Digital Ordering Key Factor in Restaurant Gains

A growing number of consumers prefer digital ordering over in-store experiences, according to a recent report from Paytronix.

The 2022 Paytronix Order & Delivery Report found that, while digital orders at restaurants and c-stores have not replaced in-store orders, they now reliably constitute approximately one-third of the total, up from just 12% pre-pandemic.

In-store orders are down 42% from their peak in January 2020, while digital orders are up 113% during the same period.


While it was initially feared that online ordering would negatively impact restaurant sales, it’s become increasingly clear that digital services have done just the opposite.

“A key success factor continues to be engaging with the consumer how they want to engage – which is clearly digitally,” foodservice industry veteran Taylor Crown told The Food Institute. “Yet, experience is key – and now the ease, intuitive and positive interaction with an operators’ digital tools all become part of that experience.”

Crown noted that it is vital to engage digitally in a way that enhances and supports the consumer’s experience, all the while providing the restaurant-quality meal that is expected.

“Ordering digitally via handheld devices or computers are now habits,” added Joe Pawlak, managing principal at Technomic.  “If an operator doesn’t have an appropriate presence or consumer interface, they could be locked out of a consumers consideration and lose significant revenue potential.”


While both takeout and delivery subtotals increased roughly 15% throughout the pandemic, more recent data indicates that takeout orders now dominate online orders, with numbers even higher than they were pre-pandemic. Takeout jumped from approximately 35% of orders in January 2020 to a majority in March of 2022.

The report also found that delivery customers are more loyal and order repeatedly from the same places. Approximately a third of orders from delivery customers are from guests who order multiple times a month, while takeout customers tend to be more sporadic, with only about a quarter of orders coming from customers who order multiple times a month.

Notably, delivery customers tip better and more frequently. For much of 2021, the average delivery tip was 12.5% of the subtotal, more than double takeout order tips. Meanwhile, 2021 takeout orders included a tip just 37% of the time compared to nearly 73% of delivery orders.