Foodservice delivery is gaining steam among hungry consumers who see it as “the ultimate” dining convenience, and its uptick in popularity is hurting drive-through sales at restaurants and convenience stores, according to a recent report by global information company NPD Group.
Over the past four years, delivery has grown by 69 million visits (orders), while drive through traffic fell by 128 million visits from May 2012 through May 2016, according to a recently released NPD report on foodservice delivery.
The growth in foodservice delivery is even greater when pizza delivery is taken out of the equation. Pizza delivery still makes up over 60% of foodservice delivery visits, but traffic has declined by double-digits over the last four years. Consumers instead are ordering delivery from a variety of restaurants including quick service Asian and burger, full service, and fast casual, finds the NPD Group report, “Delivery: A Growth Opportunity on the Horizon.”
Foodservice delivery options are especially important to Gen Z and Millennials. Currently, these two groups represent 51% of the U.S. population, a large target group who will drive the growth in delivery far into the future. These consumers want to eat their favorite foods when they want it, regardless of where they are, as well as order and pay for it with the click of a button.
“If delivery fits a restaurant operator’s business model and is operationally feasible, now is the time to consider adding it as an option for customers,” said Bonnie Riggs, NPD Group’s restaurant industry analyst. “It’s one way to stay competitive and relevant in a low growth foodservice environment. However, before moving ahead with a delivery program, it is important to understand the growth opportunity along with the potential barriers to use that might exist from the consumer perspective.”