DoorDash released its inaugural Alcohol Online Ordering Trends Report and a first look at the third annual Restaurant Online Ordering Trends Report. These reports offer a deep dive into the changing landscape of consumer online ordering preferences and emerging dining and drinking trends. This retail details how consumers are using DoorDash to get the items they need and how merchants can meet consumer demand and increase sales volume. 

Consumers continue to look for convenience as delivery apps have become a part of people’s everyday routines from ordering food and alcohol to groceries, gifts, and more. In fact, in 2023, consumers prefer ordering food via third-party apps or websites significantly more than in 2022. With alcohol orders, there’s been a 100%-plus year-over-year growth for pickup and delivery on DoorDash from 2021 to 2022, making delivery the preferred way for consumers to safely purchase alcohol. Comfort, convenience, and time-savings are the top reasons for using alcohol and delivery services by shoppers (42%). Below is a deeper dive into the data:

Top eating and drinking trends 

  • Salad as the main character: Some of the top items ordered on DoorDash in the United States in 2022 are fries, burgers and pizzas. However, compared with 2021, consumers are branching out and ordering healthy options including salads and tacos. 
  • Hard seltzers and ready-to-drink cocktails are here to stay: Everyone’s favorite beverages to order are none other than flavored malt beverages, hard seltzers and hard cider. Additionally, there has been a five-times growth in online delivery ordering of another year-round favorite, the ready-to-drink cocktail.
  • Some classics never go away: Vodka and tequila are the most popular and fastest-growing alcoholic beverages to purchase online for delivery among DoorDash users in 2022. Additionally, the craft beer craze has stayed strong as the global craft beer industry is projected to double by 2028, reaching over $200 billion in annual revenue, the company notes citing a 2022 Fortune Business Insights report.

Top ordering habits for consumers

  • Looking for affordable options: When it comes to the current inflation crisis, consumers are looking to enjoy food and drinks with friends and family while still keeping costs low. 
  • In 2023, low fees rose to the top as the most important feature when choosing a restaurant delivery method versus a good ordering experience in 2022.
  • Menu pricing (51%) and menu selection (55%) are the top two things consumers look for when trying out a new restaurant for delivery, takeout, or pickup. 
  • 18% are ordering on-demand alcohol delivery to save money and are adopting this way of ordering rapidly. For people who order alcohol delivery, nearly seven in 10 order alcohol online at least monthly.
  • Same time next week: It’s not a surprise that consumers tend to be creatures of habit.
  • Most orders for restaurant delivery are during lunch (11 a.m. – noon) and dinner (5 p.m. – 7 p.m.). However, the popularity of ordering early breakfast (or late-night eats) for delivery or pickup isn’t far behind as it’s the biggest growth in orders within all timeframes year over year (midnight – 5 a.m.). 
  • Consumers are looking to pair that perfect beverage with their dinner as 6 p.m. local time is the most popular time to order alcohol for delivery or pickup. 
  • After a long week, Fridays and Saturdays are the most popular days to order alcohol for pickup and delivery. 
  • Always up for an adventure: Consumers enjoy the ease of using third-party apps or websites for ordering food and alcohol but also for discovering new restaurants and items.
  • Going to a third-party app or website like DoorDash takes the top spot (34%) when it comes to kickstarting the process of selecting somewhere to order food for delivery or takeout, beating out doing an online search (16%), or going directly to a restaurant’s app/website (22%). 
  • While consumers are loyal to their favorite restaurants, they’re not afraid to try new things; 94% say they most often or occasionally try new menu items. According to DoorDash data, less than half (48%) ordered from a new store in Q1 2023 compared with Q4 2022. 
  • They choose to order and support their local restaurants as well: 33% prefer choosing from local restaurants (those with one location in their area), and 18% prefer choosing growing restaurants with two to 10 locations in their area. 

Consumers’ top priority is convenience and their ordering and consumption habits show that the preference for stress-free shopping isn’t going anywhere. While they continue to use delivery services for everything, they’re also looking for new ways to support their local restaurants and merchants, the report notes.