With takeout and delivery still more popular than dine-in restaurant visits, customer tastes have shifted this past year, with consumers embracing unlikely food pairings and strong flavours for their off-premise orders. Food delivery order revenue is expected to grow at an annual rate of 12.3 per cent until 2027, so it’s a market worth examining for restaurants.
With 63 per cent of consumers saying they have used a food delivery app, looking at what diners are ordering could help restaurants refine their menus and attract new customers. So, what were customers craving for their to-go orders in 2023?
Customers added heat to their orders, with sriracha, chipotle, and jalapeno cream sauce topping the trends. Spicy chicken sandwiches, tacos, and tuna rolls were also popular, with Buffalo chicken wings listed as the most ordered item.
Orders for coffee rose after 5 p.m. this year, with iced coffee, caramel frappé, mocha frappé, cappuccino, and regular hot coffee making the top five. Despite the rise in alternative dairy options, cow’s milk rose over 20 per cent on orders over last year, followed by 2 per cent milk and chocolate milk.
The global flavour trend is also making its way onto off-premise orders with butter chicken and naan a popular choice this year. Miso soup was listed also among the top ten, along with poutine and California rolls.
The addition of pickles to off-premise orders rose 89 per cent over 2022, with diners adding them to burgers, sandwiches, pizza, and deep-fried all on their own. With social media searches for pickles up 55 per cent, it’s a trend that may well continue into 2024.
Timing was also noted as a trend in off-premise dining with breakfast (up 53 per cent) and late-night (up 68 per cent) gaining popularity. As people continue to work from home, these times may become even more popular in the takeout and delivery categories.
Experts predict that off-premise dining will continue to make up 40 per cent of restaurant revenue next year, so knowing and incorporating trends on the menu can help restaurants get ahead, build loyalty, and boost the bottom line.