From Dining Out to Dining In: How Online Ordering Has Shifted the Restaurant Industry

DoorDash, GrubHub, and UberEats have taken over the restaurant business – here’s how the way we dine is changing.

Published on June 28, 2018

You have the day off tomorrow. You decide to take things easy, wear some sweats, turn on your TV to binge the new episodes of Stranger Things or Arrested Development, and order in from the Chinese place down the street. Meanwhile, the restaurant you ordered from has a half-empty dining room. Why is that?


In this era of Amazon, Netflix, and Uber, convenience and comfort are valued the most by millennials. Information and products are not only at the click of a button on a computer but just as easily the ring of a doorbell. Last month, AlixPartners conducted a survey comprised of 1,000 millennials. 20% of those surveyed claimed to visit fast-casual restaurants twice a week. This percentage indicates a disconnect between getting guests to dine out versus dine in. Convenience and comfort can be difficult for well-established brick-and-mortar restaurants to cater towards anymore without the assistance of technology. Companies like DoorDash, GrubHub, and UberEats have stepped in to solve this value gap, boosting restaurant revenue and increasing awareness by reaching a broader audience.



Impact of On-Demand Restaurant Delivery Services


From the survey, the sample group had more of an interest in ordering from fast-casual and fine-dining restaurants over fast-food. In the same survey from AlixPartners, 54% of the respondents stated that the reason for dining out less was to save towards other expenses, like traveling or major purchases like a home or a car. Despite wanting to save for other expenses, the average amount per order when ordering online this year was around $33, when the average cost for a meal is around $13 provided by Modern Restaurant Management. Millennials will typically spend two times the amount on food through online ordering than if they were to dine into a restaurant, skipping out on sales tax and tipping. This insight can be used to better staff, prep, and run restaurants.


Even though saving towards an experience or life goal is at the forefront of most millennial minds, food is just as important. No matter the occasion, the food service industry will continue to exist by adapting to satisfy the values of convenience and comfort. So, carry on with your binge watching and eating lo mien.