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Key Food Delivery & Takeout Trends During Covid-19

How has Covid-19 impacted the way people in Canada are purchasing food delivery and takeout? This data-driven report explains all.

Food delivery courier

Some things have silver linings; in the case of the pandemic, it’s created a fantastic opportunity for food and beverage companies to offer up brand new food takeout and delivery options while we’re all cooped up at home. For restaurants, it’s an opportunity to mix things up, creating alternative or additive options to their already existing takeout and delivery menus. 

And not surprisingly, many restaurant and takeout businesses have been busy doing just this. According to Restaurant Business Online, 42% of restaurants in the US began offering delivery after the pandemic hit. Not only this, but 31% have stated that they plan to continue to offer delivery even after we’re through the stay at home orders we’re living through right now. And of course, that’s based on the success they’re seeing within this space. 

So given the appetite from consumers for smart, satisfying delivery and takeout options, it’s crucial that businesses get it right before competitors eat their lunch (figuratively, not literally). 

Food Delivery & Takeout Trends

What is a ‘nice to have’ and what is a ‘must  have’ within your category? How do people decide – whether rationally or emotionally – between different restaurants and suppliers? How can you encourage even more delivery and takeout for your business? And what are the issues surrounding food takeout and delivery that your messaging should be conscious of, or speak to? 

We decided to cut through the noise and find out. We spoke to a nationally representative group of 600 US consumers to get a read on what is most important when it comes to food delivery and takeout.

Key Trends in Takeout and Delivery in the US 

Offer free delivery on all orders 

  • Free delivery is the strongest motivator for purchase amongst those we surveyed. 

  • Free delivery on all orders is more compelling than on orders above $15. 

    Clearly communicate health and safety practices within your marketing messages 

    • Messaging about required personal protective equipment for restaurant employees during food preparation (eg. Gloves, masks, etc.) is especially motivating. 

    • Consumers are also looking for assurances that kitchen setups are sanitized regularly. 

    Consider communicating support for employees and the community at large 

    • Although somewhat less motivating than free delivery and health and safety messages, consumers are also interested in hearing about what restaurants and other food & beverage companies are doing to support their employees and the community at large.  

    • Providing free food to school children, donating to frontline healthcare workers, and donating to support restaurant and delivery workers who are victims of covid-19 are among the most motivating tactics of this type. 

      Dig Insights is a tech-enabled insight and strategy consultancy that's on a mission to help insights teams work smarter. This study was executed on Upsiide, Dig Insights’ proprietary platform that allows for nearly instantaneous consumer feedback.