Delivery/CarryOut/DineIn Habits

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U.S. Consumer Dining Habits

The 12 different insights or facts into U.S. Consumer Dining Habits are convenience, delivery services, revenue changes, 2019 projections, same meal location choices, and seasonal impact on consumer choices. Included below are the reasons for the shift on dining behavior, third party delivery services as ranked by restaurant owners, and comparing frustration of both dine-in and delivery customers. There was also found to be a faster than expected growth of delivery services and the gender and income breakdown of American dining consumers.

Forbes Magazine states, "Netflix and Amazon can be credited with shifting consumer habits that are affecting the restaurant industry. Why get dressed and go out when one can have what they want at home in front of their flat screen TV?"

Insight #1 — Hyper-Convenience is Driving Choice

  • In a recent survey, 82% of consumers stated convenience is a top concern when dining out, which has resulted in c-stores and grocery operators making inroads into food service.
  • Restaurants that provide on-demand delivery are capitalizing on this trend.
  • Over the last five years, delivery sales in the food service industry has been increasing at a 7% rate annually.

Insight #2 — delivery services

  • According to recent surveys, 86% of consumers are using food delivery services at least monthly.
  • A third are using it more than they did a year ago.

Insight #3 — revenue changes

  • While many restaurant owners were concerned that offering delivery would simply cannibalize existing customers, that does not seem to be the case.
  • About 60% of operators surveyed said delivery service had generated new sales.
  • Only 11% felt that it had an impact on dine-in business.
  • Just 7% said that it had a negative effect takeout sales.

Insight #4 — Projections for 2019

  • Takeout for pickup is projected to generate $124 billion in sales this year 2019.
  • Takeout with direct delivery from a restaurant is projected to generate $32 billion.
  • Takeout with delivery from a third-party delivery company will generate $13 billion.
  • Catering for pickup or delivery is projected to generate $40 billion.

Insight #5 — EAT AT Restaurant OR AT HOME

Based on a scenario, where the meals were the same on a daily basis, the following results were found on a 2017 survey, where participants were asked: "Assuming that order ahead service is available at the restaurants that you visit, how likely would you be to use it?"
  • Definitely would — 8%
  • Probably would — 25%
  • Might or might not — 34%
  • Probably not — 4%
  • Definitely not —12%

insight #6 — SEASONAL IMPACT

In another 2017 survey, participants were asked "In which season do you dine out most often?" It was found that seasons have a definite impact.
  • Summer — 48%
  • Winter — 26%
  • Spring — 15%
  • Fall — 11%


INSIGHT #8 — third party delivery services

  • In a survey on restaurant owners released last month, third-party delivery services were ranked Uber Eats at 31%, followed by DoorDash at 27% and GrubHub at 24%.
  • When owners were asked about the main reasons for using third-party delivery services are, 50% cited “convenience,” followed by 42% with “ease of payment” and 40% with “good customer service”.
  • A quarter of respondents (25%), cited that they use third-party delivery services because "they’d rather place their order online or via an app than talk to someone on the phone."
  • Finally, the restaurant’s in-house delivery service was the second most used delivery service (29%) among general respondents.

Insight #9 — customer frustrations — dine in

The top five frustrations for customers when dining in include
  • “the time it takes to receive their order” (35%),
  • “the price of the meal and getting an order wrong” (34%),
  • “not being satisfied with the quality/taste of food” (31%),
  • “rude restaurant service” (30%) and
  • “restaurant cleanliness” (25%).

Insight #10 — customer frustration — order in

Ordering in, however, seems to have fewer frustrations. They include:
  • “the time it takes for the food to be delivered” (20%),
  • “the condition of the food” (18%) and
  • “missing items from my order” (14%).

INSIGHT #11 — Faster than predicted growth

In an article published last week in Seeking Alpha, the newest stats showed:
  • Uber's first-quarter figures, set to be released on Thursday, are expecting bookings to double over the past year to $3 billion, much faster growth than its ride-hailing business.
  • DoorDash is growing even faster.

Insight #12 — Gender and Income

In the survey from Feedstuffs, eating out includes eating in restaurants, and carry out/delivery.
  • Men typically spend more per week eating out ($82), while women spend $69.
  • 10% of men eat out every day, compared to only 2% of women who do.
  • Those earning between $40,001 and $50,000 per year spend the most money eating out, averaging $117.82 per week, or between 12.25% and 15.31% of their yearly income.

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U.S. Pizza Consumer Dining Habits

There were no comprehensive insights found regarding US consumer habits around dining out versus carry-out or delivery for the pizza category. This could be due to the highly specific nature of this information. What we found are general statistics for the whole restaurant industry and some sparse data on pizzeria dining habits. Some of the reports indicated that 71% of those who prefer having their orders delivered said that they wanted to order directly from the establishments. Around 8% stated that they opt to have their food delivered through third-parties. The rest of the helpful statistics are mentioned in the findings section below.



  • The US pizza market is worth around $45.1 billion. Independent pizzerias account for $18.5 billion of this figure while the top fifty chains contributed $26.6 billion.
  • There are around 75,243 pizzerias in the US.
  • The "top fifty pizza chains" were able to reach $577,909 average unit revenues.



Based on Twitter statistics, the following are the findings around people's pizza preferences:
  • People want pizza the most on Sundays. Tuesdays and Wednesdays follow Sunday as the days on when they crave mostly for this food.
  • In most days, people wanted to eat pizza the most around seven in the evening.
  • Tuesday is an exception as pizza demands also peak around one to two in the afternoon.
  • Women are more inclined to discuss topics concerning pizza as they account for 65% of the tweets.
  • Females also appear to want pizza a bit earlier than the men, around 7 pm vs. 8 pm respectively.



  • During winter, people typically prefer to stay inside their homes rather than go to pizza restaurants.
  • People order pizza the most during Superbowl Sunday, around winter time in February.
  • Around 70% of those watching the Superbowl events eat a minimum of one slice.
  • One pizzeria owner also mentioned that the hurricane season tends to bring in more sales as people prefer to feast on pizzas before the storm lands.
  • Approximately 43% consume pizza at least once in a single week. These consumers feast on pizza in either of the following locations: home, restaurant, or other eating areas.


  • Pizza diners tend to go for "quick-service pizza" establishments where online ordering is available instead of the old style of sit-down pizza eateries.
  • Consumers were found to order their pizza for delivery or to go during dinner.
  • Consumers prefer more customized choices and more "faster delivery timings."
  • Independent pizza restaurants are now adding more online ordering options.
  • Around 58% of pizzerias provide online ordering features. This option contributes to around 5% to 15% of their revenues.
  • Around 71% of those who prefer having their orders delivered mentioned that they wanted to order directly from the establishments. Around 8% stated that they opt to have their food delivered through third-parties.
  • This may be due to the additional charges from third-party delivery providers.
  • As for the bigger chains, these firms are experimenting with using "drones to deliver orders." This may remove the need for delivery drivers in the next few years.

Specific Pizza Chain Statistics

  • Sixty percent of Papa John's pizza sales came from digital orders. This implies that around 40% can come from other means such as phone orders, dine-in, or takeaways.
  • Meanwhile, half of Pizza Hut's sales came from their "delivery and takeaway orders."
  • According to a pizzeria owner in Florida, people are more inclined to go out during cooler seasons.



  • Around 52% of US internet users who availed of food delivery services used the establishment's official website or app to "order food for delivery." Meanwhile, around 34% opted to use Grubhub to order.
  • Around 55% of internet users who are 24 years old and below chose to have their food delivered.
  • Meanwhile, only 17% of those over 65 years old US internet users chose to have their food delivered.
  • Online ordering for the purpose of picking up the food later is still more preferred than having them delivered.
  • Based on the following likelihood statistics, US internet users still prefer using an establishment's official app for food delivery: "official app for food delivery — 13.%; onsite meal pickup via the official app — 12.7%; third-party app delivery — 6.7%; and onsite meal pickup via the third-party app — 4.8%."
  • Around 84% of adults in the US prefer to have their food delivered or taken out several times within a month.
  • Americans' dining spend allocations are split between eating out and dining at home.


  • According to an eatery owner, their sales can drop to around 35% during snowy weather. In one establishment, losses can reach around $3,000 to $6,000 during heavy snow.
  • One restaurant owner in Boston claimed that hot seasons can bring down foot traffic inside their establishment. However, they benefit from an increase in take-out orders in sweltering weather.
  • In most cases, rain can negatively impact the sales of an establishment.
  • From 2007 to the present, pizza orders have increased by 98% around breakfast and brunch times.


  • Approximately 33% of US millennials are inclined to post pictures of pizza in their social media accounts.
  • Around 44% mentioned that they prefer pizzerias who can provide the "best crust." <tech comp>
  • Around 28% prefer their pizzas to have unique ingredients. Forty-three percent of 18-34-year-old consumers agree to this.
  • Approximately 49% wish for more pizzerias to provide more "authentic pizzas."
  • The key to the success of pizzerias is to ensure that prices are affordable and that they can provide good customer service.
  • Approximately "half of every food dollar is spent" at dining establishments. This is equivalent to around $2,222 per person on an annual basis.


    We started our search by looking for directly available reports on comprehensive insights and solid statistics around consumer dining habits for the pizza category. We looked for this information in relevant restaurant sources such as PMQ, Restaurant Business Online, and others; food industry sources such as Food Dives, Food Business, Food Institute, and related sites; relevant publications such as the Food Network Magazine, Everyday Food, and others; research sites such as IBIS World, Market Research, Technomic, and others; press release sites such as PR News Wire, Globe Wire, and similar sources; business publications such as Forbes, Reuters, Business Insider, and other similar sites; consultancy sites such as Deloitte, PWC, and other relevant sites. Based on this search approach, we were not able to find comprehensive insights and solid statistics around consumer dining habits for the pizza category. What we found were several reports that provided general insights for the overall US restaurant industry and a few specific pizzeria information. We also found paywalled reports from the following sources that might contain more robust and specific information once unlocked: Ibis, Technomic, and Market Research.
    We then looked for statements or interviews from food professionals in food associations sites such as the American Culinary Federation (ACF), Council of Restaurants, National Restaurant Association (NRA), and other similar groups to determine if there are specialists that stated any relevant observations. We hoped to use their observations to derive relevant statistics around the consumer dining habits for the pizza category. However, we were not able to find comprehensive statements, observations, or interviews from these specialists about the dining habit of consumers in the pizza sector. What we found are just snippets of data on general restaurant trends and other industry topics.
    We then searched for pizzerias in the US to check if they have commissioned any operations reports from consulting firms such as the TRG Restaurant Consultants, MBB Management, Synergy Restaurant Consultants, and other similar firms. We also combed through the websites of these restaurants consulting firms to determine if they have produced any relevant pizzeria analysis. We hoped to find any of these operations observation or analysis in these sites. Based on this strategy, we were not able to obtain any relevant analysis or report findings that are specific to pizzerias. What we found are general reports on the typical analysis and recommendations done for the overall restaurant industry.
    We have inferred that the reason why the comprehensive insights and solid statistics around consumer dining habits for the pizza category are not available could be due to the highly specific nature of this information that might need more resources to generate. Given this, we have presented the relevant data that we found in the section above.