Home Blog 2019 Foodservice carry out digital orders are double that of delivery
Nov 1, 2019

A Carry-out Nation

Subscribe to our blog

I have spent much of the last five summers compiling Eating Patterns in America, which is our annual ambitious task of summarizing the consumption behavior of an entire nation. As overwhelming a task it may seem, I actually appreciate the time to stop and contemplate all that has happened in the foodservice and food and beverage industries over the past year, and connect the dots between where we are now and where we’re headed.

The restaurant industry has settled into a new reality, and with that realization have come focus and innovation. Today the restaurant is not always the destination; sometimes it is simply the carrier. Carry-out, delivery, third-party services, and other innovations are taking the restaurant experience beyond the door, giving consumers the option to eat out on their own terms. How consumers access food is rapidly changing, alongside technological advancements and the growing expectation that people should be able to get whatever they want, whenever they want it.

The growth in digitally ordered carry-out foods is a good example of responding to the need to eat away from home on our own terms. There has been a lot of hype around delivery (not to mention investment in delivery), but carry-out occasions ordered digitally are growing faster than delivery occasions. The growth in carry-out digital orders is a clear indication of consumer demand, and it presents a larger whitespace opportunity. This is not to say that there isn’t demand of on premise dining, because there is.  Eating out on our own terms includes the choice to eat on premise.

Carry-out is just one of several ways I’ve seen restaurant operators evolve and innovate to meet consumers’ changing needs. As I travel around the country meeting you, learning, listening, and observing, I like what I’m hearing and seeing. I feel the excitement and see that there is a realization that to win in today’s foodservice market requires creativity, innovation, and the courage to break down paradigms. I look forward to continuing my journey and wish you well on yours. 

Upcoming Event

2020 Global Seafood Market Conference

Presentation Title: Emerging Restaurant Consumer Trends
Presenter: David Portalatin, Vice President, Food Industry Advisor
Date: Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 1:30pm
Location: JW Marriott Grande Lakes | Orlando, FL
Description: A generational change, shifting food values, and higher cost are among the challenges to growing total restaurant customer traffic. At the same time, outsized growth is being achieved across multiple platforms in the industry. This session will examine the emerging consumer behaviors that lead to growth opportunities in today’s rapidly changing restaurant market.

Register Now

Stay current in your industry

Related Blog Posts

Tagged: Foodservice

What to Expect from the Canadian Foodservice Industry in Q1
What to Expect from the Canadian Foodservice Industry in Q1

What can we expect from the Canadian foodservice in the first quarter of the year? Get the Q1 2020 foodservice outlook on traffic, dealing, delivery and more.

Five Eating Out Trends to Watch in 2020
Five Eating Out Trends to Watch in 2020

NPD’s UK Foodservice team identified key trends that will likely reshape Britain’s £57 billion out-of-home foodservice industry in 2020, with the need for increased sustainability from foodservice operators being a clear theme

Food and Beverage Trends to Watch in 2020
Food and Beverage Trends to Watch in 2020

In 2020, NPD Food Analyst, Darren Seifer, predicts tailwinds behind the plant-based food movement, food as medicine, the morning meal focus, and sustainability.

Winning the Moment
Winning the Moment

Every day consumers make many decisions about eating. Throughout their decision-making journey there are inflection points when foodservice operators and manufacturers can win the moment.


Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice.

Follow Us

© The NPD Group, Inc.