According to The NPD Group, digital ordering was a lifeline for US foodservice establishments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a full year from March 2020 to March 2021, it’s reported that restaurant digital orders grew +124% compared to prior year, digital orders for carry-out (which represented 62% of all digital orders) increased by +130% and digital orders for delivery grew by +142%.

Apps and websites were the most used channels for digital ordering, representing 62% of all digital orders. Digital orders through third-party apps, like DoorDash or UberEats, grew by +207% in the period over year ago compared to the +98% increase in digital orders through restaurant apps and websites.

“It’s unlikely that digital ordering will grow at the same pace it has during the pandemic once restaurants fully open, but it’s table stakes for restaurants now,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America.  “Digital ordering is all about elevated convenience and ease and that’s what makes consumers tick.”