Aug 28, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 situation, more restaurant customers are placing orders online. According to a survey by Toast, 29% said that they have placed online orders a few times a month. 25% agreed to the fact that they place online orders a few times a week. 22% once a week and 4% many times in a day. Only 14% of customers did not place orders online in the previous month.
During the same time period, it is interesting to note that 34 and 29% ordered takeout and delivery respectively by means of a native restaurant app for a few times a month. The percentage of customers who used third party apps for pickup and delivery were 21 and 22 respectively.
Customers rely on DoorDash with a usage percentage as high as 42, followed by UberEats at 34% and Grubhub at 33%
Online food ordering trends observed in the above data clearly indicates how major chains are benefiting from the boons of online ordering especially in the wake of the pandemic. According to a revelation by Shake Shack, out of their overall sales, 75% the quarter 2 sales was generated digitally. While the figures stand at 64% and 61% respectively for Wingstop and Chipotle. The digital sales of Yum brands grew by $ 1 billion over a year.
Digital ordering and off-premise delivery have taken the front seat with the outbreak of the pandemic. Most customers are also relying on a brand's native channel to place orders rather than third party sources according to the report by Toast. This gives, brand's the opportunity to work on their marketing by providing personalized services to increase loyalty among customers by accessing the customer database they have at hand.
Take for example KFC. They had a 7% increase in sales, according to a report by U.S systems in quarter 2 of 2020. A percentage quite hard to achieve especially considering the pandemic situation. CEO David Gibbs, of parent company Yum Brands revealed that the idea of kfc.com to handle pick-up and delivery, the inclusion of new aggregator partners, helped them raise a profitable quarter.
These trends are here to stay, as is evident according to the survey by Toast. The survey indicated that 27 and 23% of customers will be relying on takeout and delivery more than how it was before the pandemic.
Restaurant brands are finding it difficult to get access to customer data as many brands are relying on third party vendors to support their off-premise business model. It is really important for restaurant brands to maintain that direct communication channel with customers as they rely more on digital ordering platforms with each passing day.
Some brands like Wingstop are striking a fine balance between aggregators and native channels. CEO Charlie Morrison said, they are able to make a lot of new customers and able to study their buying patterns and also engage with them to provide excellent customer services by observing the database they have at hand. He also mentioned that DoorDash is a great partner.
There are positives to both the scenarios, of having native channels and own platforms for online food ordering. You can get more visibility through the latter but the former one could give you a cut on commissions and control over the customer database. There are enough indications as to the prominence that digital ordering is going to have in the future. Brands might think of using native channels for more customer data control and third party channels for accessibility.Prev Next