Online Food Orderers Going Mobile

Restaurants seeking growth opportunities in the still-​stagnant dining out market should check out the mobile food ordering crowd. Earlier this year, in a QSRWeb post, Alicia Kelso cited some astounding statistics about online food ordering. The data came from EatStreet and was presented to the National Restaurant Association.

Younger consumers have a well-​earned reputation for being fascinated by food. They snap selfies as they sit in front of a favorite meal, watch cooking shows on TV, and insist on local ingredients. These consumers are also the ones driving the online food ordering boom, especially the mobile boom. About 25% of digital food orders are coming from mobile devices. Researchers say the trend is especially prevalent in the sandwich sector.

Restaurants are scrambling to ramp up their online offerings to keep their digital clients satisfied. Analysts recommend the following as key strategies:

  • Loyalty and re-​engagement: Operators that offer some kind of loyalty benefit can count on up to a 20% increase in visit frequency and a 7% increase in meal value.
  • Social media: Younger consumers appreciate seeing deals for local operators on their social networks. A promotion on Facebook could attract new patrons who are eager for an online food ordering experience.
  • Delivery: Consumers aren’t just interested in online food ordering. They’re also appreciative of online delivery options. More restaurants are partnering with delivery operators. These partnerships are another way to get exposed to consumers who like to order food.

Analysts point out that optimizing online ordering features works to a restaurant’s benefit in several ways. Staff members remain more efficient without phone distractions.  Order-​filling accuracy improves. And, research also shows that an “online customer is more likely to re-​order within 60 days than a walk-​in customer, simply because the platform is more accessible.”

In the last 30 days, 21% of all U.S. adults have ordered food online. And, 15.9% of adults have ordered using their mobile devices according to AudienceSCAN. These consumers are not averse to eating out. For example, 38% celebrate Mother’s Day by dining out, a rate which is 48% higher than average. And online food orderers appear to be serious about going mobile. In the next year, 41% of these audience members intend to upgrade their smartphone, a rate that is much higher than average.  Restaurants with active promotion, should target this audience by using mobile smartphone apps or text messages. At least 26% of online food orderers have responded to these promotions in the past month.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.