How Restaurants Can ‘Deliver’ on Revenue During Times of Inflation

Inflation is dominating the conversation in every industry today and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics prices rose 7.7 percent for the year ending in October. Despite inflation taking its toll, many people are continuing to prioritize and enjoy the convenience of takeaway and food delivery with recent Deliverect data revealing that more people are purchasing delivery orders today than they were before the recent increase in the cost of living. The survey found that in the U.S., 44 percent of consumers are now purchasing up to three takeaways per week, in comparison to 42 percent prior to the increase in inflation. 

Undoubtedly people are becoming more conscious of where they’re spending as we witness a rise in inflation and the research reveals that while people are putting more thought behind how they spend their money, food delivery remains a priority. Consumers are more likely to cut back on other activities outside of food delivery and spending such as buying clothing (44 percent), going out for drinks and dinner (47 percent) and traveling (43 percent) more. 

Quality, Convenient Deliveries Influence Choice

While today people are getting more takeout and deliveries, they are also being more selective with their orders and the quality and convenience of their takeout. A whopping 90 percent of people said quality ingredients are more important now than before the rise of inflation. What's more – convenience is a major deciding factor for consumers selecting a restaurant for takeout and delivery with 84 percent of respondents claiming how close a restaurant is and how fast their food can get to them being more important than ever. The growing need for convenience has been around for a while and in 2021, McKinsey & Company noted the rapid evolution of food delivery and found convenience as one of the leading pandemic shifts – a trend that’s here to stay. Overall, the Deliverect data exposes the top reason customers would order from a restaurant again is because of its good quality of food (52 percent). Consumers are also looking for a variety of great menu choices, with people selecting a restaurant for delivery or takeaway if it has a variety of menu offerings (27 percent).  

Pizza and Social Media Reign Supreme when it Comes to Delivery Orders

As people are continuing to prioritize and enjoy takeout, nearly half (47 percent) of U.S. respondents revealed they would order pizza any time – regardless of inflation – with American food not far behind at 40 percent. Deliverect’s research indicates that when  consumers are hungry for pizza (or burgers, fries – whatever they may have a hankering for), they often reach for  delivery apps because of the experience they offer. According to the data, one-third (37 percent) of people find ordering food from a restaurant via apps such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats, JustEat, Grubhub, Seamless, DoorDash the most reliable, followed very closely by ordering directly from the restaurant (35 percent).

Whether they’re looking for restaurants that offer specific pizza topics, the most Instagrammable dishes, or the best chicken Caesar salad wrap in town, many consumers rely on social media. For many consumers, social proof is a deciding factor in their choices, with nearly three in five (59 percent) saying restaurant ratings and customer reviews are now a significant factor when deciding where to order from.

The Proof Is in the Pudding  

It’s no secret that people turn to restaurants for an experience –  the National Restaurant Association has reported that “some 75 percent of consumers say restaurant foods provide flavor and taste sensations that just can’t be easily replicated at home” – and when you consider the convenience of food-to-go, ordering for pick up or delivery is a top choice for many. Restaurants that place as much care and attention into their delivery experience as they do their dine-in experience are better positioned, however, to attract more customers and boost profits.

While many restaurants enjoy regular customers already, to keep patrons coming back, even when  watching their wallets, it is especially important owners, managers and teams pay attention to the details and take action to help build loyalty – such as by delighting customers with a personalized message or enticing them with a customized promotion. The National Restaurant Association has also stated that almost 80 percent of adults report they’d take advantage of discounts and deals offered by restaurants in their area on less busy days of the week. By prioritizing reliability, efficiency and accuracy at every step of the order and delivery process, restaurants can encourage more delightful experiences that can lead to repeat customers and positive reviews.