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09/21/2021

Study Reveals Impact of Digital-First Food Ordering on QSRs, Casual Restaurants

Winning brands are embracing a digital-first economy: 67% of an average restaurant’s sales are now ordered and consumed off premises.  
Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor - Restaurants
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a group of people sitting at a table with wine glasses
Online orders accounti for at least 40% more revenue than phone orders for the average restaurant.

Remote food orders are now responsible for most of the average restaurant’s revenue, but the extent to which restaurants rely on remote versus on-site sales varies with the type of restaurant in question. This is according to the newly published  “Restaurant Readiness Index,”  a PYMNTS and Paytronix Systems Inc. collaboration.

Since March 2020 a digital-first economy has emerged, and this has fundamentally changed how restaurants engage with their guests.Remote ordering and off-premises dining now represent the bulk of the industry’s orders, with 67% of average restaurant sales generated by orders placed digitally or by phone.

Sit-down restaurants generate more in-person sales than QSRs, for example. Food orders placed and eaten on-site generate 40% of the average sit-down restaurant’s total sales but just 25% of the average QSR’s total sales. This underscores just how important digital food sales have become since the pandemic first began.

Hold the Phone

This report concludes that not all remote ordering channels are created equal with online orders accounting for at least 40% more revenue than phone orders for the average restaurant. Just 28% of total restaurant sales are generated by orders placed via phone call. Mobile order-ahead totals 14% of the average restaurant’s revenue. Aggregators now generate 16% of the average restaurant’s revenue.

When it comes to delivery, 75% of restaurants guests prefer to order directly from the restaurant, according to HT's tenth annual 2021 Customer Engagement Technology Study: Powering Hospitality's Recovery.  
 

Key Takeaways:

  • Remote food orders are now restaurants’ primary source of revenue. The average QSR now generates as much as 75% of its sales from orders made online or over the phone. Online orders account for over 40% more revenue than phone orders to the average restaurant, and aggregators drive more revenue than any other digital ordering channel.
  • Remote versus on-site sales varies with the type of restaurant. QSRs generate more off-premises sales than sit-down restaurants. Food orders placed and eaten on-site generate 25% of the average QSR’s total sales but 40% of the average sit-down restaurant’s total sales.
  • Remote orders vary by channel. The average restaurant now generates 16% of its total sales via aggregator, 14% of its sales via mobile order-ahead, and 10% of its sales via desktop website. This shows that restaurants have an opportunity to maximize conversion by providing an abundance of online ordering options.

 

“The brick-and-mortar restaurant is no longer the focal point of consumers’ dining experiences but a single touch point in a much broader, decentralized and digital-first ecosystem. Restaurants have come to understand that providing digital ordering features is key to delivering their customers the food ordering experiences they want when they want them, but some restaurants have yet to realize that digital ordering features are the price of admission in this new market — not a differentiator.” – Paytronix Restaurant Readiness Index.

Download the full report, 2021 Restaurant Readiness Index