The Lasting Need for Delivery/Takeout: What are Consumers Ordering?

Published: May 25, 2022

Even with restaurants reopening after pandemic closures, operators are still in flux as they face changing regulations, evolving guidelines from government, and other challenges. Most operators had to quickly become off-premise experts who were adept at carryout/takeout and delivery, even if they never had done so before.

In 2020 and 2021, consumers also became more skilled at adapting to ever-evolving conditions, and the curbside and delivery trends that some expected to be short-term became part of regular consumer routines.

Delivery and carryout have become a way of life. And as consumers continue to be more comfortable with them, they’re gravitating toward some favorite items:

What are consumers ordering most?

Pizza, burgers and Chinese dominate the delivery space, but the pervasiveness of delivery brought other cuisines to consumers’ doorsteps – especially since 2020 and beyond.

Top 10 items consumers order for delivery:1

  1. Pizza
  2. Burgers
  3. Chinese Food
  4. French Fries
  5. Chicken Wings
  6. Salad
  7. Fried Chicken
  8. Pasta
  9. Tacos
  10. Deli Sandwiches

While each of these items are likely to continue dominating the delivery space, growth and innovation in some formats could win even more favor with consumers. For instance:

Tacos, perhaps not thought of as a conventional delivery item, have grown steadily on menus (up 24% over 10 years) and span every daypart. While more than 80 percent of consumers say they enjoy tacos, a full 50% say they love tacos.2

Sandwich menu innovations growing on menus offer consumers even more options in every daypart. Look for sandwich growth from familiar favorites like croque monsieur, monte cristo and muffuletta to comfort-food options like fried bologna or savory waffle sandwiches.3

What are the keys to success in the patron’s mind?

Consumers care about taste and quality of course, but the primary delivery/carryout factor that consumers said makes them see delivery/carryout as best in class:  food that travels well because its taste, temperature and overall quality experience are not diminished when taken off-premise. Tyson Red Label® products are tested* and proven to hold up for delivery, helping ensure patrons are pleased.

Learn more about this and more on delivery/carryout in the whitepaper from which this article is excerpted.


1Datassential, April 15, 2021

2Datassential, 2022

3Datassential, March, 2022