Food Delivery Trends and Statistics Shaping the Future of the Food Industry

keyKey Takeaways:
  • Delivery platforms are important because they offer technology, convenience, and data insights and connect customers with various restaurants.
  • Emerging delivery methods like drones, robots, and in-house delivery fleets are becoming popular for faster and cheaper deliveries.
  • Delivery management software helps optimize operations and enhance customer experience and business productivity.
  • Smart technology is enhancing food delivery by adding digital features to traditional methods.

Remember the days when getting your favorite restaurant meal delivered meant settling for soggy fries and lukewarm soup? Consumer demand for convenience and technological advancements are driving the fast evolution of the industry, offering us a fresh way to enjoy our meals.

With online food delivery expected to grow at an impressive 10.06% CAGR, businesses must stay ahead. From AI-powered delivery robots to cloud kitchens optimized for takeout, the future of food delivery is brimming with exciting possibilities.

In this blog, we’ll explore various food delivery trends that are reshaping the industry and discover how businesses are using technology to improve logistics, meet customer needs, and boost profits.

Get ready to uncover the future of food delivery.

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Role of Delivery Platforms in the Food Delivery Ecosystem

Delivery platforms play an important role in shaping the modern food delivery world, transforming how consumers access and experience culinary delights from their favorite eateries.

  • Through delivery services, restaurants may reach a larger audience and engage with more people outside their physical presence.
  • They offer customers the convenience of ordering from multiple restaurants in one place, simplifying the ordering process.
  • These platforms use technology to facilitate order monitoring, management, and communication between delivery drivers, consumers, and restaurants.
  • Delivery platforms make feedback methods easier to use so restaurants can get customer input and improve their services.
  • They generate valuable data and analytics, offering insights into consumer preferences and industry trends.

Thus, delivery platforms are integral to the food delivery ecosystem, providing convenience, technology, and valuable insights that propel the food delivery industry.

Having the top 11 food delivery trends by your side will empower you to bring them to fruition.

1. Drones for food delivery

With the global drone delivery market significantly growing, drone deliveries are among the top technology trends for the food industry. They require less contact with others while meeting consumer demands for timely and cost-effective delivery.

In addition, drone delivery is fast, eco-friendly, and contactless, but a big challenge is its weight limit. Most drones can only carry 5 to 25 pounds, limiting the size of food orders they can handle.

2. Food Delivery Robots

Food delivery robots are quickly becoming a trend in the food industry, offering speedy and contactless delivery options. With their ability to handle last-mile delivery challenges, they are transforming the way food is delivered in urban areas. 

Let us look at an example of a company that has used robots for food delivery:

The DoorDash robot can carry 22 lbs. of food at a time. The good part of this robot is that its compartment is locked during delivery to avoid any type of tampering or theft. 

Once the robot arrives at the destination point, DoorDash sends a text message with a link to the recipient to unlock the robot.

3. In-house delivery fleets

In-house delivery fleets are becoming more common in the food delivery industry as businesses establish their delivery teams instead of depending entirely on third-party services. With increased control over the delivery process, this method enables restaurants to deliver food faster. 

Restaurants may operate fleets to guarantee prompt delivery, maintain food quality standards, and offer a customized experience. This pattern shows how the food sector is moving toward vertical integration as eateries look to increase customer satisfaction and efficiency.

4. Third-party delivery services

Third-party food delivery services have been a trend for quite some time now. Providers like Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, and Postmates are becoming convenient options for restaurants and their customers. 

Small restaurants with limited resources faced the obvious challenge of investing in their fleet or efficient logistics operations. Despite restaurants having their own delivery fleets, the demand for this food delivery service remains strong. Here’s when third-party services stepped in, providing the necessary technology to scale deliveries and bridge the gap.

PRO TIP: Do check out the video to learn more about in-house and third party delivery services.

5. Contactless delivery

Contactless delivery is a win-win for both restaurants and customers. For restaurants, it enables continued operations to expand their customer reach through delivery services. It provides customers a convenient and safe way to order food without leaving their homes.

Restaurants partner with third-party delivery services like Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash to provide food delivery options. To reduce contact, many restaurants offer curbside pickup or delivery to a designated spot outside the customer’s home. Some even use technology like QR codes for customers to order and pay without interacting with a server or delivery driver.

6. Food delivery subscriptions

Food delivery subscriptions are perfect for online food ordering, especially for millennials. Millennials opt to stay in rather than dine out, preferring reusable or compostable meal kits delivered to their door. Moreover, as more customers seek multiple food options, specialized food subscriptions continue to grow and expand.

Consumers are using food delivery app subscription boxes to explore new or specific cuisines, driving growing demand in the food market. With more online orders, there’s a unique chance to boost delivery revenue and reach more customers.

7. Delivery management software

Food delivery management software instantly enhances your delivery performance through automated processes. The key benefits of this software include:

  • Easily manage and track food deliveries
  • Enhance the customer experience 
  • Track the status of your employees
  • Facilitate faster and safer food delivery
  • Smoothly manage your drivers
  • Boost business productivity
  • Keep your customers happy

With the right food delivery management software, you can quickly gain full visibility into delivery operations and make flawless customer deliveries.

8. Grocery delivery

The grocery delivery sector is experiencing a significant rise in the US alone. Additionally, as per Statista, there is a 20.3% increase in global revenue expected for this sector by 2025. This trend could affect traditional grocery stores and other food businesses that can’t meet the delivery standards set by bigger or more digitally advanced competitors.

On the consumer front, Americans spend more than their global peers. The grocery delivery business offers various options, such as in-store pickup, curbside pickup, and contactless delivery.

9. Ghost kitchens

A ghost kitchen, or cloud kitchen, is a kitchen equipped with all the necessary tools and equipment to prepare meals for customers. The only thing that differentiates a ghost kitchen from a conventional restaurant is that it doesn’t offer a dining experience. 

Despite only preparing meals for takeout or delivery, ghost kitchens or dark kitchens have a large customer base. It’s a highly profitable model, offering increased delivery orders, reduced operating expenses, and higher profits.

10. Meal-kit delivery

In recent years, the meal kit delivery industry has surged, changing the cooking experience at home. Statista predicts that the estimated market value of the meal kit delivery market will reach USD 20.65 billion by 2029. This gradual rise reflects shifting dietary preferences over nearly a decade.

Meal kits are gaining popularity due to their convenient pre-portioned ingredients, easy recipes, and reduced food waste.

NOTE: The number of users in the meal delivery market is expected to reach 2.5 billion by 2028.

11. Smart technology

Smart technology is all about infusing the digital space into everyday applications. This is done by bringing traditional offline systems online to increase utility and appeal to the customer base. Here are some areas where smart tech is advancing:

  • Twitter is the best tool to promote your restaurant or food business.
  • With a Twitter business account, you can list multiple ideas for promoting your business and customer communications.
  • Domino’s Pizza was one of the first food providers to conquer the Twitterverse. Customers can easily order pizza by tweeting a pizza emoji to the company’s Twitter account.
  • A food delivery platform can be integrated with Android and Apple smart devices.
  • Domino’s was the first to launch a smartwatch app for Android, making ordering much easier.
  • Customers can order meals from their wrists with a few clicks.
Virtual Assistant
  • Chatbots, powered by AI, simplify business ordering processes and user conversations.
  • Chatbots speed up and personalize food orders, providing instant updates to customers.
  • Domino’s “Dom” pizza bot lets customers order with a single word, enhancing convenience.
Order with your eyes
  • Pizza Hut has developed an innovative idea that can read the customer’s mind, not their thoughts.
  • The company has designed an interactive menu, “Subconscious Menu,” specially built on eye-tracking technology.

15 Interesting Food Delivery Stats and Facts for 2024 and Beyond

Analyzing food delivery trends is crucial for your business, as they impact sales and provide valuable insights into the industry, helping you make informed decisions to increase profits.

  1. The number of online food orders has grown by 300% compared to dine-in food orders ever since 2014.
  1. Nearly 60% of Americans use online delivery services for takeout or food delivery at least once a week.
  1. The revenue of the meal delivery market has increased by 204% in the past five years.
  1. The United States food delivery business jumped by 17% from $22 billion to $26.5 billion.
  1. On the online food delivery market, the average American spends $67 on takeout per week.
  1. Among popular food delivery apps, DoorDash has the greatest food delivery market share at 66%, which is larger than that of Uber Eats, which stands at 23 percent.
  1. In 2023, Uber Inc. generated around 12.2 billion U.S. dollars from its ‘Delivery’ segment, including Uber Eats and Uber Direct.
  1. Nearly 37% of dine-in customers and 40% of takeout customers want less expensive options, along with deals and discounts.
  1.  As of December 31, 2023, DoorDash (online food delivery company) had around 37 million monthly active users on its platforms.
  1. As per Doordash, Friday is considered the busiest day for food restaurant delivery services, with nearly 10 billion visits.
  1. While 13% use third-party apps, 40% of customers prefer the restaurant’s app or website, showing the importance of restaurants controlling their digital presence.
  1. The average family in America spends over $2,500 every year on dining and ordering from food delivery companies.
  1. Nearly 43% of consumers report that they specifically order food online because they don’t feel like cooking.
  1. According to research, two in three Americans; 62% still prefer to dine in versus ordering takeout or delivery (34%). 
  1. Nearly 33% of consumers are willing to pay a higher fee to receive faster delivery services.

These food delivery statistics can help you get a basic understanding of the food delivery business. But if you want to please your food buyers with timely deliveries, adopting a route planner can help you with that. How? Let’s check it out in the next section.

Deliver Hot Meals in Minutes with Upper’s Automation

Late deliveries are a major disappointment for food delivery customers, but routing software can reverse this trend and enable faster deliveries. One such software is Upper.

Here’s how Upper can elevate delivery speed and efficiency for restaurants and delivery services:

  1. Excel Import: Easily upload delivery addresses from Excel to Upper, saving time on manual entry, reducing errors, and streamlining the process of getting delivery data into the system.
  1. Highly Optimized Routes: Upper’s algorithms calculate the best possible routes, factoring in traffic, road conditions, and multiple stops to minimize drive times and fuel costs.
  1. Accurate ETAs: With precise route calculations, customers receive accurate estimated delivery times, boosting customer satisfaction and trust.
  1. Sophisticated Reports and Analytics: Gain valuable insights into delivery operations with Upper’s reports and analytics, identifying areas for improvement and optimization.

By using these features, restaurants and food delivery services can streamline operations, boost efficiency, cut costs, and deliver outstanding experiences to customers.

Want to Enhance the Customer Experience?

Enhance the customer experience of food delivery with faster and more accurate deliveries using Upper's innovative delivery management platform.


Food delivery trends vary based on cultural preferences, urban density, economic factors, and technological infrastructure. Dietary habits, cuisine diversity, and local regulations governing food delivery services can also influence it. Additionally, weather and seasonal events can also influence the popularity of food delivery options across regions.

The undoubtedly most popular food delivery trend at the moment is automation. By automating food delivery processes traditionally handled by humans, delivery businesses can achieve significant cost savings and enhance order accuracy. This is why it has seen such rapid adoption in almost all industries, including the food and restaurant industry.

Online food ordering has become the norm for many customers worldwide, especially after the pandemic. Given the convenience of having any dish delivered to your doorstep, it is no wonder why customers would prefer food delivery over dining outside. As a result, we see the rise of new leaders in the food delivery space.

Any business entering the online food delivery industry will face challenges, such as inexperienced staff, an inability to meet customer demands, delivery delays, food safety and sanitation, and high operational costs.

Customers from the millennial and Gen Z generations seem to favor using food and grocery delivery apps much more than other generations.

The largest food delivery platform is Grubhub, followed by Doordash, Uber Eats, and Instacart. These are a few of the leading services for food delivery in the United States.

Master the Food Delivery Transformation

In today’s ever-evolving digital world, the flourishing demand for food delivery is truly amazing, and it continues to grow. The convenience of getting your favorite meals from miles away with just a click was once a distant dream but is now a daily reality for foodies.

While staying updated with modern technology is crucial for success, not all innovations are equally beneficial. Some solutions might be unfeasible or unnecessary, depending on your business’s scale and customer base. That’s why food delivery businesses should start with affordable, turnkey solutions to see how they perform before fully committing.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.