Even with huge numbers of consumers now ordering their restaurant meals via aggregators or apps, in-person dining remains a major part of the restaurant industry in the U.S. Indeed, the sheer variety of ways in which consumers place restaurant orders underscores how important it is for restaurants to offer their customers choice in how to purchase and obtain their orders.
For the October edition of the PYMNTS Digital Divide study, The 2022 Restaurant Digital Divide: Restaurant Apps And Websites In The Spotlight, we surveyed a census-balanced panel of nearly 2,000 U.S. consumers in September to learn about how they engage with restaurants across digital and physical channels.
What we found reveals that ordering channels that require consumers to visit the restaurant, such as dine-in and pickup, remain far and away the most popular in spite of all the delivery options.
In fact, the study found that 19% of consumers ate at the restaurant every single time they had placed a restaurant order in the previous 30 days, and 14% said the same of pickup orders. Collectively, these two groups account for about one in three restaurant customers.
Meanwhile, a significantly smaller share of consumers sticks primarily to digital channels. Fourteen percent stated that they use a restaurant’s app or website to place their order at least half the time in that same 30-day period, and 12% purchased their food for delivery for at least half their orders in that timeframe.
While these findings reveal that in-person options remain the most popular by a considerable margin, they also show that there is considerable demand for alternative ordering options, highlighting the need for restaurants to offer consumers a range of options such that they can pick the ones most compatible with their lifestyle. Ultimately, it is omnichannel availability that will allow restaurants to reach the most customers.