Consumers Expect Convenient Pickup Options at Their Favorite Restaurants

restaurant pickup

Above all else, when it comes to restaurant orders, consumers are looking for convenience. They want to be able to quickly place their order, pop into a restaurant (or pull up outside), grab their food and head out.

According to data from PYMNTS’ April study The Digital Divide: The Key Factors That Drive Restaurant Choice, created in collaboration with Paytronix, pickup features are the technologies the greatest share of consumers say would go the furthest in driving purchases. Specifically, 23% of consumers said these were the most important in encouraging them to order from a given restaurant, a greater share than said the same of ordering features, payment features or loyalty offerings.

Read more: NEW DATA: From Outdoor Seating to Touchless Payments, Dining Habits Are Changing

Moreover, consumers are especially looking for the most convenient options when it comes to purchasing for pickup. The report, which drew from a survey of more than 2,600 U.S. adults, also revealed that 47% of consumers cite convenience of pickup as an important factor influencing their restaurant choice.

Pickup options not only meet consumers’ need for accessibility and convenience but also provide a more profitable sales channel for restaurants, requiring neither the driver labor of delivery orders nor the service labor of on-premises dining. Consequently, the price tends to be lower for consumers as well.

In an interview with PYMNTS, David Bloom, chief development and operating officer of fast-casual sandwich chain Capriotti’s and its subsidiary Wing Zone, noted that emphasizing pickup options can help restaurants appeal to cost-concerned customers.

“[Pickup is] still the most quote-unquote ‘cost efficient’ because there’s no delivery fees and those types of things,” he said. “So, we’re making sure that people understand that, and we’re highlighting that to give people a choice.”

Read more: For Restaurants, Consumers’ Inflation Concerns Prompt Renewed Focus on Pickup Channels

Indeed, consumers seek out these options. Research from PYMNTS’ 2022 Restaurant Friction Index, also created in collaboration with Paytronix, which drew from an October survey of a census-balanced panel of more than 2,100 U.S. adults, found that 37% of consumers say that the ability to pick up orders without standing in line would encourage them to purchase from restaurants. Plus, 35% said the same of the ability to pick up orders at the drive-thru, and 33% of curbside pickup options.

Related news: PYMNTS Data: Loyalty Programs Best Way to Get Diners to Spend More

On the other hand, dine-in experiences remain highly in demand. In an interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, Andrew Robbins, CEO of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) customer experience management (CXM) solutions provider Paytronix, cautioned against over-focus on off-premise to the exclusion of the in-person experience.

“We’re just going to see a ton of you innovation and different business models that people are going to experiment with,” he said. “I still think that, at the heart, we’re social creatures and people want to go out to eat and co-locate and have great experiences. So, I think that’s still going to win the day.”

Related news: Ghost Kitchens Are Threat and Opportunity for Restaurant Biz