Online restaurant delivery services in the U.S. - statistics & facts

Food delivery has been a sector in the food and drink service industry for many years. In 2019, the proportion of U.S. food service sales made via delivery reached eight percent. The digitalization of food and drink services has allowed more companies, mainly restaurants, within this industry to deliver food to their customers than ever before. This is due to restaurants now having their own online ordering services via websites and apps. In addition, the creation of aggregated online ordering platforms has given consumers the opportunity to browse through restaurants that offer delivery, and order directly off these platforms. In recent years these too have diversified, with some sites enabling customers to order from restaurants with no delivery service of their own.

Online food delivery service providers in the U.S.

These aggregated online ordering platforms, such as Grubhub, provide their own drivers who collect the meal from the chosen restaurant and deliver it to the customer. This has allowed many restaurants, which previously did not have the facilities, to enter the delivery market. Both full service and quick service restaurants utilize these delivery platforms, however, the value of the U.S. quick service restaurant delivery market is over twice as large as the U.S. full service restaurant delivery market.

Some of the largest U.S.-based food delivery service providers have completed mergers in recent years, consolidating the American food delivery service market into a few key players. Uber Eats, one of the leading food delivery service providers based in the U.S., acquired its competitor Postmates in late 2020. Similar mergers have also taken place with DoorDash, also based in the U.S., which acquired competitor Caviar in June 2019. A future deal that is planned to take place is European company Just Eat Takeaway’s acquisition of Grubhub, an American based company.

During a 2020 survey that asked which U.S. online food delivery providers were used in the last 12 months, DoorDash took the lead with over 50 percent of respondents indicating they have used the service in the last 12 months. Meanwhile, the online delivery company with the highest U.S. market share was Grubhub.

Impact of the coronavirus on U.S. online food delivery

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States in 2020, the restaurant industry was heavily impacted as restaurants were not able to offer indoor dining. When looking at the year-over-year daily change in seated U.S. restaurant diners during the start of the pandemic in March 2020 the amount of seated diners fell by 100 percent. This decrease in indoor dining allowed the online food delivery industry to gain a stronger hold on the market. A 2020 survey on the share of the U.S. public that ordered food online or by app during COVID-19 reported use of these services across all areas surveyed, from rural to suburban and urban populations. Over one third of both suburban and urban respondents indicated that they had used online food delivery services or restaurant apps to order food, suggesting it was more common to order delivery in these areas.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 19 most important statistics relating to "Online restaurant delivery services in the U.S.".


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