Canadian Pizza Magazine

Digital restaurant ordering grows in U.S.

By Canadian Pizza   

Features Trends Digital foodservice mobile apps online ordering technology trends in foodservice

Chicago – The use of mobile apps, text messages, and the Internet to order food from a restaurant or food-service outlet grew by 18 per cent last year in the U.S. and now accounts for 1.9 billion food-service visits, global information company NPD Group said in a news release.

While currently more orders are placed using websites, orders placed with a mobile app are growing more strongly, according to NPD’s daily tracking of how consumers use restaurants and other food-service outlets. Dinner is the meal most often ordered digitally, and families are the heaviest users of digital ordering, NPD reports. Fifty per cent of digital orders come at dinner time, and 35 per cent of digital ordering includes parties with kids. People under age 35 and those with higher household incomes are among above-average users of digital ordering. 

Deals and promotions play an important role in digital ordering, the company said. When consumers order digitally, they are twice as likely to order on a deal, and that deal is usually a coupon. Almost one-third of all digital orders used a coupon. Other top deals used were discounted price, daily special, and combined item special.

Additionally, the ability to pay with mobile boosts customer satisfaction scores and encourages guests to visit for reasons related to loyalty.

“Digital ordering is now really all about the mobile app,” saidBonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst, in the release. “Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable using mobile apps, if restaurants or food-service operators don’t have a mobile app, consumers may very well choose a restaurant that does.”

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