A new report by DoorDash and Restaurants Canada, 2022 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends, explores how off-premise dining and third-party delivery continue to build momentum in Canada. Looking at the data, we found that same-store pickup and delivery orders in Canada using the DoorDash app and website increased 27% year over year (comparing Q1 2022 to Q1 2021) — and this trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Read on for an overview of modern food delivery trends, evolving consumer preferences, and actionable tips for consistently delivering an unparalleled digital dining experience. Want more than a small bite of the data? Dive into the details by downloading the full report.
Consumers are ordering delivery and pickup as much or more than last year
In the wake of the pandemic, foodservice sales fell by 60.3% in April 2020 — the largest drop in foodservice sales on record for Canada. How did restaurant operators respond? According to a survey by Restaurants Canada, 97% of restaurant operators pivoted to meet evolving needs: adjusting their hours of operation (70%), streamlining menus (54%), increasing their social media usage (51%), and adding new technology such as QR codes (37%).
For many, however, the most important pivot was prioritizing off-premise dining. 86% of consumers in 2022 say they are ordering pickup as much or more often now than last year, and 83% say they are ordering delivery as much or more often now than last year. Food delivery and pickup trends weren’t just a pandemic phase — they’re here to stay.
That said, dining in is also experiencing a resurgence, with 67% of consumers dining indoors as much or more often now than last year. As COVID-19 restrictions ease, it’s likely that dine-in habits will continue to trend upwards.
Customer cravings revealed: Bakery goods top the list
This past year, food delivery trends revealed that Canadians can’t get enough of sweet treats. Baked goods were the most widely ordered delivery and pickup staple in Canada, as early morning orders (between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.) on DoorDash increased 3x in 2021 compared to 2020. American food was their second-most popular choice.
Looking beyond sweet treats and American cuisine, consumers also used third-party platforms to find their next favorite flavor or restaurant. In Q1 2022, 47% of Canadian consumers ordered from a new merchant they hadn’t previously ordered from on DoorDash.
While 60% of Canadian consumers still order from their favorite restaurants (or restaurants they visit often), 15% order from restaurants that are brand new to them.
Digital ordering is more important than ever
When asked how they decide to order delivery or takeout, consumers said they frequently pull out their phones or computers. Before placing an order, they enjoy using third-party platforms to browse their options and compare menus.
There’s been a stark change in consumer behaviour from last year. When ordering food delivery or takeout in 2021, the majority of people first thought about nearby restaurants. In 2022, 35% more consumers start by turning to a food delivery app or website, and 24% more turn to a restaurant’s app or website.
On-demand delivery is in demand
In an increasingly busy world, delivery provides customers with convenient access to delicious, high-quality food — and that level of convenience isn’t going out of style. According to survey data, customers ordered delivery from a restaurant via a third-party app or website 4.4 times per month and via a restaurant’s app or website 3.52 times per month on average.
When choosing a delivery method (whether that’s ordering directly from a restaurant or via a third-party app), customers prioritized low fees (75%), excellent customer support (71%), and a high-quality ordering experience (69%).
Pickup and online ordering prevail
Not only do customers want the option to pick up fresh, restaurant-quality food — they also want the process to be convenient and affordable. Survey data shows that most customers choose pickup when they feel it will be faster than delivery, when they see that fees are lower, or when they’re closer to the restaurant in question.
41% of customers prefer to order pickup through a restaurant’s website or app, while 33% customers prefer to order pickup by calling the restaurant. Another 22% of customers prefer to order pickup through a third-party website or app.
Data shows that consumers who order pickup are also particularly loyal — on average, customers placed food pickup orders via third-party app/website 3.9 times per month and directly from a restaurant’s website or app 3.2 times per month.
Online ordering is here to stay
A strong online presence and great website can help increase customer awareness and drive sales — catching the eye of locals who may become repeat customers. DoorDash Storefront is an integral part of helping restaurants enhance their online experience and generate additional sales.
In a city known for roasted, rotisserie-style chicken, Canadian restaurant Roch Le Coq knows how to deliver a top-tier experience to Montreal’s chicken-lovers — serving tasty fried chicken and homemade poutine with delicious sides like fries and coleslaw.
In 2020, Roch Le Coq listed their restaurant on DoorDash and chose DoorDash Storefront as their direct online ordering platform. They quickly saw their sales skyrocket, with 61% of orders coming from new customers.
We started delivering with DoorDash and we doubled our sales in three weeks. It changed our life. Now, the integration of DoorDash helps us save time and labor. We went from almost zero to thirty-two employees in a really short time.
Roch Le Coq understood their consumers’ evolving preferences and optimized their online ordering process accordingly. Learn more about their story here.
Fuel business growth with DoorDash
The biggest takeaway from this year’s report? As the foodservice landscape continues to evolve, it’s clear that off-premise dining is here to stay. Canadian consumers value flexibility and enjoy having instant access to delicious food — so choosing the right online platform for your restaurant is a great way to satisfy their needs.
Craving more in-depth insights about the evolving restaurant landscape and consumers' online ordering trends? Download the 2022 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends Report to get ahead of customer needs and strengthen your digital dining experience.
Survey conducted by Dynata on behalf of DoorDash, DoorDash surveyed 1,509 consumers across Canada from March 31 through April 4, 2022. DoorDash also explored proprietary data from DoorDash platform usage in Q122 and FY21.