A new report by DoorDash and Restaurants Canada, 2022 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends: Quebec Edition , delves into the growing momentum of off-premise dining and third-party delivery in Quebec. The report data shows that same-store pickup and delivery orders in Quebec using the DoorDash app and website increased 34% year over year (comparing Q1 2022 to Q1 2021) — and this growth isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon.
Continue reading for some of the highlights from the report, including food delivery trends, changing consumer preferences, and practical tips to consistently deliver an unmatched digital dining experience. Craving more information? Access all of the details by downloading the full report.
Quebec consumers are ordering delivery and pickup as much or more than last year
In the wake of the pandemic, foodservice sales in Quebec fell by 65.4% in April 2020 — the largest drop in foodservice sales of any Canadian province. How did restaurant operators respond? According to a separate 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%).
The most critical adaptation for many restaurants was increased focus on pickup and delivery. 82% of Quebec consumers in 2022 say they are ordering pickup as much or more often now than last year, and 81% say they are ordering delivery as much or more often now than last year.
There is, however, coinciding with the re-emergence of in-person dining, with 60% of consumers dining indoors as much or more often now than last year. This figure is likely going to increase, as COVID-19 restrictions ease and consumers become more comfortable.
Customer cravings revealed: Desserts top the list
This past year, the biggest food delivery trend that we observed was Quebecers’ love for sweet treats. Dessert was the most widely ordered delivery and pickup staple in Quebec. Breakfast followed in second place. Early morning orders (between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.) on DoorDash increased 3x in 2021 compared to 2020, with more Quebecers craving their favourite breakfast and brunch menu items.
Looking beyond dessert and breakfast, Quebecers also used third-party platforms to find something new to spark their taste buds. Quebec consumers tend to be loyal towards their most-loved restaurants, with 64% of consumers ordering from restaurants they visit often and only 13% ordering from restaurants they haven’t ordered from or visited previously. They also take the opportunity to explore the menu from their favourite restaurants, with 68% of consumers occasionally ordering new items.
Why do they order a new menu item? 46% of Quebec respondents said it’s because doing so introduces them to new cuisines. 40% said an attractive price would entice them to order a new item, and 35% noted they felt like treating themselves to indulgent options.
Digital ordering is more important than ever
How do Quebecers choose how they order delivery or takeout? Consumers responded by saying that they frequently researched options beforehand on their phones and computers. Quebec consumers use third-party platforms to explore their options and compare menus.
Quebecers are becoming increasingly digital-focused compared to last year. When choosing where to order food delivery or takeout in 2021, a relative majority of respondents first thought about nearby restaurants. In 2022, we’re seeing more people check out third-party apps and websites, restaurant websites and apps, and conduct online searches to explore their dining options.
On-demand delivery is in demand
Delivery provides customers with convenient access to delicious, high-quality food — whether Quebecers don’t feel like going out or just want the added convenience. According to survey data, customers ordered delivery from a restaurant via a third-party app or website 4 times per month and via a restaurant’s app or website 3 times per month on average.
When choosing a delivery method (whether that’s ordering directly from a restaurant or via a third-party app), Quebecers prioritized low fees (44%), low menu prices (35%), and fast service (32%).
When selecting where and how to order, Quebec consumers turn to third-party platforms, which serve as marketplaces to browse nearby restaurants and 21% turn to logistics platforms like DoorDash. People want suggestions at their fingertips and there is an upward trend of Quebec consumers looking at third-party apps first to make their delivery or takeout decision (13% in 2021 vs. 21% in 2022).
Third-party digital platforms provide an opportunity for restaurants to be seen by consumers that wouldn’t have known or thought about them and develop a new clientèle. People are therefore thinking less of a specific preferred restaurant while making their ordering decision (32% in 2021 vs. 18% in 2022). This has helped contribute to 47% of Quebec consumers trying a new merchant on DoorDash in Q1 2022.
Pickup and online ordering prevail
Customers don’t just want the option to pick up fresh, restaurant-quality food, but they also want the process to be convenient and affordable. Survey data shows that most customers choose pickup when they happen to be nearby, when they see that the fees are lower, or when they feel it will be faster than delivery.
Data shows that consumers who order pickup are also particularly loyal — on average, customers placed food pickup orders via a third-party app/website 3 times per month and directly from a restaurant’s website or app 2 times per month.
Online ordering is here to stay
A strong online presence and a great website can help raise customer awareness and boost sales by attracting the attention 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, Montreal restaurant Roch Le Coq knows how to stand out. Serving tasty fried chicken and homemade poutine with delicious sides like fries and coleslaw, they strive to make fried chicken accessible to Montrealers.
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 customers’ changing preferences and optimized their online ordering process accordingly. Read more about their story here.
Fuel business growth with DoorDash
The biggest takeaways from this year’s report? Off-premise dining continues to grow. Consumers love convenience, and they’re willing to pay for it. That means restaurants need to offer flexible delivery options that fit their customers’ lifestyles.
Download our free report to explore the latest consumer trends and gain insight into the evolving restaurant landscape in Quebec. Learn how restaurants are adapting to meet changing demands and what you need to consider when developing strategies for your own restaurant.
Survey conducted by Dynata on behalf of DoorDash, DoorDash surveyed 1,006 consumers across Quebec from March 31 through April 4, 2022. DoorDash also explored proprietary data from DoorDash platform usage in Q122 and FY21.