers choose carryout or delivery over dining in a restaurant is that they say it’s more comfortable to eat at home.

eating-on-sofa

28% of consumers says they are lounging at home more often than they were two years ago. 

Time matters:  22 minutes is the average amount of time consumers are willing to wait for food to be prepared, compared to an average of 30 minutes for food to be delivered.

Family-focused: 43% of consumers think restaurants should offer more family-size meal bundles for delivery. 

Tech tools: Many consumers say their increased usage of takeout is driven by the fact that there are more mobile apps and websites, which are easier to use.

Consumers who are likely to use 



Consumers who are interested in emerging ordering tech



The whole package

Consumers increasingly support eco-friendly packaging—and are open to paying more for it than they were in the past.

Functionality matters: 40% of consumers depend on and use food containers to avoid having to do dishes. 

coins

Consumers are willing to pay 32 cents extra for eco-friendly packaging, up from 11 cents in 2016. 

Will booze to go work?  

Partnerships with local and regional third-party startups to deliver spirits, in addition to beer and wine, to play into on-demand culture. TGI Fridays, for example, tested it with Lash, a Texas-based third-party delivery service. 


HOW ARE THIRD-PARTY DELIVERY SERVICES EVOLVING TO GROW? 

Loyalty plays: Because more than three-fourths of delivery orders are still placed through the restaurants themselves, restaurants are launching their own loyalty and subscription programs. Among third-party delivery users, 67% say they would be willing to pay a monthly fee$15 on average—in order to have delivery fees waived on all orders.

In practice: Consumers are accustomed to subscription models such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, so they are conditioned for this type of program. 

DoorDash launched DashPass, a subscription that costs $9.99 per month and provides free delivery on all orders of $15 or more. Uber Eats is testing a similar subscription model in the U.K.

Beyond delivery: DoorDash also launched DoorDash Pickup, allowing customers to order from its app and pick up their food in the restaurant for free.

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