The growth of digital restaurant orders

A new report from the NPD Group revealed that digital restaurant orders have increased 23 percent over the last four years. Not only that, but double-digit growth is expected well into 2020.

Currently, mobile apps represent 60 percent of digital orders; and according to NPD, customers are ordering digitally for convenience. What is interesting about this data is that the popularity of delivery is also increasing, for similar reasons. While there may be some cross-over between digital restaurant ordering and delivery, each of these parts that contribute to modern dining is finding success across the board—delivery is also growing at a double-digit rate. What this reflects on the contemporary dining scene is that convenience is imperative—customers are seeking more accessible ways to dine. However, having said this, developing a company’s digital space can lead to a better brand image, especially with the increase in third-party delivery apps. Any edge that a restaurant can nourish itself is critical in today’s dining scene, where third-party aggregates make up around 40 percent of the 20 most used apps.

Focusing on digital dining is not only a convenience thing, however. American chain Chipotle recorded diners spending 13 percent more ordering online, as opposed to instore. While this may not seem like a huge increase, digital ordering is a combination of the convenience customers desire, there is a chance that they will spend more, and through apps and online ordering, customers can be guided towards loyalty programs and online specials, another trend amongst modern diners. Brain Niccol, Chipotle’s CEO, said that restaurants with fully built mobile capabilities could see digital orders making up around 30 percent of their sales.

Moving towards convenience is something that restaurateurs are encouraged to keep in mind. Developing ways that make dining easy for consumers is a way to stay ahead of the game, and ahead of the increasing amount of competition.