Sports and Food Delivery, Pt. 2

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Sports and Food Delivery, Pt. 2

Based on our research findings and analysis, the Super Bowl and likely March Madness are the two sporting events that correlate with the most food deliveries on game day in the U.S. A robust research methodology follows our research findings and explains why we believe these two events are the top two for food delivery.


1. Super Bowl

  • The "most popular day for pizza delivery" is routinely Super Bowl Sunday.
  • On Super Bowl Sunday, one out of seven Americans place takeout orders. That translates to 46,531,311 takeout orders (325,719,178 (U.S. population) divided by 7). Of those orders placed for takeout, 60% are for pizza.
  • Super Bowl Sunday is the day with the second-largest consumption of food in the U.S., trailing only Thanksgiving.
  • Pizza Hut said they plan on delivering 1.5 million pizzas on Super Bowl Sunday.
  • According to Domino's, "the Super Bowl is the company’s third-busiest delivery day of the year" behind first-place Halloween and second-place New Year's Eve. What's more Domino's estimated that the number of slices it would sell on Super Bowl Sunday would total 13 million.
  • Online food delivery services, such as Grub Hub, experienced huge increases in the number of orders on Super Bowl Sunday. Research found that delivery orders through services like Uber Eats increased on Super Bowl Sunday (2019) by 41% compared to the prior Sunday. What's more, that figure marked a 53% increase from the 2018 Super Bowl, thus showing that food delivery orders through these platforms is on a huge rise on Super Bowl Sunday.

2. March Madness/Final Four

  • In light of the pizza deliveries on Super Bowl Sunday, ""March Madness ranks No. 2 behind the Super Bowl in pizza sales." That's a key data point because 60% of takeout orders during the Super Bowl are for pizza.
  • The number of pizza deliveries "increase by 19% during March Madness."
  • The number of pizzas sold by Domino's amounted to two million "during the Final Four and championship game during last year’s [2018] NCAA playoffs."
  • In the U.S., sales at regional and independent restaurants increased by an average of 2.4% during March Madness. That number increased by an additional 9.4% if a restaurant "has a hometown team" playing in Mach Madness. The title of that article is "All restaurants win during March Madness, new research shows."
  • During March Madness, online food delivery orders through GrubHub increase on numerous college campuses. For example, Syracuse had the greatest increase of GrubHub orders during March Madness, with a 31% increase.
  • Even the number of companies' delivery orders during March Madness.
  • Online food delivery companies devote considerable sums of money to advertising during March Madness, clearly inferring the number of delivery orders they expect to be placed during the event. For example, Uber Eats spent $9 million on advertising in March 2019 when March Madness airs.

Your Research Team Applied the Following Strategy:

We began our research by looking to see if there was a pre-compiled list of sporting events with the most food deliveries. While we didn't find any such list, those searches yielded information about deliveries on the Super Bowl. We then looked for data about the most-popular days for food delivery in general and not specific to sporting events. If that information had been available, we would've then determined which sporting events take place on those dates. To our surprise, we didn't find any such information. As a result, we based on determination of the two sporting events included above as ones that correlate with the most food deliveries based on the number of deliveries/takeouts on those days. Early in our research, we noticed that many of the search results pertained to takeout orders. Though no definition of "takeout" was provided in those sources, we think it's reasonable to assume that many of those orders included deliveries. Said another way, we think it's reasonable to assume that the terms "takeout" and "deliveries" might have sometimes been used interchangeably.

The data we found makes pretty clear that the Super Bowl more than likely has the most food deliveries of any U.S. sporting event. The determination of the sporting event with the second-most food deliveries was a much more difficult determination. We looked for delivery information pertaining to other major sporting events such as March Madness, the World Series, NBA Finals, and Kentucky Derby. Of those, March Madness was the only sporting event we could find any data about food deliveries/takeout orders for. We think that the data we found about March Madness strongly infers that it's likely the sporting event with the second-most food deliveries/takeout orders. A key component of our assessment of such was the fact that "March Madness ranks No. 2 behind the Super Bowl in pizza sales" and 60% of takeout orders during the Super Bowl are for pizza.

In looking for information on this topic, we implemented three different research methods. First, we looked for articles about the most popular days for food deliveries. Examples of articles we consulted were published by reputable sources such as ABC News and Restaurant Business Online. Though no article expressly stated that information, we were able to find insights about food deliveries/takeout orders for the Super Bowl and March Madness. We included all those relevant data points that we found throughout our research. For our second strategy, we checked the data source Statista, which often publishes information on similar types of topics. The only data published by Statista was the popular types of foods ordered during March Madness and the Super Bowl, so we didn't include it. As a third strategy, we looked for information about sporting events with the most food delivery/takeout orders. That strategy didn't yield any relevant results whatsoever.

Additionally, we even tried expanding the scope of our research by looking for the number of takeout orders, instead of deliveries, in case any sources were using one term or the other but attaching the same meaning to it. The reason we included some data about food takeout orders is because it seemed likely that deliveries were included within those figures, as deliveries are a subcategory of takeout orders. Our research is focused on the U.S. market specifically, which we ensured by reviewing the information presented in the sources we consulted. Overall, we conducted extremely thorough research on this topic and our findings presented above represent the entirety of the relevant data that we could find on this topic.