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Consumers Continue to Choose Takeout or Delivery Over Dining Out

A survey from US Foods finds that Americans still prefer a convenient and casual experience to an in-restaurant meal.
Two people sitting on a couch, eating takeout

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Even with the easing of lockdown restrictions over the last two years, Americans are still more likely to choose take-out or delivery and eat at home than they are to eat in at a restaurant, continuing a trend started during the onset of COVID-19 in 2020.

[Read more: Baby Boomers & Gen Z Find Common Ground With Food Experiences]

Consumers' choices for where they go out to eat reflect a shift toward casual convenience. On average, Americans are deciding to order takeout or delivery 4.5 times a month, compared to eating at a restaurant an average of three times a month, according to a recent survey conducted by US Foods.

Alternatively, three-quarters of respondents dine out because they don't feel like cooking, while 51 percent said it's more convenient and 44 percent enjoy socialization.

However, US Foods also found that Americans may prefer the added bonus of enjoying restaurant-quality cuisine from the comfort of their homes. More than half (57 percent) of respondents prefer ordering takeout vs. physically going to a restaurant, while the ability to wear comfortable clothes or watch TV are all cited as reasons they prefer a takeout option. And when it comes to patience, 54 percent of Americans are willing to wait 30 minutes or more for takeout orders. 

Despite the dominant trend, some Americans still prefer the act of going to and sitting down at a restaurant. While the report found that food is still the star of the show, 63 percent of respondents said atmosphere or experience affect their decision to dine out.

Universally, the cost of meals is a major contributing factor to how often and where Americans go out to eat. According to survey results, half of Americans spend less than $20 per person when dining out and spend an average of $166 per person per month.

"As diner habits and priorities continue to evolve, restaurant operators must continue to optimize their menu, marketing spend and technology solutions to stay profitable," said David Eschler, vice president of culinary and restaurant operations at US Foods. "Our team of chefs and restaurant operations consultants at US Foods is focused on helping operators make the best decisions for their bottom line, whether that’s the food they serve or the technology they implement."

[Read more: Making Foodservice Your Center Stage]

US Foods surveyed 1,000 consumers throughout December 2022. The full report is available here.

Rosemont-based US Foods is one of America's leading food distributors servicing restaurants, the healthcare industry and more. 

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