Coronavirus lockdown drives food delivery, takeout orders
To-go orders increased 67% in March, average order cost up 15%
Americans may be experiencing cooking fatigue.
Food delivery orders nationwide skyrocketed 67 percent in March and digital restaurant orders jumped 63 percent, according to data from market research firm NPD Group released Thursday.
Full-service restaurants had a 31 percent increase in pick-up and delivery orders in March when the coronavirus pandemic first broke out in the United States, which forced restaurants to close their dining rooms, according to the report. And the average check amount for take out and delivery jumped 15 percent, proving that many Americans are still desperately craving their favorite restaurant foods while sheltering in place.
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“Although it’s fact that a larger portion of food and beverage consumption has shifted to in-home, it’s clear that consumers are not willing to give up on the convenience and experience a restaurant meal brings to them and their families regardless of the barriers,” David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America, said in a statement.
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Still, its been an uphill struggle for the food industry as a whole. Restaurant traffic declined by 22 percent in March compared to the same month a year ago, the data shows. Meanwhile, on-premise restaurant dining prior to the pandemic made up 80 percent of a full-service restaurant’s business while off-premise comprised just 20 percent. And while that number jumped 11 percent in March, businesses are still losing out on revenue from dining room closures.
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States loosening up liquor laws to allow consumers to carry out alcoholic beverages with food is also helping a number of restaurants stay afloat.
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