Since the rise of COVID, online ordering of takeout and delivery has become perhaps the most important way customers interact with restaurants. No longer is it simply a matter of convenience: for many, this is a matter of necessity.
By the numbers, more Americans than ever are ordering pickup and delivery. According to an April 2021 report by DoorDash,79% of people said they ordered pickup at least twice in the past month, and 56% had also ordered delivery at least twice in the past month. In other words, well over half your customers are regularly using apps and websites to place food orders.
By 2023, the market for online and app food delivery is set to expand to $154.34 billion. Restaurants that fail to adapt and embrace this are missing out on a huge opportunity.
So what do you have to lose if you ignore these trends? Restaurants without an online ordering presence can expect to miss out on up to 20% of potential profits. More and more, today’s customers are proving that they want the options, convenience, and flexibility that off-premises dining can provide.
Why is online ordering important?
Maintaining your own online presence is vital for reaching customers, but you shouldn’t ignore third-party delivery services. While these services come at a cost, they may be your only way to reach a large portion of potential customers.
According to a 2021 DoorDash report, 66% of consumers used third party delivery services to order from restaurants they wouldn’t have tried otherwise. Any way you slice it, it’s clear that customers still predominantly enjoy takeout, and this trend is unlikely to go away any time soon.
What are recent trends in online ordering?
A recent study, including more than 4.5 million orders over 1.5 years between 2020 and 2021, uncovered five distinct trends:
- Nearly 60% of digital orders were placed via mobile app over the last year
- Digital revenue still accounts for around 50% of total restaurant sales
- Average check sizes are 58% higher for orders placed on the web, compared to orders placed via a mobile app
- Guests order 30-40% more frequently each month from brands via their mobile apps vs. their online ordering pages
- 19% of mobile orders applied a discount at checkout
What are online ordering food trends for 2022?
Given the trends we’ve seen develop since the outbreak of COVID, and especially over the past year, we can anticipate a number of trends that will continue in 2022 and beyond.
First and foremost, third party delivery services like GrubHub and DoorDash are going to continue to grow in popularity. While embracing these services is not necessarily without its drawbacks, there’s a lot to be said for the advantages. The popularity of these services makes it far more likely for potential customers to discover your business.
In-house restaurant delivery fleets, on the other hand, provide a different set of advantages. Most importantly, offering your own proprietary delivery service provides full visibility and control over customer data and interaction as well as branding. Depending on how important these are to you, you may or may not find it worth running your own service in tandem with maintaining a presence on third-party delivery providers.
In the coming year, in-house and third-party delivery services will continue to be equally beholden to data. Whether you partner with an app like DoorDash or rely more on an in-house delivery management system, tracking, studying, and understanding the data is the most important skill you can learn to improve your business. Not only will this data improve your ability to provide exemplary delivery service, but it can also aid other aspects of your business, from branding and marketing to customer service.
The final trend we’re anticipating this year is increased participation from tech giants. Google has implemented the option to order delivery directly through its Maps app. Restaurants partnered with Google can have menus and information integrated directly into the search results page. As this space continues to grow, more companies are going to want a piece of the pie.
What types of food are being delivered the most?
While these upward trends in online ordering are consistent across essentially all cuisines, the type of food your restaurant specializes in may affect just how drastic the effect is. For example, 36% of food deliveries in 2021 were from pizza restaurants, while American cuisine accounts for 25% of all carryout orders.
Here’s how the biggest categories stack up:
- 36% delivery
- 17% pick up
- 18% delivery
- 25% pick up
- Fast food
- 12% delivery
- 16% pick up
- 8% delivery
- 10% pick up
- 6% delivery
- 7% pick up
- 6% delivery
- 7% pick up
How to set up online ordering on Fisherman
If you don’t already have your online ordering page connected to your website, it’s easy to do so with Fisherman:
- Select a label (i.e. Order Online)
- You can also type your own if you don’t see the one you need listed
- Paste your URL (link) into the box
- Toggle “Button” on if you’d like the link to show as a button
- If you leave Button toggled off your link will appear as a regular tab
- Click save in the top right corner of the Dashboard and then click “publish.”
How online ordering trends can help your business and your customers
Broadly put, online ordering helps you get to know your customers better. A good delivery management system will help you collect customer information to send newsletters and targeted promotions. You’ll also easily be able to track your most and least ordered items, allowing you to adjust your menu accordingly based on your customers’ favorite items.
Maintaining solid dine-in and dine-out presences means serving a broader customer base, which in turn means increased revenue for you and your business. This is especially true when you consider the interesting data point that customers tend to spend more money on an online order than they otherwise would in person.
All in all, when implemented correctly, maintaining an online ordering presence with a proper delivery management system will help streamline your business by keeping your menu and customer data organized and updated.
Establishing an online presence is directly beneficial to your business, but more importantly, it’s a practically guaranteed way of improving your customers’ experience. The convenience and low-pressure nature of ordering online on their own time frame will greatly improve customer satisfaction. You can further this benefit by offering online discounts and exclusive deals.
Every restaurant is unique in its own way, but all business owners can benefit from understanding today’s online ordering and food trends. If you pay attention to trends from the past few years, it’s clear to see how much customers love the freedom and flexibility of online ordering. And, as the old adage goes: the customer is always right.