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Third-party delivery was on the rise pre-pandemic

Consumer awareness and use of third-party restaurant food services were on the rise even before the outbreak of COVID-19. to rise, acoording to a study by Service Management Group, which found that 80% of those poled were aware of the services.  

The report found that 43% of respondents had used a delivery service in the past three months, while 25% said they were using one of several delivery services more frequently. 

"When you combine the impact of the coronavirus and the widespread awareness and increasing adoption of third-party delivery, restaurant brands can't afford to overlook this growing channel," Michele Vance, president of SMG, said in a company release. "Delivery sales are projected to outpace on-premise revenue for the near future, and third-party delivery owns a big chunk of the market."

The report also found that casual, fast casual and fast-food dominated the third-party delivery business, making up 74% of the delivery orders. Casual and fast-food brands gained their share of the market by 10% and 16% respectively over the past year. 

Regarding concerns over whether third-party delivery was causing cannibalization, the report proved the opposite. For respondents who started using third-party delivery after the previous wave of the study, which is in its third year, there was a 5% increase in restaurant visits.

The study said that craving for a particular food or low-delivery cost were the main motivators for choosing a particular restaurant through a delivery app. 

Cover image: iStock