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US Restaurant Ordering and Delivering Market Report

Covered in this report

This report covers the use of/attitudes surrounding restaurant delivery and pickup in general as well as third-party delivery companies. It covers changes in the restaurant online ordering market including third-party delivery companies’ operations and marketing campaigns. While pizza restaurant delivery is covered in the report, pizza restaurants are not the focus of this report. In addition, while mobile order pickup is touched on in this report and included in the definition of “pickup” (see below), it is not a focus of this report.


This report mentions companies that offer delivery of items other than restaurant food (eg Postmates, Uber); however, this report only focuses on the restaurant portion of delivery companies.

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Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Hannah Spencer, a leading analyst in the Foodservice sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

With more delivery options than ever before, Americans can enjoy their favorite restaurant meals without even leaving their homes. And these new and unique ways of ordering are chipping away at actual restaurant visitation, fueled by the explosive growth of third-party delivery companies and continuing operator investment in their own ordering platforms. Younger consumers, Gen Zs in particular, are now dining more off-premise than on-premise, an indication that the delivery occasion shows no sign of slowing. Operators must adapt and invest in their online ordering platforms or risk becoming irrelevant Hannah Spencer
Foodservice Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Top takeaways
          • The issues
            • Older consumers aren’t as engaged in delivery services
              • Figure 1: Restaurant delivery and pickup, by generation, September 2019
            • Older consumers may be difficult to convert
              • Figure 2: Delivery and pickup motivators– Any agree, by generation, September 2019
            • The opportunities
              • Investment in ordering and delivery platforms and partnerships is essential to remaining relevant
                • Figure 3: Restaurant delivery and pickup, June 2016, September 2018 and September 2019
              • Third-party partnerships offer versatility and ease
                • Figure 4: Third-party delivery company behaviors, by age, September 2019
              • Grubhub is still the most used app, but DoorDash is catching up fast
                • Figure 5: Third-party delivery company usage, September 2018 and September 2019
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Meal kits offer inspiration, competition to operators
                • Entertaining at home appeals to younger consumers
                  • Lawmakers seek to regulate third-party delivery company operations
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Meal kits find a convenient sweet spot squaring against foodservice
                      • Figure 6: Home Chef Creative
                      • Figure 7: Home Chef Facebook post
                      • Figure 8: Sun Basket Facebook post
                      • Figure 9: Sun Basket Facebook post
                      • Figure 10: Freshly Facebook post
                  • Market Factors

                    • Gen Zs come of age
                      • Figure 11: Population, by generation, 2014-24
                    • The Netflix and chill effect
                      • Figure 12: Grubhub Instagram advertisement
                      • Figure 13: Postmates: We need you for the MMMmys 9/20/2019
                    • NY and CA officials look to regulate third-party delivery company operations
                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                      • Casual dining chains invest in delivery to boost struggling sales
                        • Domino’s bets on itself rather than third-party delivery company partners
                          • Operators look to virtual kitchens to feed delivery demand
                            • DoorDash significantly outspends all competitors on marketing
                            • What’s Working?

                              • Casual dining chains double down on delivery
                                • Figure 14: Chili’s: BIG news: Chili's now offers Delivery! 10/8/2019
                                • Figure 15: Outback Steakhouse: Free Sirloin Steak and 1 Side from Outback Steakhouse! 9/25/19
                              • Domino’s invests in itself, rather than partnerships
                                • Figure 16: Domino’s Pizza Facebook post
                            • What’s Struggling?

                              • Postmates delays its IPO after Uber’s IPO flops
                              • What to Watch

                                • Ghost kitchens proliferate
                                • Third-party Delivery Company Advertising Spend

                                  • DoorDash vastly outspends competitors
                                    • Figure 17: Online advertising spend volume for top four third-party delivery companies, January 1, 2019-October 15, 2019
                                    • Figure 18: Online advertising spend share by device for top four third-party delivery companies, January 1, 2019-October 15, 2019
                                    • Figure 19: Postmates Facebook post
                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                  • Americans are dining off-premise more than on-premise
                                    • Third-party delivery company usage continues to grow
                                      • Consumers order delivery for its convenience and comfort
                                        • Grubhub is still the most used app, but DoorDash is catching up fast
                                          • Seamless customers are among the most dedicated customers
                                          • Restaurant Delivery and Pickup

                                            • Americans are ordering in more and dining out less
                                              • Figure 20: Restaurant delivery and pickup in the past three months, June 2016, September 2018 and September 2019
                                            • Gen Z and Millennials drive off-premise sales
                                              • Figure 21: Restaurant delivery and pickup net usage in the past three months, by generation, September 2019
                                              • Figure 22: Restaurant delivery and pickup net usage in the past three months, by generation, September 2019
                                            • Third-party delivery companies appeal across generation
                                              • Figure 23: Restaurant third-party delivery company use, by generation, June 2016, September 2018 and September 2019
                                            • Hispanics are key delivery and pickup customers
                                              • Figure 24: Restaurant delivery and pickup net use, by race and Hispanic origin, September 2019
                                          • Restaurant Delivery and Pickup Motivators

                                            • Consumers order delivery for relaxation and convenience
                                              • Figure 25: Restaurant delivery and pickup motivators – Any agree, September 2019
                                              • Figure 26: Uber Eats Facebook post
                                              • Figure 27: Postmates: Free Delivery—Just Because 3/12/2019
                                              • Figure 28: Grubhub: Couch + pajamas + delivery = $15 off! 3/15/19
                                            • Gen Zs are willing to trade food quality for the convenience of delivery
                                              • Figure 29: Delivery and pickup motivators – Any agree, by generation, September 2019
                                              • Figure 30: Caviar: Skip the line and pay no fees 6/3/19
                                            • Seamless customers view delivery as being a good value
                                              • Figure 31: Delivery and pickup motivators – Any agree, by third-party delivery app usage, September 2019
                                            • Grubhub users are less likely to trade food quality for convenience
                                              • Figure 32: Delivery and pickup motivators – Any agree, by third-party delivery app usage, September 2019
                                          • Restaurant App Usage

                                            • Pizza restaurant websites and apps remain dominant services
                                              • Figure 33: Restaurant website and mobile ordering use, September 2019
                                            • Two thirds of consumers use more than one restaurant app
                                              • Figure 34: Repertoire of restaurant app use – Net: any app, September 2019
                                              • Figure 35: Repertoire of restaurant app use – Net: any app, September 2019
                                          • Third-party Delivery Company Use

                                            • Grubhub remains the most used, but DoorDash is catching up fast
                                              • Figure 36: Third-party delivery company use, September 2019
                                              • Figure 37: Third-party delivery company use, September 2018 and September 2019
                                            • Third-party delivery company customers are not loyal to one app
                                              • Figure 38: Repertoire of third-party delivery company app use, September 2019
                                              • Figure 39: Third-party delivery company app use, by repertoire of apps used, September 2019
                                          • Third-party Delivery Company Use Frequency

                                            • Third-party delivery users are frequent, weekly customers
                                              • Figure 40: Third-party delivery company use frequency, September 2019
                                            • Men are heavy third-party delivery company users
                                              • Figure 41: Third-party delivery company use frequency, by gender, September 2019
                                            • More than half of Seamless customers are ordering twice or more a week
                                              • Figure 42: Third-party delivery company use frequency, by third-party delivery app usage, September 2019
                                          • Third-party Delivery Company Behavior

                                            • More than half of third-party delivery company customers use apps as a discovery tool
                                              • Figure 43: Third-party delivery company behavior, September 2019
                                            • Attract younger consumers with diverse options
                                              • Figure 44: Third-party delivery company behavior, by age, September 2019
                                              • Figure 45: Grubhub Facebook post
                                            • Investing in third-party delivery app user experience is key to increasing usage among older consumers
                                              • Figure 46: Third-party delivery company behavior, by age, September 2019
                                          • Important Third-party Delivery Company Features

                                            • Affordability and speed are essential
                                              • Figure 47: Important third-party delivery company features, September 2019
                                            • DoorDash customers most likely to prioritize fast delivery
                                              • Figure 48: Important third-party delivery company features, by third-party delivery company usage, September 2019
                                            • Grubhub customers care about cost
                                              • Figure 49: Important third-party delivery company features, by third-party delivery company, September 2019
                                              • Figure 50: Grubhub Facebook post
                                            • ChowNow customers most interested in subscription delivery programs
                                              • Figure 51: DoorDash: You’re getting DashPass FREE for 30 days—here you go! 8/7/2019
                                              • Figure 52: Important third-party delivery company features, by third-party delivery company, September 2019
                                            • Seamless and Ritual customers most interested in loyalty programs
                                              • Figure 53: Important third-party delivery company features, by third-party delivery company, September 2019
                                          • Price Sensitivity Analysis

                                            • Consumers’ delivery fee expectations are not dependent on menu item costs
                                                • Figure 54: Price sensitivity summary table, September 2019
                                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                              • Data sources
                                                • Consumer survey data
                                                  • Behavioral data
                                                    • Direct marketing creative
                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                        • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                            • Figure 55: Price sensitivity – Large single-topping pizza from fast food pizza chain – Optimal price, September 2019
                                                            • Figure 56: Price sensitivity – Large single-topping pizza from fast food pizza chain – Threshold prices, September 2019
                                                            • Figure 57: Price sensitivity – Large single-topping pizza from fast food pizza chain – Price sensitivity aggregate table, September 2019
                                                            • Figure 58: Price sensitivity – Large single-topping pizza from local sit-down Italian restaurant – Optimal price, September 2019
                                                            • Figure 59: Price sensitivity – Large single-topping pizza from local sit-down Italian restaurant – Threshold prices, September 2019
                                                            • Figure 60: Price sensitivity – Large single-topping pizza from local sit-down Italian restaurant – Price sensitivity aggregate table, September 2019
                                                          • Repertoire Analysis Methodology

                                                          About the report

                                                          This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                          • The Consumer

                                                            What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                          • The Competitors

                                                            Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                          • The Market

                                                            Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                          • The Innovations

                                                            New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                          • The Opportunities

                                                            Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                          • The Trends

                                                            What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                          Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

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