What you need to know

Delivery is an exciting new opportunity within foodservice as the rise of third-party restaurant delivery companies makes it possible for nearly every restaurant to deliver directly to consumers, an occasion long dominated almost exclusively by pizza restaurants. While the restaurant delivery market is growing, the future of restaurant delivery is unclear as many of these third-party restaurant delivery companies are operating in a crowded market. Consumers do enjoy the convenience of ordering in, but the added costs of delivery prevent it from becoming a more frequent occasion.


This Report covers the use of/attitudes surrounding restaurant delivery in general as well as third-party restaurant delivery services. It covers changes in the restaurant delivery market, third-party restaurant delivery email marketing, and the utilization of social media by third-party restaurant delivery companies. While pizza restaurant delivery is covered briefly in the Report, pizza restaurants are not the focus of this Report.

This Report mentions companies that offer delivery of items other than restaurant food (eg Delivery.com); however, this Report only focuses on the restaurant portion of delivery companies.

This Report builds off of The Online Foodservice Consumer – US, August 2015.

The following terms are used throughout the Report:

  • Third-party restaurant delivery company: Refers to any company that delivers meals from a restaurant to the consumer. These companies typically partner with restaurants and provide a platform (eg website, app) from which consumers can order food. Once the consumer orders food online, it is delivered by a contracted courier. Examples of these companies include: GrubHub, Seamless, Postmates, UberEATS, Delivery.com, etc.

  • Virtual restaurants: Refers to restaurants that have no brick-and-mortar location and only offer delivery. Meals are prepared in a commercial kitchen and delivered straight to the consumer. Examples of virtual restaurants include: Sprig, Munchery, Galley, etc.

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