When Restaurant Customers Want Control Over Timing, They Choose Pickup

restaurant pickup

For consumers with busy schedules who need a high degree of control over when they get their meals, restaurant pickup proves a more convenient solution than delivery.

By the Numbers

According to a January survey of more than 2,100 consumers for PYMNTS’ Connected Dining series, 45% of those who ordered restaurant meals for pickup said an advantage of the channel over delivery is that it gives them greater control over when their food is available. In contrast, only 17% of delivery customers stated that the channel had the same advantage over pickup.

Additionally, in this way, convenient pickup options can be an important way for restaurants to reach consumers with money to spare, as high-income consumers (those who earn over $100,000 per year) were the most likely of all to list this benefit of the channel as the single greatest advantage over delivery.

Advantages of pickup over delivery

The Data in Action

Noting this demand for easy pickup options that fit into consumers’ busy schedules, restaurants are looking to boost the convenience of their pickup options.

For instance, in June, Starbucks began construction on its first drive-thru-only location, set to open in Tuscon, Arizona, per the Arizona Daily Star. By focusing on that one channel, the coffeehouse giant can boost the efficiency with which it meets drive-thru demand rather than dedicating that time to fulfilling other kinds of orders.

Similarly, quick-service restaurant (QSR) giant Wendy’s announced Aug. 15 the opening of the first of its so-called “Global Next Gen” restaurants, which includes a higher-capacity kitchen with an area dedicated to fulfilling digital orders as well as dedicated pickup shelves and parking spots for mobile order-ahead customers.

“The Global Next Gen future-forward design unlocks 400 times the capacity for digital orders, accelerating the System’s digital growth,” Abigail Pringle, Wendy’s president of international and chief development officer, said in a statement at the time.