Chain Restaurants’ Apps Drive Digital Orders Despite Third-Party Challengers

Independent restaurants might rely more heavily on third-party apps to drive digital orders, but quick-service restaurant chains are doing just fine hooking in customers through their own branded mobile apps.

When diners want to digitally order delivery from Chipotle, where do they go to put in that order? In the U.S., 70 percent of the time, they are going to the restaurant-branded app or website itself, according to a new report from market research firm NPD Group.

Six out of ten times, diners choose to do their digital ordering (defined as delivery or pick-up orders sent electronically via an app, website, or text message) through a restaurant’s own mobile app.

…Restaurant digital orders have been growing at an average annual rate of 23 percent since 2013. NPD’s research projects that, by the end of 2020, digital orders will triple in volume. Currently, digital ordering accounts for 56 percent of all delivery orders and 6 percent of all carryout orders. All other delivery and carryout orders are either facilitated over the phone or in the restaurants.

…For independent restaurateurs, third-party apps offer easier access to customers that would prefer to place digital orders because there’s no in-house technology team and infrastructure required to support digital ordering capabilities.

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