Escalent Study Highlights Growth Trends and Loyalty Opportunities for Restaurant Delivery Services Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

November 11, 2020

Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics firm, today published a new study regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on restaurant delivery services. What’s for Dinner? How Restaurants & Food Delivery Services Can Build Loyalty Beyond COVID-19 explores the growth of restaurant delivery now and into the near future. Additionally, with no clear end to the pandemic in sight, delivery services have an opportunity to maximize growing interest in their offerings, fine tune their experience and build long-term customer loyalty.

According to the study:

  • 17% of US consumers have used restaurant delivery in the past month
  • 21% of those ordering restaurant delivery in the past month are new users
  • Consistent users indicated a 26% increase in use of these services each month
  • 84% of restaurant delivery customers expect their usage will stay the same or increase through the next three months
  • 53% of restaurant delivery customers expect their usage will stay the same or increase after the impacts of the pandemic have subsided, defined as “a post-COVID-19 world when you feel comfortable going out or dining out without the fear of infection”

“Consumers are supporting the restaurant industry in this critical moment thanks to the widespread availability of delivery services,” said Jill Miller, vice president of the Consumer & Retail team at Escalent. “We’ve seen enormous interest in private local restaurant delivery, as well as the full slate of third-party delivery apps—of which DoorDash is the clear favorite. That interest could extend through the duration of the pandemic, too, making this period extremely important for brands looking to sustain growth.”

In addition to growth metrics, the study offers a clear view of user platform preferences. The two most popular ordering platforms—local restaurant/private label delivery and DoorDash—were used by 43% and 42% of respondents who ordered delivery in the past month, respectively, with 50% of respondents indicating their intent to order from local restaurants. Also of note, DoorDash holds a commanding lead over its closest third-party rivals—GrubHub (23%), Uber Eats (17%) and Postmates (8%).

For more information, download the study here.

Download What’s for Dinner? How Restaurants & Food Delivery Services Can Build Loyalty Beyond COVID-19

To learn more about restaurant delivery customers and the steps restaurants and third-party delivery services can take to build long-term loyalty, review our latest presentation, hosted by the Escalent Consumer & Retail team. Watch the webinar here.

About the Study

Escalent interviewed a national sample of 1,000 random US food delivery users who used a restaurant delivery service in the past month, aged 18 to 65, between July 24 and August 2, 2020. The data were weighted by age, gender, and census region to match the demographics of the US population. The data have a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points at a confidence level of 95%. The sample for this research comes from an opt-in, online panel.  As such, any reported margins of error or significance tests are estimated, and rely on the same statistical assumptions as data collected from a random probability sample. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.

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