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Mobile App Restaurant Orders Remain Popular Following Pandemic

Mobile app ordering at quick service restaurants remains popular following the COVID-19 pandemic. USDA’s Economic Research Service released data Tuesday showing consumer spending trends on carryout and delivery from quick-service restaurants by mobile application from December 2019–February 2020 through October–December 2022.

In June–August 2020, carryout spending at quick-service restaurants via restaurant-specific apps doubled from pre-pandemic levels, and spending on delivery via third-party apps more than tripled. Third-party apps typically offer food from a variety of restaurants, while the restaurant or establishment operates restaurant-specific apps. App spending on carryout and delivery peaked in March–May 2021, reaching a total of $4.4 billion, with third-party app delivery and restaurant-specific app carryout spending each reaching about $1.6 billion.

Most recently, total app spending on both carryout and delivery reached roughly $3.9 billion, where restaurant-specific carryout spending and third-party app delivery spending accounted for $1.6 and $1.4 billion, respectively.

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