SAN FRANCISCO—French fries and American cuisine top the charts for the most-ordered food in the U.S. from January to March 2022, according to DoorDash’s second annual Restaurant Online Ordering Trends Report.
The top five cuisines ordered on DoorDash are American, Mexican, Japanese, Italian and Chinese, and the top five menu items are French fries; burrito bowls and burritos; chicken nuggets and sandwiches; hash browns; and cheeseburgers. When it comes to menu categories, U.S. consumers added sides, beverages and appetizers to their cart the most so far in 2022.
Delivery remains a consumer preference, with 83% ordering delivery as much or more than they did last year, and 86% reported that they order takeout/pickup as much or more than last year. DoorDash says that in the first quarter of 2022, more consumers than ever were ordering on DoorDash, and there are more DashPass members now than ever before.
Thirty-seven percent of consumers prefer to order delivery through a third-party platform (up from 27% last year), and 38% prefer to order delivery directly from the restaurant (down from 43% last year).
Consumers choose delivery over pickup for comfort and ease, with 50% of consumers saying that ordering delivery is more convenient, and 40% reporting that they just don’t want to go out. And when diners turn to online ordering, speed and support reign supreme, with 69% of consumers reporting that the speed at which they receive their food and access to customer service were top deciding factors when deciding on their delivery method (ordering direct from the restaurant or from a third-party service).
However, same-store pickup orders in the U.S. increased 15% year over year (Q1 2022 vs. Q1 2021). Pickup is piquing consumer interest as a way to support local businesses. Picking up their food on their time (38%), saving on fees (26%) or just simply wanting to get out of the house for a bit (25%) are other factors for choosing pickup.
According to the report, 60% of consumers have ordered from a new-to-them merchant in the first quarter of 2021 (compared to the merchants they ordered from in the first quarter of 2021). Only 8% said they never try a new menu item, while 92% will often or occasionally try new menu items.
While Friday at 6 p.m. remains the most popular time to order delivery and pickup, the report shows that breakfast orders on the app increased threefold between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. in 2021 compared with 2020. Additionally, more Americans are ordering alcohol delivery from restaurants, liquor stores or retailers—one in four consumers ordered alcohol delivery in February 2022, and 63% claim to order alcohol delivery as much as or more than they did last year.
According to NACS’ “Last Mile Fulfillment in Convenience Retail” report, 61% of retailers are satisfied with their third-party delivery partners. Concerns include high fees, little access to consumer data, difficulties delivering age-restricted products and service and operational issues. Read more about these challenges and what c-stores are doing to make delivery work for their businesses in “Delivering Convenience” in the December 2021 issue of NACS Magazine.