As the country re-opened in 2021, locations made their first attempts towards normalcy since the onset of COVID-19. So how did COVID-19 affect people’s purchase behaviors and mindset towards mobile ordering? And how should venue operators, foodservice managers and event organizers prepare for the new expectations of consumers?

Even before the pandemic, we’d already seen prominent trends towards cashless and contactless ordering at event venues and restaurants. 60% of Americans already believed the U.S. will soon become a cashless society, according to Shift. In fact, mobile represents over 60% of all digital restaurant orders today, according to the NPD Group

Since COVID-19, over 27% of Americans have not used cash to pay for food, beverages, merchandise, or services, and 77% will prefer to pay with contactless payments even after the pandemic ends.

Moreover, people were gravitating towards the convenience of mobile ordering as well. Even before COVID-19, over half of the consumers would opt out of purchasing concessions due to long lines. More and more people found the ability to order on the phone anywhere and anytime they want increasingly appealing. 

About the Survey

To find out how people’s preferences and purchasing behaviors changed after COVID-19, we surveyed 3,408 FanFood users who had ordered on FanFood in 2021 at school athletic events, sports games, concerts, theaters, restaurants, hotels, theme parks and more. Specifically, the survey answers key questions that foodservice operators have in mind, such as:

  1. Do consumers really prefer mobile ordering over traditional in-person transactions? If so, how much more?
  2. Why do consumers choose to order the way they do (be it on the phone or in person)?
  3. How important are factors such as safety and hygiene to people after COVID-19?
  4. Does mobile ordering elevate the guest experience? If so, by how much?
  5. Is customer loyalty likely stronger if more convenient options like mobile ordering is offered?

We’re proud to present the full results of the survey  in our Consumer Mobile Ordering Report, which you can have free access to here. Meanwhile, below is a sneak peek of some of the most impactful findings:

1. Mobile ordering is now an expectation.

The ability to order on a phone now permeates every aspect of our lives: from restaurant takeout to ride sharing, COVID-19 has drastically accelerated the adoption of mobile ordering, pushing industries beyond hospitality to offer similar amenities. Over 70% of FanFood users surveyed say that having contactless and cashless options is “very important” or “extremely important” at an event or location.

Why People Order on FanFood

2. People tend to order multiple times when using mobile ordering.

Venues using FanFood often report a higher per cap, and part of it is because people tend to order multiple times during a single event or visit if mobile ordering is offered. Almost everyone surveyed has ordered on FanFood more than once, despite the vast majority of them having only visited a venue once in the past year.

anFood Order Frequency

3. Both the technology and implementation of mobile ordering have matured over time.

Before COVID-19, the implementation of venue-wide mobile ordering had been largely a trial-and-error process for many venue operators. The pandemic however, has encouraged more venues to be innovative and embrace mobile ordering. We have worked hands-on with each partner to tailor the rollout specific to their realities and operational model. As a result, we’ve received overwhelmingly positive reviews from the end users, where 95.3% of all people surveyed rated their FanFood mobile ordering experience as “good”, “very good” or “exceptional”.

The return of events this year has rekindled mobile ordering and we’re super excited for the rest of 2021 and the start of 2022. We want our 2021 report to serve as a guidance for foodservice and venue operators in preparation for new challenges that will arise after COVID-19. You can have free full access to the report via this link:

Mobile ordering consumer survey report download


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