A Third of Food Orders Are Digital

Also, customers using a first-party app return more often, tip better and spend more, according to a new report.

May 24, 2023

NEWTON, Mass.—According to Paytronix’s Online Ordering Report: 2023, digital ordering for food has two distinct channels, delivery and takeout, with these channels having audience segments that broadly differ.

Among the findings is the need for brands to communicate directly with their digital guests. Brands saw a profound shift in customer behavior when reviewers received a response, even when the response was generated by artificial intelligence. When guests hear back, even those who leave negative feedback order 23% more and leave higher ratings.

Digital orders made up 30.7% total food orders.

“The digital-ordering channel is no longer just a way for a customer to place orders. It’s part of the ongoing conversation between brand and guest. This is a key reason why brands must have their own first-party mobile app,” said Andrew Robbins, CEO of Paytronix. “Our clients are finding that their most valuable digital customers are their most loyal, meaning that the entire guest engagement ecosystem needs to be in sync to achieve the greatest value.”

Topline report findings include:

  • Digital orders now consistently make up 25–30% of all orders, as opposed to less than 10% in late 2019. Moreover, those placing digital orders are increasingly members of that brand’s loyalty program.
  • Baby Boomers are, hands down, the best online-ordering customers. They tip better, return more often and leave better reviews.
  • Inflation has strained guests, forcing them to return less often, tip less and leave worse reviews.
  • Guests using a first-party app return more often, tip better and spend more.
  • Brands that respond to a review see a 23% increase in orders and a 22% higher rating from guests.

NACS introduced THRIVR in late 2022 to help retailers drive foot traffic and growth with easy search, social and reputation management.