The online ordering landscape has gone through an incredible amount of growth and changes in the past three years. Even before the pandemic, savvy restaurant operators realized that it made good business sense to make their food available however diners wanted to eat it — whether that was in the restaurant or on their couch.
We’ll cover a wide range of stats and results from DoorDash's 2023 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends Report plus other recent studies and sources. Note that stats that do not include source links are from the DoorDash report.
Keep reading to learn about the latest diner trends and preferences so you can apply them to your business to grow your reach and revenue.
Online food ordering statistics
We’ll start with the basics: how often people are ordering online for takeout or delivery, when they love to order, and what they can’t stop adding to their carts.
1. The online ordering habits that customers have developed in recent years — and were accelerated during the pandemic — aren’t going away any time soon. In the US, 80% of diners are ordering online the same or more than last year. In Australia and New Zealand, around three-quarters of diners have stayed consistent with their ordering or increased the frequency. And in Canada, 61% have done so.
2. Using a third-party app to browse for restaurant ideas is a growing trend. When trying to choose a restaurant to order delivery or takeout, 34% of customers in the US turn to a third-party platform like DoorDash, which is 10% higher than last year.
3. Off-peak orders are growing: orders placed in the morning (5-11am) and in the late-night hours (12-5am), are the fastest-growing time slots. In the US, late-night orders grew by 36% this year, and breakfast orders grew by 23%. In Australia, home of delicious brekkies and brunches, breakfast orders grew by a massive 210% year-over-year.
4. In the US, Canada, and New Zealand, the most popular day of the week to order food online is Friday, closely followed by Saturday. In Australia, Saturday wins by a tiny margin.
5. French fries are the #1 most popular food to order online in the US, followed by burgers, tacos, salad, and pizza.
6. In Australia, burgers are the #1 most popular food ordered online, followed by fries/chips, pizza, nuggets, and salad.
7. Canadians also love comforting classics: the #1 most popular food is burgers, followed by french fries, pizza, salad, and sandwiches.
8. 18% of American consumers, 14% of Canadians, and around 15% of consumers in Australia and New Zealand actively seek out restaurants they’ve never tried before when ordering online.
9. In the US, Canada, and Australia, menu selection and menu pricing are the top two factors consumers look at when trying a new restaurant for delivery or pickup, followed by recommendations from friends and family. But in New Zealand, friends and family are the most popular reason to try a new place.
10. 37% of consumers love to see a restaurant using biodegradable or recyclable packaging — so much so that it influences where they order from.
Restaurant delivery statistics
When diners order delivery, how do they order and why?
11. Food delivery is the most popular way to engage with a restaurant in the US — in the past month, 77% of consumers report ordering delivery, 76% report picking up takeout, and 61% report dining in at a restaurant.
12. In the past month, 44% of US diners used a third-party app to order delivery two to four times, and another 23% of US diners did so five to seven times.
13. The top reasons why people choose to order food delivery instead of getting takeout or dining in in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are 1) because they found it more convenient, or 2) they didn’t feel like going out.
14. Though many people around the world are cooking more, they’re not always cooking when they have guests. Ordering delivery as a way to feed hungry guests is getting popular: 40% of consumers in the US, around a quarter in Canada and in Australia, and 13% in New Zealand report having ordered delivery for guests in the past month.
15. Delivery has become a lifesaver in busy times. 73% of Americans, 62% of Australians and New Zealanders, and 58% of Canadians report ordering food as a last-minute save in the past month.
16. Supporting local restaurants is still popular. Around 40% of Australians and New Zealanders, 35% of Canadians, and 33% of US consumers prioritize supporting local businesses (defined as those with just one store in their area).
17. People love ordering repeat orders from the same restaurant: 43% of US consumers, around 1 in 4 Canadians, and around 1 in 5 Australians order from the same restaurant at least once a week.
Restaurant pickup statistics
When people place orders for pickup, how do they order and why?
18. Pickup (also called takeout or takeaway, depending on the region) is by far the most popular way to engage with a restaurant in Canada (78%), Australia (78%), and New Zealand (87%) — it’s even more popular than ordering delivery or dining in. In fact, in New Zealand, takeout is twice as popular as delivery (87% vs. 44%).
19. The top reason why people choose takeout over delivery in the US, Australia, and New Zealand is that they can get the food faster.
20. In Canada, the top reason why people choose takeout over delivery is that fees are lower.
21. The most popular way to order takeout (or takeaway) in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand is by ordering directly from a restaurant’s website or app.
22. In the US, more than 1 in 4 consumers opt to get takeout instead of delivery because they actively wanted to get out of the house for a bit.
23. In the past month, 43% of US diners used a third-party app to order takeout two to four times, and another 20% of US diners did so five to seven times.
24. 55% of American consumers prefer to get their takeout via curbside pickup. Drive-through is the second-most popular way (50%), and getting takeout on foot is the least popular option (35%).
25. In the US, parents with kids under 12 are far more likely to prefer curbside pickup (66%) over grabbing food orders on foot (28%) or via drive-through (55%).
26. In Canada (46%), Australia (41%), and New Zealand (41%), picking up takeout on foot is the most popular method. However, in Canada, parents with kids under 6 prefer curbside pickup (34%) over grabbing food on foot (31%). And in Australia and New Zealand, more than 1 in 5 parents with kids under six prefers curbside pickup.
Food delivery app preferences
What kind of food ordering platform preferences do consumers have? Which ordering channels do people use most and why?
27. The most popular way to order delivery is through a third-party app like DoorDash in the US, Canada, and Australia. In New Zealand, the most popular way to order delivery is via a restaurant’s website or app directly (46%), closely followed by ordering via a third-party app (42%).
28. Phone call ordering has declined in popularity in the past year. In the US, ordering delivery via phone dropped from 18% to 11%. In Canada, ordering delivery on the phone dropped from 18% to 15%. In Australia, only 10% order via phone call and in New Zealand, only 9% choose this method.
29. Ordering takeout via third-party app has also grown in popularity in the US, Canada, and Australia this year.
30. When diners opt to order delivery through a third-party app like DoorDash, 18% of consumers in the US choose to do so because they’ll have more opportunities for customization. And 16% do so when they don’t feel like talking to anyone.
31. 37% of consumers love the idea of receiving personalized offers based on their ordering behavior — and another 41% are neutral on the idea.
32. 43% of consumers love the idea of being able to add their dietary restrictions and share them easily with all restaurants they order from or visit.
Learn more by getting the full 2023 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends Report.
Restaurant customer statistics across generations
How do Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers interact with restaurants?
33. Gen Z and Millennials really love restaurants — they’re more likely than Gen X or Baby Boomers to have increased how often they dine out or order in this year. In the US, 44% of Gen Zers and 29% of Millennials are dining out more than last year versus 17% of Gen X and 18% of Baby Boomers. 47% of Gen Zers in the US and 39% of Millennials are ordering more delivery compared to only 26% of Gen X and Baby Boomers. And 57% of US Gen Zers are getting more takeout, along with 40% of Millennials versus 28% of Gen X and 24% of Baby Boomers.
34. In the US, 25% of Gen Z, 21% of Millennials, 15% of Gen X, and 13% of Baby Boomers use a restaurant’s social media pages when choosing a new place to try for delivery or takeout. And, 24% of US Gen Zers and 17% of Millennials look to social media influencers for new restaurant suggestions.
35. In the US, Canada, and Australia, Baby Boomers are the most likely to value supporting local restaurants (defined as those with only one location). In New Zealand, the number-one generation for supporting local is Gen X.
36. Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to try new menu items when compared to older generations.
37. Around a third of consumers across all generations check out a restaurant’s food photos when trying to choose a new place to eat.
38. Digital loyalty programs are beloved by younger diners — Gen Z and Millennials are signed up for an average of four restaurant loyalty programs, whereas Gen X and Baby Boomers are only signed up for an average of two loyalty programs.
Restaurant customer service statistics
Which factors are consumers thinking about when it comes to customer service, both online and in-store?
39. When choosing an online ordering method, consumers across the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand value convenience, speed, accuracy, and opportunities for customization over other benefits.
40. 13% of US consumers choose to use third-party delivery apps because they’re confident in the customer service — if something goes wrong with their order, it’s easier to resolve the issue.
41. When it comes to dining in, younger US consumers — that’s Gen Z and Millennials — are more amenable to the use of QR codes than their older counterparts. However, the majority of young consumers still don’t love them, with only 27% of Gen Z and Millennials saying they enjoy ordering through QR.
42. Older generations in the US strongly prefer classic table service: 83% of Gen X and Baby Boomer diners say traditional waiter service is their preferred way to order.
How online ordering can help boost your reach and profits
As the consumer dining stats above have shown, online ordering has become a normal part of life for the majority of people worldwide. Whether they’re ordering to treat themselves, to feed hungry guests, to get a great meal on short notice — or they’ve made a to-go coffee and croissant part of their daily routine — consumers love to order online.
In all four of our surveyed locations, either takeout or delivery are the #1 way that consumers have engaged with a restaurant in the past month. By listing your business on the DoorDash Marketplace, you can reach new customers who might have never found you otherwise — and turn them into regulars.
More resources: Download the full report for your country
To learn more about the online ordering landscape and consumer preferences across the globe, check out the full reports for the US, Canada, and Australia and New Zealand below.