It’s not uncommon for some restaurants to get a surge of takeout orders in the afternoon.  While some may be late lunch or early dinner orders, they aren’t always full meals.  A lot of the time it’s a snack-type order.  A recent report reveals that about 50% of eating occasions are snack related.  Experts attribute this largely to busy lifestyles, but there are other contributing factors:

  • 73% of snacking is physically driven – combatting hunger (44%), nutritional support (15%) and the need for a sudden burst of energy (12%), which explains the late afternoon aspect.
  • 36% is emotionally driven – 23% of the people in this category use snacking as a time-marker in their day. There is also boredom alleviation (13%) and those who use snacking as a way to reward themselves (6%).
  • 28% of snacking is socially and culturally driven, including people who are bonding around food.
  • Then there is something called ‘aimless snacking’ (27%), which is attributed to the constant availability of food and beverages.

The numbers add to more than 100% because there is a good deal of overlap in consumer motivations for a snack.

What does this mean for restaurant online ordering?  1) Make sure your appetizer and snack selections are listed on your online ordering menu, and 2) consider adding items that are both ideal for an afternoon snack and are a sure bet for takeout popularity.

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