The use of mobile apps, text messages, and the internet to order food from a restaurant or other foodservice outlets grew by 18 percent last year and now accounts for 1.9 billion foodservice visits, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. While currently more orders are placed using websites, orders placed with a mobile app are growing more strongly, according to NPD’s daily tracking of how consumers use restaurants and other foodservice outlets.
Dinner is the meal most often ordered digitally, and families are the heaviest users of digital ordering, reports NPD. Fifty percent of digital orders come at dinner time, and 35 percent of digital ordering includes parties with kids. People under age 35 and those with higher household incomes are among above-average users of digital ordering.
Deals and promotions play an important role in digital ordering, finds NPD. When consumers order digitally, they are twice as likely to order on a deal, and that deal is usually a coupon. 29 percent of all digital orders used a coupon. Other top deals used were discounted price, daily special, and combined item special.
Additionally, the ability to pay with mobile boosts customer satisfaction scores and encourages guests to visit for reasons related to loyalty, reports NPD.
“Digital ordering is now really all about the mobile app,” says Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst. “Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable using mobile apps, if restaurants or foodservice operators don’t have a mobile app, consumers may very well choose a restaurant that does.”