As recent mobile applications like GrubHub and DoorDash have made ordering food from restaurants easier, take-out orders have seen a massive spike in popularity. People seem to love the convenience offered by these services. But does this equate to customer loyalty?
In its 2018 “Takeout & Off-Premise Consumer Trend Report,” food service industry research firm Technomic found that 68 percent of take-out customers order at least once a week.  However, over 78 percent of customers still place their orders directly through the restaurant’s services, forsaking popular mobile online-ordering applications. On the other hand, these mobile applications continue to fill a void that most restaurants can’t match: a quick, sophisticated platform for ordering and real-time customer service.
“Among those who have increased their usage of takeout since 2016, ease of use with regards to mobile apps and websites is increasingly cited as a driving force behind this,” says Bret Yonke, Manager of Consumer Insights at Technomic. “Moving forward, look for third-party delivery companies to seek out greater brand loyalty from consumers by offering subscription-based packages that provide exclusive perks beyond simply waiving delivery fees.”

In addition, the Technomic survey found that about a third of customers say they order takeout more frequently compared to two years ago due in large part to the ease of mobile apps and amenities. However, the chief complaint from services like GrubHub and UberEats has been the severity of their delivery fees. The survey found that 67 percent of third-party delivery platform users say they would pay for a monthly membership to avoid delivery fees.

The need for loyalty programs in this space seems to be growing, and companies such as Uber have already answered the call. In November, Uber launched a new customer loyalty rewards program that rewards customers with points for every dollar spent towards an ordered meal or hailed ride. Only time will tell if other companies will follow suit in rewarding the many take-out enthusiasts that seem to be popping up all over the world.

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