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4 Holiday Food Delivery Trends Restaurant Owners Should Know

November 04, 2020

Since COVID-19, restaurant owners have seen a steady increase in online food ordering and delivery. This trend will continue to flourish. In fact, online food delivery sales could reach $220 billion by 2023. How does this affect holiday sales in 2020? Curious to know the prime holiday food delivery trends, including what’s being ordered? Our wholesale restaurant supply store shares all you need to know! 

What Are the Top Food Delivery Trends This Holiday Season? 

There has been a dramatic rise in food ordering and delivery during the holidays. During Christmas week, the industry saw a 123 percent increase in orders between 2017 and 2018. 

Over the past five years, restaurant delivery in general has expanded 20 percent. What can restaurant owners expect when it comes to food delivery trends in 2020? From modern twists on comfort foods to meal kits to tacos and fries, nothing is off the table. 

1. Comfort Foods with a Healthy Twist 

Comfort foods are always a consumer favorite, and the holidays are no exception. Comfort food in 2020 is unique, as more people are looking for healthy versions of the old standbys. Plant-based cuisine continues to gain popularity, so we can expect to see wholesale produce featured in creative ways. 

Mashed cauliflower in place of carb-dense potatoes and vegan sweet potato pie could be popular delivery choices this year. Immune-boosting dishes could also make the crossover into holiday delivery trends. Think warming chicken noodle soups and antioxidant-rich carrot-ginger bisque.  

2. Meal Kits Featuring Quality Ingredients  

Meal kit delivery sales are booming. Some studies predict a staggering $8.94 billion in global market sales by 2025. In recent years, restaurant owners have been tapping into the expanding meal kit market and offering their in-house takes on make-at-home meals. While restaurant kits are primarily sold on-premises, making them available for delivery can bring in extra revenue, especially during the holidays. 

Holiday Ingredient Statistic

According to a recent survey, 48 percent of people polled admitted they forget at least one crucial holiday meal ingredient. This usually sends them running to the nearest available store or restaurant. That’s a wealth of potential business restaurant owners can capitalize on. 

Why not assemble your own classic holiday side dish kits and make them available for delivery? You can easily add them to your menu for third-party deliveries. If you have your own delivery team established, have customers pre-order their favorite dishes, and even full holiday meal kits, for delivery. Don’t forget dessert! In states like Washington, Idaho, and Colorado, dessert is at the top of the menu order list!  

3. Festive Libations

Who doesn’t love a good cocktail during the holidays? Due to the pandemic, many states have loosened their liquor laws to allow restaurants to serve beer, wine, and cocktails to-go. Check with your current state laws and, if you are in the clear to sell spirits to go, add that on to your holiday delivery package. Beverages have high-profit margins, which makes them delivery options that are good for your bottom line. Plus, grabbing your mixers and bar condiments from a wholesale beverage supplier can help improve your bottom line.  

Expect the Unexpected

4. Expect the Unexpected 

While most of us expect our customers to order holiday classics like stuffing, mashed potatoes, and turkey, some past year stats show mind-blowing information. Believe it or not, in 2017, the most ordered items on Christmas Day were: 

  • Coke 
  • Garlic naan 
  • French fries 

 In 2018 on Christmas Day, the most popular food delivery items shifted slightly to: 

  • Tacos 
  • French fries 
  • Seasoned curly fries 

What does this mean for restaurant owners and their holiday menus? Basically, the sky’s the limit! If your establishment serves up the best chicken tikka masala around, why not market that for holiday food delivery? Plus, global cuisine featuring seasonal ingredients is sweeping the food scene, so now’s a perfect time to get creative and branch out.  

Searching for a Wholesale Restaurant Supply Partner for Your Holiday Menu? 

At US Foods CHEF'STORE, we supply restaurants with quality wholesale meat and seafood, dairy products, fresh produce, and much more! You can also find a variety of eco-friendly to-go packaging at competitive prices for all your to-go food needs. 

Save time on shopping by placing all your restaurant supply orders online via our own Click&Carry system for easy in-store pick up. Need groceries delivered to your door? We also offer third-party grocery delivery services through Instacart and Shipt. Have questions? We’re here to assist you. Contact your local CHEF'STORE today.

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