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Delivery sales soar: It's 'what's for dinner' ... also lunch, breakfast, snacks

Delivery is living up to its name for the restaurant industry, 'delivering' sizable gains in both visits and sales over the last five years for restaurant operators, according to a new NPD Group study on the subject. The research company said that both a 20 percent increase in delivery sales and 10 percent gain in delivery foodservice visits were buttressed largely by the growth of digital ordering, which now represent over half of all delivery visits.

"Delivery has become a need to have and no longer a nice to have in the restaurant industry," NPD Senior VP of Induustry Relations Warren Solochek, said in the release. "Restaurants need delivery in today's environment in order to gain and maintain share. It has become a consumer expectation."

Consumers are so accustomed to ordering delivery that they are ordering it at breakfast and lunch in addition to dinner, which historically has been the most popular daypart to order it. This is one of the findings of the company's Future of Foodservice Snapshot: Restaurant Delivery study.

Growth of delivery at dinner has remained flat over the last five year and has grown at breakfast and lunch. Although digital ordering is a major contributor to the growth of foodservice delivery, using the phone to order still represents 49 percent of delivery visits.

Third party delivery services, like UberEats, Grubhub and DoorDash, account for much of the digital delivery growth. However, the share of digital delivery by third party services is more than double among full service restaurants than quick service outlets.

"We forecast that delivery will grow over the next five years and the growth with source to non-traditional delivery outlets and dayparts," Solochek said in the release.

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