Convenience matters in food order service

Carry-out order is the least preferred food order service mode in the US. The NPD Group said more consumers found carry-out orders as a less convenient service mode than delivery and drive-thru food order channels. Carry-out orders were already lagging compared to the drive-thru and delivery orders before the pandemic. This trend accelerated during the pandemic based on the firm’s findings.
“Several factors have encouraged consumers to move away from ordering carry out. The convenience of drive-thrus, delivery, and mobile ordering, in addition to dining room closures, have influenced consumers’ willingness to get out of their car, walk into a restaurant, and order to go,” said David Portalatin, NPD Food Industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America.
NPD said from February 2020 through February 2022, digital and non-digital carry-out restaurant orders declined by 2%, while delivery increased by 116%, and drive-thru grew by 20%.
Digital ordering, which grew by 117% in the two years, contributed to the delivery and drive-thru growth. Although digital carry-out orders doubled through the pandemic, these gains were offset by a double-digit decline in non-digital pickup orders that account for the bulk of pickup orders. In the year ending February 2022, 76% of carry-out were non-digital orders, and these orders declined by 16% compared to the prior year. Non-digital drive-thru orders increased by 20% in the same period, and non-digital delivery, which represents 25% of delivery orders, increased by 25%.
Portalatin concluded: “Convenience rules and the more convenient options will win.”

(Image from Unsplash)

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