Our Take

Musings on the Foodservice Industry

Online Food Choices Vary Throughout the World

It’s no surprise that pizza tops all cuisine as the most requested home delivered choice in the U.S.; in Europe though the orders are all over the map.

With all the strong cultural traditions around food and drinks, one would imagine that most European countries would stay local and order their own national cuisine. But, Italian food is ordered most frequently online across the continent according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. The Journal analyzed ordering data from food delivery and online ordering firms in Europe.

Only three countries preferred to order their national dishes based on the data: Greece, Turkey and Bosnia all selected local grilled meat dishes such as Souvlaki and Kebobs. In the United Kingdom diners opted for Chinese food, while traditional fish and chips were only ordered four percent of the time.

In general, around Europe, the most popular menu category was Italian food, which was no. 1 in most countries 3-platesincluding Germany, Spain and of course, Italy. Although in Florence, Italy, they must like cooking Italian food more because their favorite food to order is Indian cuisine.

Meanwhile, delivery requests in the U.S. varied widely once you put aside pizza and salad orders. For example, GrubHub’s most recent report shows that chicken soup is very popular in Miami, Philly cheese steak sandwiches in Philadelphia, and Thai/Vietnamese cuisine top the takeout/delivery orders in Los Angeles.

Chicago leads the country in late-night orders (after 10 p.m.), which represent 14 percent of the total.  San Francisco and New York are tied for second place.

An interesting statistic from the GrubHub data is that about nine percent of delivery requests are made with the environment in mind, i.e., the customer requests no napkins or utensils. Oakland has the highest number of eco-friendly diners topping 16 percent of all orders that don’t want napkins and utensils.

We would hope that number grows not only in the U.S. but all over the world. In fact, we suggest the world’s eaters take the next eco-step and start requesting that restaurants deliver food in compostable containers. It’s ridiculous that polystyrene foam is still being used; additionally, paper and plastic containers aren’t recyclable as the food stains contaminate the materials.

With compostable servingware readily available throughout the world, the choice is easy … unlike the decision of what type of food to actually order.

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