What are the Busiest Days for Restaurant Food Delivery?

Find out the busiest holidays for food delivery based on DoorDash data, and get tips to prepare your restaurant for Christmas, New Year's, Mother's Day, and more.

10 min read

Whether it's families enjoying a meal together on Christmas or couples planning a Valentine's Day date night, people like treating themselves on special occasions — that's why holidays and events are great opportunities for restaurants to drive sales.  

Wondering if DoorDash is busy on major holidays like New Year's Eve, Easter, Memorial Day, and Thanksgiving? Keep reading to find out the top ten busiest holidays and special occasions for food delivery in 2023, as well as tips on how to prepare your kitchen for high order volume days. 

Want tips to drive food delivery sales on popular holidays? Download the free Restaurant Holiday Marketing Calendar and Toolkit to get a calendar of 270+ national and social media holidays plus creative strategies for restaurants to drive sales year-round.

Methodology: We examined DoorDash Marketplace data from 2023 to reveal which holidays and special occasions generated the most delivery orders for restaurant partners. To capture accurate insights, we adjusted for stores open during this time period (i.e., stores that had at least $50 in sales on the given day).

What are the busiest holidays for restaurant food delivery?

Here are the top ten busiest holidays, sports events, and special occasions for food delivery in 2023, based on the average number of deliveries with DoorDash per open restaurant location:

  1. Christmas (December 25, 2023)

  2. New Year's Day (January 1, 2023)

  3. Mother's Day (May 14, 2023)

  4. Easter (April 9, 2023)

  5. New Year's Eve (December 31, 2023)

  6. Memorial Day (May 29, 2023)

  7. Labor Day (September 4, 2023)

  8. Men's College Basketball Finals (April 1, 2023)

  9. Thanksgiving (November 23, 2023)

  10. Veterans Day (November 11, 2023)

While they didn't crack the top ten, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, Game Day, Presidents' Day, the Fourth of July, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day appeared in spots 11-16, respectively, in 2023. 

Of the top 100 busiest days overall in 2023 (not just holidays), 42 were Sundays, 36 were Fridays, 17 were Saturdays, and 4 were Mondays. Restaurants can prepare for increased order volume on weekends, including Sundays. 

Comparing 2023 vs. 2022 busiest holidays on DoorDash

The below infographic shows the busiest holidays for restaurant food delivery in 2023 vs. 2022, based on the average number of deliveries with DoorDash per open restaurant location.

Mx (US) Blog - Busiest Days for Food Delivery - Infographic

Our takeaways:

  • Christmas, New Year's Day, Mother's Day, and Easter were the four busiest holidays for food delivery for the second year in a row. 

  • New Year's Eve saw the biggest spike this year, jumping from #13 in 2022 to #5 in 2023. 

  • Beating football's biggest Game Day two years in a row, the first game of the Men's College Basketball Finals landed at #8 in 2023. 

  • Thanksgiving jumped from #12 in 2022 to #8 in 2023, as more consumers chose to order delivery instead of cooking. 

  • Veterans Day fell on a Saturday in 2023, perhaps helping to keep it in the top ten. According to the Restaurant Online Ordering Trends report, Saturday is the second most popular day of the week for food delivery on DoorDash, after Friday. 

  • Valentine's Day slipped from #6 in 2022 to #11 in 2023, perhaps as more consumers dined out at restaurants to celebrate with their significant others.

  • Though it was #9 in 2022, Game Day was ranked #12 in 2023 as other holidays became more popular for food delivery. 

  • Restaurants can rest easy on Christmas Eve, which was the second-least busy day of all of 2023.

Is DoorDash busy on holiday long weekends?

Here are the most popular days for delivery in 2023 when just looking at weekend days before or after major holidays: 

  1. Sunday before Halloween

  2. Friday before Presidents' Day

  3. Friday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day

  4. Friday before Veterans Day

  5. Sunday before Indigenous Peoples' Day

  6. Friday before Halloween

  7. Friday before the Fourth of July

  8. Friday before Memorial Day

  9. Friday before Indigenous Peoples' Day

  10. Friday before Juneteenth

Restaurants should note that if a holiday falls on a weekday, the surrounding weekend days may see a spike in food deliveries. For example, since Presidents' Day falls on a Monday, consumers may settle into the long weekend by ordering delivery the Friday before. 

Planning for the busiest holidays for restaurants in 2023

Wondering how to prepare your restaurant staff for these high order volume days? Here are a few tips to manage restaurant operations on the busiest holidays for food delivery:

  • Add photos and descriptions to your menu. Before the big day, work to optimize your storepage on DoorDash by adding photos, including menu photos, logos, and header photos, as well as menu descriptions.  

  • Staff up for these holidays. You may want to have an expo overseeing delivery orders, or double-checking each order before handing them to Dashers so you avoid having missing or incorrect items. 

  • Optimize your kitchen layout. Consider setting up a lane specifically for takeout orders, with a kitchen display system (KDS) or tickets for pickup or delivery going directly there. 

  • Minimize your DoorDash store downtime. Downtime measures the amount of time DoorDash is unavailable to your customers during business hours. If your kitchen gets too busy, DoorDash partners can update their store status to "Busy," which adds prep and delivery time to orders. 

  • Update your menu in real time. Need to 86 a menu item? Use DoorDash's menu manager tools to temporarily deactivate items on your DoorDash menu.

For more tips on managing your DoorDash business, read our Learning Center article How to Quickly Train Your Team to Use DoorDash

How DoorDash supports local restaurants during special occasions 

Running a promotion on DoorDash over busy holidays and special events can be a great way to generate more sales. In 2024, DoorDash is helping to make certain promotions even more fruitful during select special occasions.

Coming up: Summer of DashPass

DoorDash's Summer of DashPass program will run from June 20 - July 24, 2024. If your business is thinking about running a promotion on DoorDash, this is a good opportunity to get extra visibility and value during this special event:

  • Promo boost: DoorDash provides a 50% promotional boost on certain promotions (see below) for DashPass customers at no additional cost to you* (e.g., a Spend $30, Get $8 promo becomes Spend $30, Get $12). 

  • In-app visibility: More opportunities for your store to be featured in the DoorDash app, including the Homepage, carousels, and Offers hub. 

  • Additional marketing resources: DoorDash provides social media templates and PDF one-pagers to help you amplify the promotion.

*When we boost a promotion, the customer discount is increased — and DoorDash pays the difference. Note the final customer discount is rounded up to the nearest $1 or the nearest 5% increment (e.g., a Spend $10, Get 15% Off promotion becomes Spend $10, Get 25% Off).

To be eligible for these promotion perks during Summer of DashPass, your business needs to: 

  • Set up your promotion by June 10, 2024

  • Keep your promotion live for the entire campaign duration (June 20 - July 24, 2024)

  • Use a qualifying promotion type: Discount for All Customers, Discount for New Customers, Discount for Lapsed Customers, Happy Hour Discount

  • Have 75 stores or fewer in the US

  • Be enrolled in DashPass for the entire campaign duration (June 20 - July 24, 2024)

Looking for even more value? Maximize your exposure by starting your promotion earlier. Schedule one of the promotion types above by May 27 and have it run from June 6-19. You'll be eligible for a 30% promo boost and increased in-app visibility from June 6-19.

Maximize holiday delivery sales with DoorDash 

By understanding which national holidays are likely to be the busiest for food delivery, operators can build a restaurant marketing strategy that engages guests and drives revenue. 

Want tips to drive food delivery sales on popular holidays? Download the free Restaurant Holiday Marketing Calendar and Toolkit to get a calendar of 270+ national and social media holidays plus creative strategies for restaurants to drive sales year-round. 

Interested in partnering with DoorDash? Explore our products and pricing


Sara DeForest
Sara DeForest


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