A study of 372 U.S. restaurant operators (of all sizes) that accept takeout orders found that about one-quarter of those surveyed have adopted online ordering. Just over one-fourth of those surveyed use some form of online ordering. These restaurateurs have been pleased with the technology, and all of them indicated that online ordering has met or exceeded their expectations on ROI. Although convenience and control are both drivers of the move toward online ordering, this study found that consumers and operators differed on the ranking of those two factors. Operators thought that consumers like online ordering for its convenience, but an earlier study of consumers found that what they like is control over the ordering process. Contrary to some reports, the restaurants in this study did not find substantial increases in average check, but they did report considerable increase in order frequency. For this sample, the top benefit of online ordering was a savings in labor, since employees are not tied up on the phone or at the counter. Order accuracy was another benefit cited by these restaurant operators.
Kimes, S. E. (2011). The current state of online food ordering in the U.S. restaurant industry [Electronic article]. Cornell Hospitality Report, 11(17), 6-18.