41 Online Ordering Stats to Know in 2021

41 Online Ordering Stats to Know in 2021

Today, more consumers than ever before are using online ordering. Whether they prefer takeout or delivery, the effect is the same: off-premise dining is growing exponentially, and online ordering is changing the restaurant industry.

The rise in online ordering started over the last five years, but in 2020, we saw the certainty of how important it was. Many restaurants were quick to pivot to offer online ordering to continue running their business during COVID and cater to their customers' needs. 

Mobile and online ordering have skyrocketed across all industries because of the convenience it offers. Online ordering solutions allow you to serve your guests better, adds an additional revenue stream, and boost your online presence. 

Does your restaurant offer online ordering yet? If you're a data-driven operator, check out the stats in this article that prove how necessary online ordering is.

Restaurant Online Ordering Statistics

Here is a list of statistics to show you how fast online ordering is growing, what it can do for your business, and how consumers prefer to order.

  1. The number of users expected to use online ordering in 2021 is 821 million.
  2. Restaurant chains that choose to manage their own deliveries can increase their profitability by 30% per food order.
  3. It is projected that online ordering food revenue will rise to be $220 billion in 2023 - 40% of restaurant sales
  4. Digital ordering and delivery have been growing 300% than dine-in traffic since 2014. 
  5. Takeout increased by 286% in 2020. 
  6. Digital orders have increased by 135% since June 2020. 
  7. 70% of consumers prefer to order directly from a restaurant. 
  8. 48% of consumers believe it is cheaper to order directly from a restaurant than through third-party apps
  9. 86% of operators add online ordering during COVID and plan to keep it. 
  10. 46% of consumers expect restaurants to offer online/mobile ordering
  11. 84% of consumers currently order delivery or takeout once a week.
  12. 57% of consumers are ordering delivery or takeout once or twice a week. 
  13. Online order tickets average 30% higher than orders placed in-person or called in. 
  14. 55% of people prefer to order without having to interact with a person.  
  15. Adding high-quality photos to your online page is guaranteed to boost sales by up to 30%. 
  16. Items that have photos next to them average an increase of 6.5% in sales compared to those without. 
  17. Photo-based menus on an online ordering platform versus text-based menus increase conversion rate by 25% or more. 
  18. Percentage of consumers say carry out is essential to their lifestyle
    1. All adults: 53%
    2. Gen Z: 54%
    3. Gen X: 57%
    4. Millennials: 64%
    5. Baby boomers: 43%
  19. Percentage of restaurant operators who say they have added curbside takeout since COVID:
    1. Family dining: 78%
    2. Casual dining: 73%
    3. Fine dining: 81%
    4. Quick service: 58%
    5. Fast-casual: 77%
    6. Coffee and snack: 64%
  20. 53% of millennials are more likely to choose a restaurant if it offers to-go alcoholic beverages
  21. 85% of consumers want tamper-evident labels on their food deliveries. 
  22. 34% of consumers will spend as much as $50 per order when ordering online. 
  23. Loyalty members spend twice as much on takeout orders. 
  24. 35% of consumers agree that it's easier to customize their order on a restaurant's own site or mobile app.
  25. 35% of consumers say that ordering on a third-party site is faster than alternatives.
  26. 33% of people say many restaurants do not have their own ordering sites.


How to Create a Seamless Ordering Experience

The pandemic has severely impacted restaurants, and the shift to a contactless experience has made it crucial to be online to connect with your customers. Yet, many operators are not keeping up with the consumer's demand for technology. 

A recent study from the National Restaurant Association and Technomic states:

  • 56% of consumers place orders via a restaurant's website, but only 45% of operators offer this option. 
  • 43% of delivery users placed orders via a restaurant's app, but only 18% offer mobile ordering via their own app. 

There is a disconnect between consumers and operators, and to stay competitive, you must begin to adapt to off-premise offerings. 

To prove how much off-premise has grown, take a look at this graph from Statista. Between March to April of last year, off-premise orders at casual dining restaurants grew up to 67%. Even fine dining establishments had 61% of off-premise orders. 


Source: Statista

Though indoor dining restrictions are easing up, it is essential to continue offering off-premise options. This will help keep your guests safe, keep your business running, and keep you ahead of the curve. 

Here are three tips on how to expand your off-premise dining and create a seamless ordering experience for your customers: 

#1) Get a Directly Integrated Online Ordering System

As a restaurant owner, you need a system that simplifies your operations and saves you money. Indeed it's easy to turn to third-party ordering and delivery platforms because of the instant online customer base they offer. But, you could be losing an average of 25-30% of revenue per month with these providers.

To have complete control of your online ordering, you need an integrated system that works with you, not against. When restaurants offer online ordering through their POS system, like CAKE Online Ordering, you get to reap the benefits of:

  • Increased revenue
  • Increased order accuracy
  • Saving time & money
  • Boost in online presence

Consumers want to support restaurants directly, and having an in-house online ordering system makes it easier for them. 

See how much you can save when you switch to CAKE with our free online ordering calculator. 

#2) Offer Curbside Pickup

Curbside pickup has become the standard practice for all restaurants, big or small. It has increased by 208% in the past year, and consumers want restaurants to continue offering this post-pandemic. 


Curbside offers the convenience and safety that guests want when ordering food online. Make sure that within your online ordering system, guests have the option to pick up curbside to ensure this. 

You want to make this process as easy as possible for both you and your guests. Get a system that allows for two-way direct communication through text so you can identify customers hassle-free and with minimal contact. 

#3) Create a Custom Ordering Experience

To attract more customers to your site directly, you need to tailor your online ordering so that it's custom to your brand and easy to navigate. 

As stated in the stats above, having photos within your online ordering system can enhance the guest's experience. This helps them identify the food they are ordering and can even encourage them to order more. 

You need an online ordering system that acts as an extension of your brand so guests feel like they are getting the same kind of service from you online that they would in person. Consider these five things when evaluating your online ordering system:

  1. Do you have the ability to personalize your platform with your logo, branding, and images of your food?
  2. Are guests easily able to make modifications to their orders?
  3. Does your system accept multiple payment options so guests can pay how they'd like? (Credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay)
  4. Is the platform easy to navigate, and can it integrate with your website?
  5. Does it have the ability to offer different pick-up options such as curbside pickup or contactless delivery? 

When you have a direct online ordering system, you have the power to create a custom ordering experience that will benefit you and your customers. Additionally, it will help strengthen your brand recognition from your customers. An in-house online ordering system just makes sense. 

Take the initiative 

Online ordering is here to stay.  Based on the statistics in this article, you can see the positive impact that online ordering can have on your business. 

If your restaurant is looking to set up online ordering, check out our Online Ordering Prep Checklist to help you get started. This checklist outlines all the features and optimization tools to help get the most out of your ordering system.


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