Thanks to the proliferation of on-demand services, digital food delivery is easier than ever.
Depending on where you live, you might have multiple options for online ordering: Caviar specializes in local restaurants that wouldn’t necessarily deliver otherwise, Grubhub is adding quick-service partners like Subway and White Castle, and McDonald’s uses UberEats.
While curbside pickup is nothing new for Outback Steakhouse and Red Lobster, the casual dining sector isn’t a delivery go-to, even though restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory are accessible via DoorDash and some of the above-mentioned providers.
In a March survey by TrendSource, US casual dining customers were asked how likely they would be to use various delivery options. Around one-third said they would be very or extremely likely to use a restaurant app to pick up in-store, the choice with the highest level of interest. Slightly fewer had interest in using a restaurant app for delivery (29.3%). These consumers weren't likely to use a third-party app for any option, which is slightly counterintuitive considering most restaurants do not have their own delivery app.
It should come as no surprise that younger consumers are more receptive to casual dining delivery. But even then, the highest level of interest—seen among respondents ages 18 to 27—in restaurant apps for pickup and delivery barely rose above a 3.0 (on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0).
Interestingly, when asked where they would go out to eat besides a casual dining chain, respondents did not favor fast-casual restaurants, a segment that has been a focus for some time because it has generated higher traffic and sales than others. The most popular alternative was independent casual dining.