One unavoidable truth of 2020 has been that delivery is on the rise.
Things were already trending in that direction even before the COVID-19 pandemic swept into Canada, shutting down indoor dining in major cities and wreaking havoc on the dine-in industry.
The pandemic has been the accelerant, and with delivery-focused concepts like ghost kitchens emerging as a leading pivot within the industry this year, it’s expected delivery will continue to thrive during 2021.
As the end of the year draws near, leading third-party delivery apps SkipTheDishes and DoorDash have released their 2020 trend reports and there are some key conclusions.
SkipTheDishes’ report noted that Canadians have seemed more willing to try something new this year. Roughly half of users don’t know what they’re going to order when they open the Skip app.
Meanwhile, Skip says 81% of customers have ordered from a restaurant that they have never been to in person. That feeds into a desire to support local business. DoorDash’s report emphasizes that 73% of Canadians made an effort to order more from local businesses this year. In 2021, 80% of users plan to do their part to support local.
One of the more interesting conclusions from Skip’s assessment was that the fastest-growing segment of the company’s new users were older than 65 years of age. With indoor dining shut, it seems reasonable to suggest that this is likely a result of traditional options being closed off to the older generation, meaning they have increasingly turned to digital solutions.
Meanwhile, DoorDash has found that lots of Canadians are looking to bran out in their consumption. 70% say they want to experience new foods and diverse cuisines in the upcoming year, and 66% will try to eat healthier. In addition, over one third (38%) say they are going to try to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet, while another 26% said they will try to eat less meat.
Patio season has its limits
Much has been made of how restaurants may look to winterize their patios, which were a huge boost to business during summer and fall. Solutions such as dining domes have been put forth as restaurateurs recognize the importance of the added space.
But SkipTheDishes found that patio season certainly has its limits. While 16% of Canadians are willing to tolerate freezing temperatures for outdoor dining, more than 50% will not stand for eating outdoors in temperatures below 12 degrees Celsius. Quebec and Alberta show the greatest tolerance to cold weather, while BC has the lowest tolerance.
The other significant findings were not particularly surprising during the pandemic.
Skip found that late-night orders grew by 38% from 2019 figures, as the preference to have food delivered from a restaurant grew from 16% to 21%. Willingness to favour eating inside a restaurant plummeted from 39% to 20%.