Diners would rather order from your website than DoorDash, DoorDash says

A new report from the delivery giant found that many customers favor first-party channels such as websites and even the telephone over third-party ordering.
Photo courtesy of Starbucks

Attention restaurants: Customers really like ordering from your website or app.

Many of them like it better than ordering from a third party like DoorDash, Grubhub or Uber Eats.

In fact, a lot of people would even rather call you on the phone than do that.

That is according to a new report from the most prominent of those third parties—DoorDash—based on surveys of 1,525 U.S. consumers in April about their restaurant ordering habits. 

And it should come as welcome news for restaurants that have been frustrated with the high fees and other issues associated with third-party services. Many have worked to push customers to order direct, which is less costly and allows restaurants to capture more data. The report suggests that diners are on the same page.

Customers' preferred method of ordering delivery/pickup

Source: DoorDash 2021 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends

The report found that 43% of consumers prefer to order delivery directly through a restaurant's website or mobile app (38% said so for pickup). 

That's compared to 27% who said they like ordering delivery from a third-party provider (10% for pickup).

The same amount (27%) said they prefer to call a restaurant to place a delivery order (33% for pickup).

Another 16% favored ordering pickup in-person. 

Notably, just 1% of people said they prefer to use a search engine like Google to order food. More restaurants have been integrating with the search giant recently to allow customers to order directly within Search or Maps, a channel that could pose a threat to third-party marketplaces. Apparently it has not caught on with consumers yet.

Why did you choose to order delivery from a restaurants' website vs. a third party?

Source: DoorDash 2021 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends

When asked why they preferred to use a restaurant's website or app instead of a third party, 39% said the direct channels are easier to use. Thirty percent said they like the familiarity, and 27% said it's more convenient.

On the other hand, customers who prefer to use a third party like DoorDash cited those same factors. Forty-seven percent said it's easier, 29% said it's more familiar, and 34% said it's more convenient. Also, 21% said the fees are lower, a data point that was not included in the opposing group's results.

It's not surprising that simplicity rules. Throughout the report, customers emphasized the value of a good experience when it comes to how they choose to order. Seventy-six percent said that is the most important factor, followed by the ability to customize their food (74%), food being ready fast (69%) and low fees (67%).

Overall, the report suggests that it would behoove restaurants to have their own online ordering channels. And they should make sure those channels are easy and convenient to use.

"A strong online presence and great website can help increase customer awareness and capture orders—especially for customers who are already familiar with your business and live in your area," DoorDash wrote.

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