QSR and Fast Casual Customers’ Delivery Preferences and Habits

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Tillster Delivery Index: QSR and Fast Casual Customers’ Delivery Preferences and Habits

Background For Quick Service and Fast Casual restaurants looking to compete in today’s market, having a delivery option is a must. This is not surprising, considering we live in a time when everything seems available for delivery, and incredibly fast shipping speeds are the norm. Delivery offers customers the convenience they have now come to expect, and restaurants a way to bring in orders and grow sales through a new channel, without cannibalizing existing business. Some delivery programs even allow brands to keep customer data, enabling retention marketing and building loyalty long after their initial order, for this already sticky service. But what specific aspects of delivery do customers most care about, and how can brands use it to grow sales? For the third year in a row, Tillster partnered with research firm SSI to survey 2,000 QSR & Fast Casual Customers on their delivery preferences and past experiences. The Tillster Delivery Index reveals these findings to help restaurants craft their delivery strategy.

Delivery Drives Sales Customers would order from their favorite QSR & Fast Casual restaurants more if delivery was offered. In fact, delivery is one of the top 5 features that customers would like to see from restaurant apps.

In the last 12 months, more than 50% of QSR & Fast Casual customers ordered online for delivery.

Over 51% of QSR & Fast Casual customers would order more often if delivery was offered.


Roughly 50% of customers order for delivery between 1-5 times each month.

When asked what features they would most like to see from a restaurant app, more than 30% of customers chose delivery.

Customers Want to Interact Directly with Restaurants Customers expect to interact directly with their favorite brands, as there is an ease of use and familiarity factor. Menus are configured and custom to the brand, and customers’ past orders are saved. This goes back to the convenience that customers want, ultimately resulting in a better and more seamless ordering experience. Our research shows that more than half of QSR & Fast Casual customers prefer to order directly from a restaurant website or mobile app versus a third party provider.

50% of customers prefer to order directly from a restaurant website or app.

Only about 6% of Fast Casual and 3% of QSR customers want to order directly from a third-party.





When ordering for delivery, 40% of customers order mostly from large chains, 40% order from large chains and smaller/independent restaurants an equal number of times, and about 20% order mostly from smaller/independent restaurants. While there is opportunity for all restaurants, there is definitely more awareness around larger chains.

Delivery Offers Convenience Convenience is the driving factor for a majority of customers ordering delivery. Everyone from busy parents looking to put a meal on the table quickly, to professionals working long hours benefit from the ease of delivery.


of customers claimed they ordered for delivery because it was the most convenient option, while about 24% were ordering for their family.

Dinner is the most popular time for customers to order delivery, with more than 77% of QSR & Fast Casual


customers ordering for this time of day.

Speed of delivery is an important factor. Only 20% of customers are willing to wait over 40 minutes for their order to arrive. Similar to expectations around faster shipping speeds, customers also expect their food to arrive quickly.

About 60% of customers want order tracking for their delivery order. The key is to set expectations and provide basic information around time for delivery, and where the order is in the process.

Customers Will Pay for Faster Delivery, But There is a Limit When it comes to delivery fees, there has been concern and confusion around what restaurants should charge, and what customers are willing to pay. We’ve seen that customers are willing to pay more to get their orders faster – however, there is a ceiling on fees.




of customers are willing to pay up to $5 in delivery fees

Meal Total: $15 Delivery: $5

so restaurants should use this as a guide when setting fees.

However, about


of customers would pay more for their orders to arrive faster

How do you prefer that restaurants you order from recoup their delivery costs?


Designated delivery fee


Higher prices on delivery menu items


Doesn’t matter

The demand for delivery continues to grow, while customer habits and preferences continue to change. Restaurants need a flexible option that will scale with their business and meet customer needs. Tillster’s Last Mile Delivery uses our on-demand platform to allow restaurants to offer food delivery at scale. It is ideal for brands looking to drive incremental orders from their own website or app and fully own customer data, without the hassle of managing the cumbersome details of delivery. To learn more: Visit Tillster.com/Delivery | Email Marketing@Tillster.com