Fast-Food Restaurants Keeping Up With the Delivery Revolution

Consumer demand is putting a strain on fast-food chains to require delivery.

May 15, 2018

NEW YORK – Panera just completed its national delivery roll-out. Chipotle’s partnership with DoorDash earlier this year has caused delivery sales to rise 667%. Jack in the Box and GrubHub just announced a partnership.

Delivery is simply more convenient for today’s busy American. And it’s bringing enhanced customer loyalty, a boost in new customers and larger, more expensive orders to stores that offer it. According to research firm NPD Group, delivery sales have increased by 20% over the past five years. And fast-food/fast-casual chains that aren’t keeping up and offering delivery services aren’t seeing the same sales growth as those who are.

Carry-out and delivery is not just a hit among millennials: Delivery is driving order from across the generational spectrum. Statista found that food-delivery revenues are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 19% by 2022. And according to AlixPartners’ 2017 Global Restaurant Survey, 75% of consumers say restaurant chains should offer more delivery options.

Here’s something to consider too: A recent study found that “55% of customers preferred ordering directly from a restaurant brand because they not only want direct interaction with their favorite brands they also want clear information about delivery fees.”

"We do make money with delivery, but a lot of the restaurants that are using third parties, they don't make that much more," said Panera CEO Blaine Hurst. "What it is, is they don't believe they have a choice."