Since the COVID-19 outbreak, delivery and takeout orders increased by 14% for consumers ordering once a month or more, driving restaurants to rethink their physical footprints, according to a Deloitte study conducted among restaurant customers and executives in the industry from the US.
Almost two thirds (68%) of consumers say they order delivery and 52%, takeout, and nearly half (46%) of the survey respondents expect these habits to remain at current levels once the pandemic ends.
Millennials (ages 23 to 39) are leading the way in placing delivery orders (65%), 13% more than in the pre-COVID period, while 77% of Gen X (ages 40 to 55) respondents prefer takeout orders, 20% more than in the pre-COVID period.
The study underlines that convenience, which has always been a major consumers demand, continues to top their expectations, with 62% of respondents saying this is their main reason for patronizing a restaurant.
In the current context, convenience also includes delivery costs and wait times, pickup locations and contact.
In terms of delivery costs, respondents consider a $4 average delivery fee to be fair. When it comes to wait times, 75% of respondents consider 30 minutes or less to be reasonable and only 20% consider it realistic to wait up to 45 minutes for their meal.
While the restaurant spending is down more than 20% compared to the previous year, the study highlights a new trend in consumption, namely the increase in the size of the average restaurant check, which indicates more customers are looking for family or multi-portion meals and represents useful information for restaurants in reshaping their offer.
Tech-savvy consumers demand digital engagement from restaurants and want cutting-edge technology options that recognize them and know their preferences, according to the survey conclusions and they are willing to allocate additional financial resources and pay an average of 14% more for such services.
Seven out of ten respondents prefer to order digitally for off-premise delivery, 57% have a third-party delivery app on their phones and 48% follow a social media account from a restaurant or food brand.