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Food Delivery Posts Big Gains

Delivery service posted sizable gains in both visits and sales over the last five years, despite the flat performance of the restaurant industry. There has been a 20 percent increase in delivery sales and a 10 percent gain in delivery foodservice visits, according to researcher The NPD Group. That boost in delivery was buoyed up in large part by the growth of digital ordering, which now represent over half of all delivery visits. 

“Delivery has become a need to have and no longer a nice to have in the restaurant industry,” says Warren Solochek, senior vice president, industry relations.  “Restaurants need delivery in today’s environment in order to gain and maintain share.  It has become a consumer expectation.” 

Consumers are so accustomed to delivery that they are ordering it at breakfast and lunch in addition to dinner, which historically has been the most popular daypart to order, according to NPD’s new study, Future of Foodservice Snapshot: Restaurant Delivery. Growth of delivery at dinner has remained flat over the last five year and has grown at breakfast and lunch.

Although digital ordering is a major contributor to the growth of foodservice delivery, using the phone to order still represents 49 percent of delivery visits. Third party delivery services, like UberEats, Grubhub and DoorDash, account for much of the digital delivery growth;  however, the share of digital delivery by third party services is more than double among full service restaurants than quick service outlets.

“Convenience is among the chief reasons why consumers visit restaurants and delivery brings a heightened level of it,” says Solochek. “We forecast that delivery will grow over the next five years and the growth with source to non-traditional delivery outlets and dayparts.” 

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