Pizza or Asian? That was long the only response to the question: What should we order in? But that has changed in the last few years, as restaurant operators have increasingly been meeting consumers’ growing demand for more varied options to have a prepared meal delivered.
While alternative delivery options are still relatively small, officials at global market research firm The NPD Group say restaurant delivery beyond traditional pizza and Asian is a growth business.
“Consumers want to have the eat-out experience, but are saving money by eating in,” said NPD analyst Bonnie Riggs. “All they had was pizza and Asian. [Now] they have other options available.”
According to the latest NPD research, delivery traffic outside of pizza is growing strongly, up 33 percent in 2015 versus 2012. Meanwhile, pizza delivery is on the decline, down 3 percent.
Driving the delivery trend are Generation Z (born 1990 or after), Millennials (born between 1976 and 1989) and Older Boomers (born between 1946 and1955). These groups are ordering more meals delivered to their home because of a desire for restaurant-quality meals, time constraints or they are working from home. Other reasons include a desire to spend more time with family or to participate in at-home leisure activities, NPD found.
Consumers are increasingly ordering delivery from a variety of restaurant categories, most heavily from sandwich places. In the year ended November 2015, the sandwich category’s share of delivery traffic grew to 10 percent, from 8 percent in 2009. Burger places increased their share of delivery traffic to 3 percent, up from just 1 percent.
All other (which includes varied menu restaurants and independents) doubled its share to 4 percent during the same period. Fast casual increased its share to 3 percent, up from 2 percent. Asian eateries maintained their share of delivery traffic at 5 percent, and pizza delivery traffic declined to 64 percent from 70 percent.
“The growth is an indicator that there’s a broad opportunity for delivery,” said Riggs.