How big is the online food delivery market?
It is huge. So huge, in fact, that by the end of this year, it’s expected to be worth more than $151 billion to the world economy.
Remember, this isn’t the food service sector as a whole - it’s only the delivery element. Unmistakably fuelled by the global pandemic, online food delivery is now a colossal industry in its own right.
What’s more, it is tempting venues which have never previously considered themselves fit for delivery to give it a go.
But we appreciate that you might still be on the fence. After all, running a restaurant business is stressful enough in the most traditional sense; why would you complicate things by adding a whole new service?
We’ve got a bunch of food delivery service statistics which might convince you to take the plunge.
10 food delivery statistics you cannot ignore
Some statistics immediately jump out at you when it comes to food delivery, so, we’ll start with those that have fuelled the huge growth of this service.
- 13% of the entire US restaurant market was taken up by online food delivery during COVID-19 (Statista)
- By 2025, online food delivery is expected to grow to a 21% share of the total restaurant market (Statista)
- China was the country which generated the most food delivery revenue during 2020 (Statista)
- As far back as 2018, the main reason people ordered food online was because they couldn’t be bothered to cook themselves (Grubhub)
- The number of people using food delivery services across Europe is expected to reach 96.9 million by 2024 (Statista)
- 80% of Americans have ordered food for home delivery at some stage (Grubhub)
- 34% of food delivery customers used Uber Eats between February and April 2020 (Forbes)
- 63% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 are more likely to use food delivery apps (Zion & Zion)
- 8% of Americans have at least one subscription to a meal kit delivery service
- The first online ordering and delivery service was launched in 1994
That last stat is particularly important, because it reveals that online food ordering has been around for an awfully long time; it isn’t a newfangled bandwagon that’s going to disappear into the distance. It really is here to stay.
That first online delivery service was created by - you guessed it - Pizza Hut, and it worked out pretty well for them, didn’t it? As it turns out, they were simply massively ahead of the curve.
Why delivery is more important than ever for restaurants
It isn’t just restaurants that have experienced a boom and surging demand in online ordering and delivery services.
Delivery is being adopted by businesses across a huge number of industries. As a result, it has forced a shift in mindset for practically every generation.
Research by OptimoRoute reveals some online delivery statistics which span both the retail and hospitality sectors, but which will be of particular interest to restaurateurs. Here’s the pick of the bunch:
- drivers are now travelling to customers further away, with an increase in mileage of 43%
- businesses delivering food sent 140% more text notifications in March 2020, compared to February
- during the first 10 days of April last year, food delivery drivers covered as many miles as during the whole of February
- retail deliver orders have risen by 26%
- Planning capacity for online deliveries for many businesses has increased by 200%
Statistics that reveal what you’re missing out on
If you’re still on the fence by this point, we’re clearly not doing our research job well enough.
The truth about food delivery is really simple for restaurateurs: if you don’t jump on board now, you’re missing out on a wealth of potential customers.
We’re living in a digital age, and you’re risking your business if you don’t move at least part of it into the digital realm.
To prove this, we need look no further than the following customer-related food delivery service statistics which have been compiled by Tacit:
- around 60% of US customers order from a restaurant every single week
- last year, restaurants that didn’t offer online food delivery were expected to lose over 70% of their customers
- one-third of online orderers will pay more than $50 for their meal
- it’s thought that delivery sales will increase by 20% over the next ten years
- 60% of restaurants can expect more sales when they offer online ordering
- millennials and Gen Zers are the most satisfied generations with online food delivery
- nearly 30% of diners will pay more of food delivery if it’s fast
- around 63% of customers prefer the convenience of delivery over dining out with their family
- since 2014, digital orders for food have been growing at three times the rate of onsite ordering
Nestled within those statistics from Tacit is one of the most telling: it’s thought that customers spend more money on off-premise orders compared to on-premise orders.
This nearly illustrates why online delivery is so important. To most consumers, it’s the default option. It’s why families generally prefer dining at home with a takeaway than going out, and why, if you ask a millennial what they’re doing for dinner, they’ll probably reply with, “we’re getting a takeaway”.
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Online delivery stats: a peak under the hood
Hopefully, you’re now convinced that you at least need to give online food delivery a go.
If that’s the case, you may now be wondering how it all works. We’ve written loads of useful guides on this, but before you head off and delve into them, here are a few fascinating stats that reveal what goes on behind the scenes:
- $29,845 is the average yearly salary of a food delivery driver in the US (Indeed)
- A study revealed that Uber Eats was the fastest to the door with an average wait time of 35 minutes and 31 seconds from the point of order (QSR Magazine)
- Postmates came second, averaging 40 minutes and 12 seconds (QSR Magazine)
- In the same study, Grubhub was the slowest with an average wait time of 50 minutes and 22 seconds (QSR Magazine)
- 64.3% of Grubhub’s users are female (Verto)
- HelloFresh recorded nearly 3 million people using its service during a single quarter (Statista)
By the end of 2022, the newly-named ‘restaurant-to-customer’ approach (i.e. when a customer avoids using a service such as Uber Eats) is expected to achieve nearly $72 million in revenue. This reveals that any fears about the overheads associated with online food delivery can increasingly be dismissed.
There really is very little reason not to give it a go, isn’t there?