Budding flowers. Birds chirping. Tasty fresh produce. As temperatures rise and the days get longer, consumers' food preferences and dining habits change. Restaurant operators want to know: What are consumers craving in the spring?
Keep reading to find insights on spring food trends, how to optimize your menu for diners emerging from winter hibernation, and tips for restaurants to prepare for the spring holidays.
Methodology: We pulled DoorDash Marketplace data from last spring (March 20 – June 21, 2022) to help restaurants understand spring food trends and what consumers are ordering for delivery and pickup during this season. In some cases, we compared spring trends to winter trends (orders from December 21, 2021 – March 20, 2022).
Fastest-growing spring menu items
Below are the menu items that experienced the most growth in orders on DoorDash from winter 2021-2022 to spring 2022.
When the sun is shining, nothing tastes better than ice cream. This chilly treat was the fastest-growing menu item, experiencing 30% growth from winter to spring. In fact, consumers crave all sorts of sweets during this season — cookies experienced 22% growth to take the #2 spot, then other desserts landed at #4 with 20% growth, cake at #5 with 16% growth, and donuts at #9 with 13% growth. Restaurants could consider adding these indulgences to their spring delivery menu — particularly treats that travel well. Learn more about pricing dessert menus for profitability.
Poke landed in the #3 spot, experiencing 20% growth from winter to spring. Restaurant operators may want to consider adding this traditional Hawaiian dish to their menus and it continues to grow in popularity — in fact, it's summer's top menu item!
With all of the fresh produce available in spring, it makes sense that diners order more greens. Salad is #6 on the list, experiencing 15% growth from winter.
Gyros took the #7 spot, experiencing 14% growth — followed by tacos at #8 with 13% growth. Consumers may have opted for handheld meals as they spent more time outdoors in the warmer weather.
Finally, chips took the #10 spot with 13% growth, perhaps ordered as a side to salads and gyros, or in tortilla format to accompany taco orders.
Fastest-growing times of day for deliveries during spring
Here are the times of day that experienced the highest growth in DoorDash orders from winter 2021-2022 to spring 2022.
11 pm–2 am
11 am–2 pm
In springtime, the early restaurant operator gets the sales! The fastest-growing time of day in spring was 5 to 8 am, as more consumers chose the convenience of delivery during the early morning rush.
And as the days get longer, late night delivery represents a major opportunity for restaurants. The second fastest-growing time period in spring 2022 was 11 pm to 2 am, followed by 8 to 11 pm — and even 2 to 5 am experienced the next highest growth.
Restaurants can capitalize on this trend by extending their evening hours or staffing up the late night shift. And since consumers crave ice cream, tacos, and chips in spring, consider adding these and other snacky items to your late night delivery menu to capture more orders.
Busiest spring holidays for food delivery
Following are the busiest spring holidays for DoorDash orders in 2022. To capture accurate holiday insights, the data in this section is adjusted for stores open during this time period (i.e., stores that had at least $50 in sales on the given day).
Mother's Day (May 8, 2022)
Easter (April 17, 2022)
Father's Day (June 19, 2022)
Memorial Day (May 30, 2022)
Good Friday (April 15, 2022)
Cinco de Mayo (May 5, 2022)
Easter Monday (April 18, 2022)
Mother's Day, a reliably busy day for restaurants for both dine-in and delivery, took the top spot for spring holidays as families gathered to celebrate this special occasion. Father's Day was close behind at #3.
Easter was the second busiest spring holiday, as April travel rebounded to pre-pandemic levels and families chose the convenience of food delivery instead of cooking. Rounding out the holiday weekend, Good Friday was at #5, and Easter Monday had the least orders of all of the 2022 spring holidays.
Memorial Day was #4 on the list of spring holidays, perhaps as consumers supplemented at-home grilling with delivery orders. Finally, Cinco de Mayo appeared at #6 as diners may have ordered margaritas for delivery to celebrate at home.
Top menu items ordered on Mother's Day
Following are the most popular menu items on DoorDash on Mother's Day, the busiest spring holiday of 2022:
Families' delivery orders are all over the map on Mother's Day, ranging from pizza to sushi to dumplings. The takeaway? Any restaurant can capitalize on this holiday, as long as they have the proper marketing strategy and operations — keep reading for tips.
Preparing your restaurant for busy spring holidays
Restaurants looking to capitalize on spring holiday sales can take steps to prepare their teams for high order volume days. To effectively manage operations, plan to staff up on these days and consider adding a specific "lane" in your kitchen dedicated to takeout orders.
And if your kitchen gets too busy to fulfill delivery orders on time, DoorDash partners can update their DoorDash store to "Busy," which signals longer wait times to potential customers. For especially busy times, you can hit "Pause" to temporarily stop accepting DoorDash orders. You can also edit your store hours for specific days or occasions.
For more tips, read our DoorDash Learning Center articles How to Manage Orders on DoorDash, How to Avoid Avoidable Cancellation, and How to Add Store Essentials in the Merchant Portal.
Boost spring restaurant sales with delivery
With these insights in mind, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your business goals this spring. Want more tips to increase food delivery sales throughout the year? Download the free 2023 Holiday Marketing Calendar and Toolkit to get a calendar of 270+ national, food, and social media holidays — as well as creative marketing campaigns to help restaurants to boost revenue year-round.