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The Takeaway: Takeout Hasn’t Delivered Like We Maybe Thought It Would

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iStock/lchumpitaz

STORY HIGHLIGHT

  • Whether a consumer uses takeout and delivery services appears closely connected to their income level and ability to work from home.

Takeout orders have been a godsend for a lot of restaurants during the pandemic, so it stands to reason that they are very popular among most consumers, right?

Eh, maybe not so much.

Even though a National Restaurant Association survey found a whopping 70% of adults claimed they had ordered takeout or delivery from a restaurant, a more recent study suggests delivery is actually far less popular, which could be a problem for pandemic-challenged businesses. It also suggests how likely a person is to order out depends on their income and work status.

An Invisibly survey of nearly 1,300 people found a majority (56%) had not ordered takeout or delivery in the past 12 months. “Despite conventional wisdom, it appears that use of takeout and delivery services weren’t as ubiquitous as previously believed,” the data analytics company said.

So who is ordering out? Invisibly said its research indicates there two factors that make a consumer more likely to reach for a delivery app:

  • Household income — 62% of those surveyed who make between $60,000 and $100,000 per year “are 8% more likely than the next most likely income bracket to utilize takeout services.” As Invisibly observed: “Those in some higher income brackets were … more likely [to order], suggesting that they had the disposable income to do so.”
  • Work-at-home status — “Interestingly, the number of people who haven’t used takeout services over the last year closely mirrors the number of people who say that they do not have the option to work from home [57%],” Invisibly said.

The use of takeout service “is clearly linked in ways to the kind of work people do and their income levels,” the company concluded. “For instance, those who have the option to work from home, which are predominantly office workers, are also the most likely to have ordered takeout during the pandemic. Similarly, those in some higher income brackets were also more likely, suggesting that they had the disposable income to do so. Putting the two together paints an interesting correlative picture of who exactly is utilizing these services.”

More data from the survey can be found here.

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