A new report by DoorDash, 2022 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends, takes an in-depth look at how online ordering preferences and dining trends have continued to transform this year. This report draws from a survey of 1,504 customers across the U.S., plus aggregate data from DoorDash, to reveal what customers are eating now and how you can prepare at your restaurant for their next off-premise meal.
Read on for an overview of evolving U.S. customer preferences, and learn how to consistently deliver a streamlined off-premise dining experience. Want more than a small bite of the data? Dive into the details by downloading the full report.
Consumers are ordering delivery and pickup as much or more than last year
The evidence that food delivery and pickup are here to stay is in the numbers: 86% of consumers order takeout or pickup as much or more than they did last year, while 83% order delivery as much or more than they did last year.
That said, consumers are still whipping up their favorite meals in their own kitchens too. In the past month (February 2022), the most common activities were cooking (81%), grabbing takeout/pick up from a restaurant (79%), or ordering food delivery from a restaurant (69%).
As pandemic restrictions wane, dining in is also seeing a resurgence, with 74% of consumers dining inside a restaurant as much as or more than they did last year.
Customer cravings revealed: American and french fries top the list
American consumers couldn’t get enough of their national cuisine this past year. American food was the most ordered delivery and pickup cuisine in the United States, with french fries winning the title of most-ordered menu item. The full report reveals the top 5 cuisines and top 5 items ordered the most in Q1 2022.
When consumers weren’t ordering American cuisine, many decided to branch out from their favorite menu item or restaurant to try something new. When ordering delivery or takeout, 92% say they often or occasionally try new menu items with only 8% said they never try a new menu item. In Q1 2022, 60% of U.S. consumers ordered from a new merchant they hadn’t previously ordered from on DoorDash.
A convenient online ordering experience is key
Now more than ever, your customers are hungry for a high-quality, convenient online ordering experience.
Survey data proves that when selecting where and how to order delivery or takeout, consumers use third-party platforms as marketplaces for browsing nearby stores. Before placing an order in 2022 vs. 2021, 60% more consumers use a food delivery app or website, and 35% more use a restaurant’s direct app or website.
More specifically, survey respondents noted that before they decide where to order delivery or takeout:
24% turn to a logistics platform like DoorDash
23% go to a restaurant’s website or app
20% search for restaurants using an online search engine
10% go to a preferred restaurant directly
Why, exactly? Customers value third-party online ordering for its ease of use (33%), convenience (32%), and familiarity (19%).
Pickup prevails: customers still love takeout
Not only do customers want the option to pick up fresh, restaurant-quality food — they also want the process to be convenient and affordable. Survey data shows that most customers choose pickup when they think it will be faster than delivery, if they’re closer to the restaurant in question, or when they simply want to get out of the house for a bit.
Part of an excellent pickup experience is a smooth online ordering process. 48% of customers prefer to order pickup through a restaurant website or app (up from 38% last year), rather than calling the restaurant directly. In fact, only 29% of respondents prefer to order pickup via a phone call (trending down from 33% last year). Another 21% prefer to order pickup through a third-party app or website, trending up from 10% last year.
The bottom line? Consumer trends in the restaurant industry reveal that people especially like being able to order their pickup through a restaurant website, app, or third-party platform. On Storefront, DoorDash’s commission-free online ordering platform that allows customers to order pickup and delivery from a restaurant’s website, 75% of orders were pickup orders in 2021.
Online ordering is here to stay
For restaurant operators and consumers alike, online ordering is essential for success. Ben Arreola, Owner of Señor G’s Fresh & Healthy Mexican Food in Los Angeles, summed up the value of a streamlined online ordering platform for his business.
I’m more interested in doing online [sales] and deliveries than face-to-face transactions. With online ordering, the average ticket size is higher and it’s less time. I did 2,000 DoorDash orders last month; imagine if we had to input all that by hand.
Señor G’s Fresh & Healthy Mexican Food has been serving up fresh, homemade Mexican food for over three decades. The family-run restaurant started with a small menu of 20 items, but now offers over 100 items like juices, agua fresca, breakfast, and other Mexican dishes. The menu also includes vegan and vegetarian options, catering to a wider audience of consumers.
After partnering with DoorDash in 2017 and adding Storefront to their business in 2020, the restaurant has experienced exponential growth in revenue and business. Learn more about their story here.
Fuel business growth with DoorDash
The biggest takeaway from this year’s report? As the foodservice landscape continues to evolve, food delivery and pickup trends make it clear that off-premise dining is here to stay. U.S. consumers value flexibility and enjoy having instant access to delicious food — so choosing the right online platform for your restaurant is a great way to satisfy their needs.
Craving more in-depth insights about the evolving restaurant landscape and consumers' online ordering trends? Download the 2022 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends report to get ahead of customer needs and strengthen your digital dining experience.
Survey conducted by Dynata on behalf of DoorDash. DoorDash surveyed 1,504 customers across the U.S. from March 23 - March 28, 2022. DoorDash also explored proprietary data from DoorDash platform usage in Q122 and FY21.