Ways to Grow

How to Increase Your Order Size and Volume

Learn to grow your average order volume on DoorDash.

7 min read
DoorDash Increase Order Size and Volume

Many restaurants are finding that they actually achieve higher profit margins when using online order delivery versus on premise. For example, the owner of Señor G’s, Ben Arreola Jr., said, “I’m more interested in doing online [sales] and more deliveries than face-to-face transactions. With online ordering, the average ticket size is higher and it’s less time — instead of having an employee right there spending five minutes on a $100 order, you could receive an online order in a minute.”

To boost your average order volume on DoorDash, there are several effective strategies you can use. First and foremost, it's essential to craft an enticing menu that captivates your customers. For example, incorporate modifiers to highlight the diverse array of choices you have available, and if permitted in your region, consider adding alcohol. By presenting a menu that’s customizable with upsell options, you can encourage increased order volume. Next, you can use promotions to encourage customers to order more from you each time they visit your restaurant. In this article, we'll look through new studies and what strategies other restaurants have used to increase order volume and size.

Create an enticing menu that’s customizable to customer’s needs

People shop with their eyes, so it's important for them to have a clear view of the delicious options your restaurant has to offer. This visual aspect significantly influences their decision when it comes to choosing where to order and how much.

Make sure that you have really great photos, and illustrative item descriptions, so they can visualize what they are ordering. In fact, menus with item photos saw an increase of up to 44% in monthly sales and those with item descriptions earn up to 18% more in sales each month.

Modifiers can increase order volume

Modifiers such as sides, toppings, dessert, drinks or any entrée give your customers an opportunity to spend more at your restaurant while customizing your menu to fit their needs. In fact, an analysis of DoorDash menus found that customization is a top factor for merchant success, attracting a wider range of customers who want to tailor orders to their taste.

According to our 2023 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends Report, french fries were the #1 top menu item ordered on DoorDash in the US in 2022. So, if you include french fries as a side, you might be able to make more instead of customers simply ordering the single main dish. By learning how to add modifiers to your menu, you'll give customers a reason to happily spend more.

Ben Arreola

Sometimes online ordering [using Storefront] is [more] successful in increasing the ticket size with modifiers than employees.

How Alcohol is linked to increased delivery sales

One emerging menu trend we've seen is adding alcohol to your menu. According to the 2023 Alcohol Online Ordering Trends Report, consumers are ordering more alcohol online than ever before. In fact, 54% of consumers prefer ordering alcohol online. Between 2021 and 2022, there was an over 100% increase in year-over-year growth in alcohol deliveries. This is due to shifts in our behavior. Coming out of the pandemic, more people are choosing to work from home and rely on delivery to maintain work-life balance. Thus by adding alcohol to your menu, you’re meeting a growing demand. Adding alcohol may also help you attract different types of customers. For example, 70% of Gen Z adults and 62% of millennials say being able to include alcohol in their delivery order would make them prefer one restaurant over another. 

Learning about the growing demand and opportunity to attract new audiences, many restaurants have already started offering alcohol. According to the National Restaurant Association's 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry Report, 9 in 10 restaurant operators who started selling alcohol-to-go plan to keep doing so if it’s permitted. As an example, the Scaffidi Restaurant Group saw a pretty immediate impact with a 10-12% increase in profit margin on orders with alcohol. 

Frankie DiCarlantonio

We found that when customers add a bottle of wine or 6-pack of beer, there’s a 10-12% profit increase on that order.

Frankie DiCarlantonio, Director, Scaffidi Restaurant Group (SRG)

To get started selling alcohol on DoorDash, reach out to sales to speak with them about adding alcohol to your menu. Then a merchant specialist will get in touch to confirm your liquor license, and verify that alcohol delivery is available in your area. Once your license is verified, you can sell alcohol through the DoorDash app or on your own website using Storefront.

Erik Ragotte

We're setting a new industry standard for responsible alcohol delivery.

Erik Ragotte, General Manager of Alcohol, DoorDash

Please keep in mind, alcohol will only be delivered to those of legal drinking age — customers are required to upload a valid proof of ID at checkout, which will be confirmed by the Dasher upon delivery. Learn more about adding alcohol to your menu.

Use Promotions to encourage increased order volume

Now that you have a menu that's set up to showcase everything you have to offer, including alcoholic beverages, the next step is making sure people can find you, and they have incentives to order more. In-app promotions that provide customers with discounts or free items only when they reach a specific minimum order size, are a great way to attract people and encourage them to order more.

A lot of restaurants found discounts have helped them boost their sales. In fact, according to an internal DoorDash study conducted in 2022, involving 220,000 small business merchants, running a Discount for All Customers promotion led to an average sales increase of up to 55% for small businesses. Testing out different programs and strategies to increase sales is key to finding what works for you specifically.

How Modern Market used promotions to increase order volume and sales

When choosing how to promote her restaurant, Modern Market, Erin McCully, Director of Off-Premise Sales, found that promotions on DoorDash were more effective than on competitor delivery platforms. “Promotions seem to be more effective on DoorDash in particular. DoorDash has been doing marketing longer and has had it figured out for a longer time. You guys are ahead of the curve.”

Erin McCully

DoorDash helped grow my off-premise sales three times compared to other partners. We are on other platforms, but none do quite the amount of volume. I do think it’s because of the early adoption on the DoorDash platform coupled with the coverage you guys had with the markets we were in.

Erin McCully, Director of Off-Premise Sales, Modern Market

While setting up a stellar menu and testing out different promotions can take time, Erin saw this as a long-term investment in her business. It can also help your restaurant stand out. According to our 2023 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends Report, promotions and discounts rank among the top five reasons why Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials explore new restaurants. If you want to learn more about how to add promotions head over to Marketing 101: How to Use Ads & Promos.

Erin McCully

We think about promotions and our goal for off-premise sales as a marketing expense we build in our P&L. We know that we are going to continue to do these things because they have been so successful. We want to do it and have to do it.

Erin McCully, Director of Off-Premise Sales, Modern Market

Adding images and descriptions to your menu, offering modifiers, and using promotions not only contribute to an increased order volume but also draw in new customers. For more tips on attracting new customers, check out our article on How to Attract New Customers with DoorDash.

If you want to learn other tips to maximize the effectiveness of your promotion head over to How to Get the Most Out of DoorDash Ads & Promotions.


Merchant Learning

Merchant Learning