During the COVID-19 lockdowns, more Americans than ever turned to delivery apps to have meals brought to their doorsteps. Companies like DoorDash, GrubHub, and UberEats have become household names, but like sourdough and Zoom parties, will ordering through these apps prove to be just a pandemic fad?

Nearly 50% of respondents we polled reported already using these restaurant delivery apps before the pandemic. This group was made up of primarily younger consumers, with over half of the early adopters being under 35. 

Whenever the first download of restaurant delivery apps occurred, 50% of users said they favored convenience/ease of use as opposed to the 12% who felt it was a cost-effective way to feed their families. A quarter of users said they signed on to limit the exposure of persons outside their households and 15% still cite that as the main reason to use these apps.

Source: PureSpectrum Insights Platform

In 2020, American buying habits fluctuated between brands due to scarcity of supply in the marketplace. Restaurant delivery apps saw the same kind of fluidity with many users reporting often using UberEats, DoorDash, GrubHub, and Postmates. However, when asked which app was used the most frequently, almost half the respondents favored DoorDash. 

But will getting food delivery from apps continue as restrictions lift? Only 5% of respondents said they don’t plan to continue any usage of these apps. The ease of delivery continues to be the reason 50% of users reported they will remain after the pandemic. However, only 17% of users over 45 reported they will use food delivery apps as frequently as they did during COVID-19 lockdowns. 

It seems that the convenience and UX offered by the companies have changed the way most Americans get take out, particularly those under 35. But as society continues to reopen and dining options increase, delivery apps will need to find new incentives to keep older users on their platforms. Because even though feeding a sourdough starter may no longer be a priority, figuring out what’s for dinner seems to always be a nightly ritual.

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PureSpectrum interviewed 691 online respondents on June 12, 2021. The study targeted consumers within the United States and consisted of a general population audience of 18+ years old. This study uses 95% confidence level to examine the data.

About PureSpectrum 

PureSpectrum offers a complete end-to-end market research and insights platform, helping insights professionals make decisions more efficiently, and faster than ever before. Awarded MR Supplier of the Year at the 2021 Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards, PureSpectrum is recognized for industry-leading data quality. PureSpectrum developed the respondent-level scoring system,  PureScore™, and believes their continued success stems from their talent density and dedication to simplicity and quality. In the few years since its inception, PureSpectrum has been named one of the Fastest Growing Companies in North America on Deloitte’s Fast 500 since 2020, and ranked for three years in a row on the GRIT Top 50 Most Innovative List and the Inc. 5000 lists.