Door-to-door delivery is becoming big business

By Rieva Lesonsky

Conventional wisdom says older people are more likely to be homebodies, while younger ones prefer to make the scene and be seen. But today’s younger generations have rejected that notion. Those born from the mid-90s to the early 2000s (in this article, they’re referred to as Gen Z, which differs from the U.S. Census Bureau’s definition) apparently have an “aversion” to eating at restaurants, reports HuffPost. Instead, as we’ve noted before, they prefer off-premises dining.

So, if your restaurant doesn’t make it easy to pick up food (or get it delivered), you’re going to be missing out on a significant number of customers. Some 24% of this demographic order takeout three to four times a week, according to a study from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) and the Center for Generational Kinetics. This compares to 21% of older millennials, 17% of Gen Xers and 6% of baby boomers.

One factor feeding the takeout surge is this generation’s propensity to expect convenience and embrace multitasking. They’re frequent users of food-ordering sites and apps, so restaurants that don’t offer delivery should look into working with third-party food delivery services, such as UBER eats, Postmates, DoorDash, Grubhub and others.

Money doesn’t appear to be a problem for this younger cohort, either. The IFMA survey shows 54% are willing to pay $3 to $5 for delivery, while 19% would pay $6 to $10.

Meeting this demand is not without its challenges. The IFMA says the industry is “examining how takeout meals are packaged and how they can keep food from losing heat and quality while in transit.”

Off-premises dining (which includes carryout, delivery, drive-through, curbside pickup and food trucks) accounts for 63% of restaurant traffic nationwide, Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research and knowledge group at the National Restaurant Association, told HuffPost—and delivery is the fastest-growing segment of the off-premises market.

Photo courtesy: Postmates