U.S. Pizza Consumer Dining Habits

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U.S. Pizza Consumer Dining Habits

According to our findings, 47% of pizza consumer transactions in the United States were carry-outs. On the other hand, delivery transactions accounted for 27% and dine-in transactions accounted for 26% of overall pizza consumer transactions.

Takeout vs Delivery vs Dine-In

  • According to Statista, US consumers spend a total of $36.5 billion in quick service pizza where carry-out comprises the largest share of spending at $17.1 billion, followed by the delivery segment at $9.8 billion spendings. While the dine-in amounted to $9.6 billion.
  • From this, it shows that 47% of pizza transactions in the US were carry-outs. While delivery and dine-in transactions accounted for 27% and 26% of overall pizza consumer transactions, respectively.

US pizza consumers are ingredients-conscious

  • Pizza consumers are now being more conscious about their toppings and crust choices due to allergies and are becoming more educated about what is added to their pizzas.
  • 44% of American pizza consumers stated that high-quality and fresh ingredients are the deciding factors when ordering a pizza, while 49% of consumers revealed that they would prefer pizza establishments that offer more authentic pizza.
  • Additionally, pizza consumers are now requesting for "more locally sourced and sustainable ingredients".
  • Pizza Hut and Papa John's, two of the biggest pizza chain in the US, remove ingredients such as "artificial colors, sweeteners, and preservatives". In fact, Papa John's launched a program where organic ingredients were introduced in some selected branches.

Online smart ordering through digital platforms

  • 43% of pizza consumers find "online ordering and tracking technologies" extremely appealing and 24% of pizza customers want to order pizza from their smart TVs.
  • The big winners in the US pizza industry in 2018 are pizza brands that “embraced websites, social media, online ordering, and delivery technology”. In fact, based on PMQ’s 2018 Pizza Industry Census, 58% of pizza operators who offer online ordering revealed that their sales boosted for about 5% to 15% because of this feature.
  • A good example is Domino's Pizza, one of the largest pizza chains in the US which offers up to 10 options to order pizza online including ordering through social media. Pizza consumers can tweet a pizza emoji on Twitter or order via Facebook Messenger.
  • Due to this, the company boasted a 60% increase in orders that came from digital platforms.

Seasonal/weather Impact

  • Weather can impact the dining habits of consumers. According to pizza owners, hot weather affects the transit of consumers for dine-ins, however, takeout increases.
  • Additionally, sunny weather negatively impacts their "lunchtime weekend business" as most American consumers prefer outside grilling over eating pizzas.
  • Pizza owner of Il Primo Pizza & Wings in Florida stated that people tend to dine in during cooler weather as people tend to go out and about during this weather.

US pizza consumers most and least favorite toppings

  • According to HuffPost, YouGov conducted a study on the pizza topping preference of American pizza consumers during the National Pizza Day. This study showed the most and least favorite toppings.
  • Based on the survey, 52% of pizza consumers prefer pepperoni and listed it to be one of their most favorite. This was verified by another report which reveals that Americans consume 251.7 million pounds of pepperoni annually and most of their consumption is through pizza.
  • 34% of consumers rated sausage as their favorite, followed by mushrooms at 31%.
  • On the other hand, 49% of consumers rated anchovies as their least favorite topping. This was followed by eggplant and pineapple at 30% and 24%, respectively.

Pizza for breakfast is gaining popularity

  • It is already common among US pizza customers to consume their pizzas during dinner. In fact, dinner remains to be the dominating period of pizza consumption in the pizza industry.
  • However, eating pizzas at breakfast is becoming a new trend among US pizza consumers where “egg and ham pizzas for breakfast” are gaining popularity.
  • According to Technomic consumer survey, 17% of heavy pizza consumers were reported to consume pizza during this part of the day. This was verified by other reports where 1/3 of pizza consumers “consider pizza to be the perfect breakfast”.
  • In 2018, 7-eleven introduced breakfast pizza in the food line-up in selected store branches to test the market. 7-Eleven stores revealed that it was the "second highest-selling pizza".


  • The introduction of third-party delivery services benefits struggling pizza owners to cut down the cost of their overhead expenses, but US pizza consumers prefer it otherwise.
  • According to the survey by AlixPartners, "among those who order delivery, 71% said they prefer to get delivery directly from the restaurant" and only 8% of them prefer it via third-party delivery services.
  • Based on PMQ's 2018 Pizza Industry Census, 67% of US pizza consumers reported not utilizing third-party delivery services.
  • This sentiment is the same when it comes to ordering online where 82% of pizza consumers prefer to order directly from the restaurant, based on the study conducted by Morning Consult Study in June 2018.
  • 26% of pizza consumers who use third-party services indicated that the "quality of the food delivered was the deciding factor in choosing a third-party delivery service".

Your Research team applied the following Strategy:

We examined industry reports, media news articles, and other statistical reports in sources such as PMQ Pizza Magazine, Statista, HuffPost, Forbes, Pizza Need, and other similar sites to provide insights on US pizza consumers dining habits. Due to the specificity of the subject (US pizza consumers), we were unable to find precompiled information in the public domain. However, upon reviewing the industry reports and other sources, we found sufficient information about pizza consumers dining habits. The selection of these insights was mostly gathered due to their availability, based on a very recent and credible industry analysis.


  • Carry-out — $17.1 billion/$36.5 billion = 0.468 or 47%
  • Dine-In — $9.6 billion/$36.5 billion = 0.263 or 26%
  • Delivery — $9.8 billion/$36.5 billion = 0.268 or 27%

  • "While consumers still rate overall taste as the most important factor when ordering pizza, 44% of consumers rated “fresh, high-quality ingredients” and “best crust” as deciding factors—up from 40% in 2016, according to a Technomic study. The same study reported that 49% of consumers indicate they would like pizza establishments to offer “more authentic” pizzas."
  • "The study also indicated that 82% said they prefer to order directly from a restaurant, while only 13% utilize a third-party delivery service; 26% stated “quality of the food delivered” was the deciding factor in choosing a third-party delivery service. "
  • "According to PMQ’s 2018 Pizza Industry Census, 67.46% of respondents reported not utilizing a third-party delivery service."
  • "A full 43% of pizza customers say they find online ordering and tracking technologies “appealing or extremely appealing,” according to a Technomic study, while the same study found that 24% of consumers felt similarly about pizzas that can be ordered from a smart TV."
  • "According to a Technomic consumer survey, breakfast is the fastest-growing daypart in the restaurant industry. Egg and ham pizzas for breakfast are gaining popularity, with 17% of “super heavy” pizza consumers reporting they have eaten pizza at breakfast, according to a Technomic study."
  • " All in all, Domino’s offers at least 10 ways to order pizza online, including tweeting a pizza emoji via Twitter or opening a chat on Facebook Messenger."
  • "Consumers may be getting more adventurous in their topping and crust choices, but many are also nursing long-standing and new allergies, which leads them to request more locally sourced and sustainable ingredients."
  • "We’ve already seen some of the big chains, such as Pizza Hut and Papa John’s, eliminate ingredients such as artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives. This past April, Papa John’s launched a pilot program to introduce organic ingredients at select locations."
  • "In the survey by AlixPartners, among those who order delivery, 71% said they prefer to get delivery directly from the restaurant, while only 8% said they prefer it through a third-party intermediary. There are also fees associated with third-party delivery that may not be worth it if you already have in-house delivery drivers on the payroll."
  • "“Hot weather tends to slow down transit business, but take out increases. Cold weather usually increases traffic in-house.” Dimitrios from Willamantic, Connecticut’s Pleasant Pizza said “Sunny summer weather affects our lunch time weekend business; people want to be outside grilling, as they should be!”"
  • "However, Jonathan of Il Primo Pizza & Wings says, “In Florida, more people tend to be out and about when the cooler weather sets in; we call it reverse winter down here. … Hurricanes [also] bring a spike in business; everyone likes some pizza and wings before a storm.”"
  • "Nearly a third of all people consider pizza to be the perfect breakfast."
  • "Like pepperoni? How about 251.7 million pounds of it annually. Most of this consumption is on pizza, and pepperoni accounts for more than a third of all pizza orders."
  • "According to the research, 52 percent of Americans surveyed said pepperoni is one of their three favorite pizza toppings. Thirty-four percent included sausage in their top three, and 31 percent listed mushrooms. Bacon and plain/mozzarella cheese each were named top-three picks by 20 percent of respondents."
  • "On the other end, 49 percent of those polled selected anchovies as one of their three least favorite pizza toppings. Also at the bottom were eggplant (disliked by 30 percent), pineapple (24 percent) and artichokes (24 percent)."