More Restaurants Add Designated Pickup Areas as Consumers Shift to Carryout

Restaurants, pickup, food and beverages, digital shift

With inflation concerns prompting many consumers to choose restaurant pickup over delivery, more eateries are creating spaces in their restaurants to accommodate this shift.

By the Numbers

For the “Connected Dining” series, PYMNTS research has tracked what share of consumers have seen different technologies available during their most recent restaurant purchase. The results reveal that, between spring and this summer, the share of restaurants that had designated pickup areas grew significantly, rising from 34% in April to 40% in June of this year.

The Data in Action

Restaurant chains of all kinds — quick-service restaurants (QSRs), fast-casual brands and full-service eateries alike — have seen many of their customers choosing pickup over delivery in an effort to skip the added fees.

For example, QSR giant Domino’s Pizza has seen many seeking more affordable channels.

“Carryout customers, they really want value,” Domino’s CEO Russell Weiner told analysts on the company’s recent earnings call. “And one of the reasons they’re doing carryout is they want to avoid the tip; they want to avoid the delivery fee.”

Consequently, many brands have been making changes to their physical spaces. For instance, Wendy’s announced last week the opening of the first of its so-called “Global Next Gen” restaurants, which includes shelves for pickup orders and designated parking spots for customers picking up mobile orders.

“We are excited to harness both design and technology to unlock digital and global growth to meet the demands of our customers today and tomorrow,” Wendy’s President, International & Chief Development Officer Abigail Pringle said in a statement, additionally noting that the brand is looking to make its restaurants “optimized to the digital age.”

Similarly, Taco Bell recently announced a new version of its “Go Mobile” concept, a small format with no indoor dining area, with parking spots specifically for digital ordering customers and with a pickup window and in-store pickup shelves.