Inflation may finally be slowing, but the past year has been defined by a rising cost of living, which impacted both how consumers choose to dine and how restaurants are able to operate — but that hasn’t stopped people from prioritising convenience.
A new report by DoorDash, the 2023 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends Report, explores how restaurants continue to expand their reach and serve their communities through off-premise dining — and sheds light on the trends that restaurant operators should know about.
We’ll get into the key findings from this year’s report, including actionable tips and insights for restaurant operators.
1. Pickup is by far the most popular way to interact with a restaurant in Australia and New Zealand.
More than ordering delivery — and even more than dining in — consumers in Australia and New Zealand love to pick up food from restaurants as a treat and a respite from cooking.
In fact, in New Zealand, ordering pickup is almost twice as popular as ordering delivery.
Restaurants in this region can focus on building up their pickup revenue stream. Some tips include: Make sure your menu items are optimised to withstand travel time, organise your restaurant layout to accommodate easy pickup, place signs on your window that highlight pickup-friendly favourites, and create pickup-only promotions to let your community know you offer takeout food they can enjoy at home.
Here’s how consumers in Australia and New Zealand are dining with restaurants :
78% of Australians and 87% of New Zealanders ordered pickup in the past month
56% of Australians and 44% of New Zealanders ordered delivery in the past month
54% of Australians and 53% of New Zealanders dined in at a restaurant in the past month
2. Consumers are solidifying their online ordering habits.
In both Australia and New Zealand, around three quarters of consumers are placing the same or more pickup orders since 2022, and two thirds are placing the same or more delivery orders compared to last year.
Ordering online has become a typical part of life for the majority of consumers. It provides easy, convenient access to favourite foods in times when busy consumers are too tired or busy to cook.
3. Breakfast and brunch online orders are skyrocketing.
Comparing full year data on the DoorDash platform in 2021 and 2022, breakfast orders (between 5 and 11 am) in Australia grew by a massive 210%. Aussies and New Zealanders are serious about their brekkie and it shows in the data.
Show your community you can provide delicious breakfast items in addition to the lunch and dinner offerings you’re known for. If your business has never offered breakfast, test it out. You could find that you already stock most of the ingredients needed to create delicious, high-profit breakfast items like breakfast sandwiches, potato sides, and coffee. If ordering early in the day proves to be popular with your community, the additional staffing costs might be more than worth it.
4. Gen Z and Millennials love restaurants — and rely on them — the most.
This year, younger generations really showed up for restaurants. Gen Z is the most likely to have increased how much they dine in and order pickup and delivery this year — over 20% of Gen Zers in Australia and New Zealand are getting more delivery and almost 30% are ordering more takeout. About 20% of Millennials in Australia and New Zealand are ordering more delivery and takeout.
Reach younger audiences through social media, enticing food photos, and targeted promotions. Learn about promoting your restaurant on social media.
5. Food delivery is often a last-minute save for busy consumers.
62% of diners in Australia and New Zealand use food delivery as a last-minute save when life gets busy — for example, when work has run late, the fridge is empty, and the family is hungry — or when friends are dropping by for a surprise visit and there’s nothing to feed them.
For example, try sharing a social media post in the late afternoon with a message along the lines of “Don’t have anything ready for dinner yet? We’ve got you.” Or, you can try a social post on the day of a big game, with messaging like “Your friends are coming over to watch the game — you can do better than a half-empty bag of crisps. Get $515% off wings, today only, and keep your guests well-fed.”
6. Australians and New Zealanders love supporting local restaurants.
Since the pandemic drew attention to all the hard work it takes to keep restaurants going, there was an increased emphasis on supporting local businesses. Today, about 4 in 10 Australians and New Zealanders still actively seek out local restaurants with only one location in their area.
If you run a local restaurant, make sure your social media shows it off. Include details on your social pages, like saying you’re family-owned, how long you’ve been operating, and that you’re a staple of your neighbourhood.
You can also spotlight long-serving employees, tell the story behind why you opened your restaurant, share user-generated content created by your customer community — and overall, do what you can to show the world you’re a scrappy small business that deeply appreciates each customer.
7. Third-party apps are a top way to order delivery.
47% of Australians (and 32% of New Zealanders) shared that they go to an app like DoorDash to figure out where to order delivery, and 27% of Australians (15% in New Zealand) said they do so to find a place for pickup. That means being on a third-party marketplace is a form of advertising: consumers get onto DoorDash to scroll and see what looks best today.
Partnering with a on-demand delivery platform or third-party app like DoorDash will help you reach customers you might never find otherwise — and turn them into regulars.
Explore the latest dining trends in Australia and New Zealand
In this year’s Restaurant Online Ordering Trends Report, we dug into consumer trends and generational breakdowns among diners in Australia and New Zealand. Download your free copy of the report and grow your restaurant business with exclusive industry insights.
Reach more customers and grow your revenue with DoorDash
Whether you want to get noticed by your neighbours, offer enticing promotions that boost order volume, or just want to make pickup and delivery easier than ever for your customers, DoorDash can help.
“I credit the DoorDash relationship with our success today. We still partner with DoorDash Marketplace, but with Drive, we are able to keep our delivery prices the same as in-store and launch promotions on our own website without any lead time,” shared Kelly Tracey, National Operations Manager at Roll’d.
Thousands of restaurant owners are partnering with DoorDash to drive revenue. Stay on top of the latest dining trends and meet your audience where they’re already browsing for food. Learn more about how DoorDash can help you grow your business.